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Banking

Data, Data Everywhere. But What Are We to Think?

Cody Williams
Feb 17, 2022

Like that parched and ancient mariner surrounded by an undrinkable sea, it’s a special kind of torture to be awash in glorious data and not able to use it. And it stings even more knowing data analytics is critical to being able to serve your accountholders at their moment of need.

If this form of anxiety sounds familiar, take comfort in the fact that you are not alone. Consumer data is an area that many bank and credit union executives feel unprepared to capitalize on. In fact, only 26% of financial institutions consider themselves to be “data experts.”1 According to GonzoBanker:

“As an industry, we’ve been pretty good at using data to manage risk, especially credit and fraud. And, some have been okay at using data to lower costs, especially staffing. But let’s face it: the industry has been crappy at using data to make lives easier for customers and drive revenue. The data has been there, but too much of it has been either under-analyzed or over-analyzed and not acted on. It’s an execution problem.”2

Acting on Insights

It’s one thing to have an extensive catalog of data at your fingertips, but does your existing solution allow you to create content that drives the type of actionable insights you can use to keep pace with ever-shifting market trends? With the right technology stack, you can easily identify customer trends, spot security threats, and monitor the quality of data in source systems, allowing you to:

· Find answers to time-sensitive questions like how many accounts are past due, which accountholders are the most profitable, or any other set of criteria important to your organization.

· Develop KPIs to predict and monitor consumer churn.

· Track spending patterns to identify and incent activity that is most advantageous to your organization.

· Monitor the incoming feed from your core platform and identify data quality issues that need to be corrected immediately.

Getting immediate, actionable insights into your data can go a long way towards improving the quality and speed of your business decisions.

Recognizing Events in Near-Real-Time

Your organization needs information on events in the current moment – as they happen. If errors are occurring, you can’t afford to wait days or even weeks to discover them. Business managers must be faster than ever to be proactive.

In the past, determining whether a certain type of activity occurred meant you had to scan your entire database. Today’s technology can help you monitor your incoming core and complementary data streams in near-real-time, therefore enabling the type of organizational agility needed to compete in crowded markets. Accessing accurate up-to-date data makes quick decision-making intuitive and less fraught with risk.

Reducing Fraud and Minimizing Risks

Having the right data intelligence tools at your fingertips makes it easier to decrease security vulnerabilities. Notifications to accountholders can be sent within seconds once a potential threat or concerning data trend is identified. Notifications to employees about suspected fraudulent transactions can also be sent and acted upon before return deadlines have passed.

With the right tools in place, you can avoid frustrating delays. There’s no need to wait for end-of-day information to come in. You can easily monitor the incoming feed and see any changes as they occur, then take the appropriate action.

You can even customize your data to work for you in a variety of ways. For example, you can:

· Push alerts to accountholders for suspected fraud or low balances.

· Send texts to welcome new accountholders.

· Text an accountholder immediately with an offer for overdraft services if they have a declined ATM transaction.

· Create dashboards and feed data into custom applications.

· Provide tellers with immediate data access if your core system goes down, so they can continue to assist customers or members.

Incorporating modern data analytics tools into your technology lineup makes all this—and more—possible.

Enhanced Operational Data Intelligence

Enhanced operational data intelligence saves financial institutions both time and money. Unlike “homemade” data-gathering efforts, there’s no need to devote significant hours and resources to creating reports. You can instead view a set of prebuilt reports that help address fundamental events occurring today, this week, or within the last 30 days, including new and closed accounts, loans, shares, transactions, and branch activity.

A deep, accurate dataset can also set the table for your bank or credit union to take advantage of advanced artificial intelligence, machine learning, and process mining solutions that will further enhance operational efficiency and customer experience.

Don’t miss out on what the data in your systems are trying to tell you. With the right tools, you not only know what to think about the changes you see, but you’ll also have some good ideas on what steps to take next.


1.) Jim Marous, “COVID-19 Accelerates Urgency For Digital Banking Transformation,” The Financial Brand, accessed November 26, 2021, https://thefinancialbrand.com/97453/ covid-19-coronavirus-digital-innovation-transformation-trend-capgemini-amazon.

2.) Sam Kilmer, “Are Your Analytics Hot – or Crazy?” GonzoBanker, accessed November 26, 2021, https://gonzobanker.com/2017/05/are-your-analytics-hot-or-crazy.


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