Financial institution managers everywhere are looking to grow market share, lower costs and improve customer service by maximizing the use of data throughout their businesses. Work has begun and through the fog and din the data-driven organization is coming into focus. In some institutions a lot of work is underway; but in most institutions the prevalent process is more conversation and consideration, than it is active doing.
There are many reasons why organizations are still doing more “thinking than doing.” It takes time to learn what needs to be known in order to craft a data strategy, set appropriate goals, revise or build teams, build infrastructure and start the work of organizing and analyzing the available data, as well as collecting data from untapped sources. Some managers are trapped in a sea of buggy spreadsheets or feel a need to invent their “solution” in-house.
The focus on large data analysis projects and in-house “builds” creates a challenge. The job in front of managers is a big one. It takes time. But it will take more time than is necessary to build successful data-driven organizations if managers focus solely on data science projects and data analysis tasks while ignoring business intelligence solutions that provide already available member and organization management information via dashboards.
Dashboard based, data-driven solutions such as “customer experience management” and “financial performance management” applications are available now at affordable prices to promote your organization’s effective use of data. These relatively easy to implement solutions can both promote your ability to make timely, effective decisions and prove the value of your broader data strategies by putting information, not just data, at your fingertips — now.
Large-scale data science and analytic projects are not the only path to promote customer understanding or to understand the impact of decisions on the competitive or financial performance of your institution. Dashboard based business intelligence solutions already exist. In a matter of weeks these industry-tested solutions can be informing management decisions, tracking progress toward goals, and improving performance. Before committing to “only” complicated, proprietary data science-based projects you should consider the value to your organization of existing, proven products.
Customer experience management (CEM) software solutions, for instance, capture feedback from customer interactions across multiple delivery channels. They provide clear and compelling reports, making it easy to analyze and understand emerging trends and customer issues. CEM software’s analytics and reporting, along with prescriptive tools, facilitate actions that can deliver better service response and promote the use of data to make fundamental improvements in process and product. CEM software’s “capture, analysis, reporting and prescriptive tools” can be just as important to monitoring company performance and building company capabilities as any large-scale data project, business intelligence or process-management system.
The same is true for dashboard-based solutions that deliver full general ledger and profit and loss information and analysis. These tools allow you to realize efficiencies from automation that reduce staff time and errors. They provide daily performance tracking and reporting, with drill-down capability, that can lead to data-driven dialogues and better, timelier, decision-making. Your institution has at its disposal all the financial information it needs to understand in nearly real time the impacts of decisions on financial performance. But to do so, fully, you need to deploy dashboard-based business intelligence tools; far more than spreadsheets, these tools bring the data together in one place to share, discuss and inform action.
Financial institution managers are rightly spending time looking to data-focused projects that drive growth, reduce costs and improve processes. And managers expect their efforts toward data analytics and decisioning to pay off in the future. But managers should also look to already available services that promote member understanding and organization management “out of the box” because these services can help you grow your decision-making capabilities quickly, even while you are learning to employ broader analytic capabilities for your organization.
In short, there are data-driven solutions available now that can quickly take you where you need to go. Don’t suffer through inadequate partial solutions; don’t allow your organization to be caught in unnecessary over analysis. Look to these existing tools as you develop and execute your data strategy.