This is a sponsored post by Ann Kuelzow, Global Head of Financial Services at InterSystems.
A staggering 86% of financial services firms globally are concerned about using data to drive decision-making within their organizations, according to the latest research from InterSystems of 554 business leaders within financial services companies, including commercial, investment, and retail banks, across 12 countries globally. This lack of confidence largely stems from an inability to access data from all the needed sources and the time taken to access data. Given the wealth of data financial services firms have, this is a major concern, with the potential to open organizations up to risk and severely impede key business initiatives. In fact, more than a third of firms in the survey cite the primary impact of these challenges as being difficulty in gaining a 360-degree picture of customers.
As competition intensifies within the financial services sector, customer 360 is something that all firms must confidently be able to obtain. Doing so will empower firms to provide clients with the products, services, and hyper-personalized, real-time experiences they have come to expect across all aspects of their lives. But this relies on gaining access to accurate, consistent, and real-time data encompassing all touchpoints. Consequently, firms must first address underlying issues with their data architecture.
Solving data challenges
Gaining a holistic view of the customer requires firms to pull together all available information on each customer. As customers are likely to interact with a variety of different departments and personnel within the firm, this information can be spread across multiple systems and silos, including trading, savings, credit cards, loans, insurance, CRM, support, data warehouses, data lakes, and other applications and silos, as well as data from external sources and suppliers. The data is often in dissimilar structures and formats and follows different naming conventions and metadata. Therefore, making sense of this dispersed data typically requires significant effort and expense, and using it to make informed, accurate, and fast decisions is a major challenge.
As organizations look to solve these problems, data fabrics, a next-generation architectural approach, have emerged to provide financial services firms with a way to speed and simplify access to data assets across the entire organization. It does this by connecting to existing systems and data silos containing relevant data, both inside and outside the organization, and ingesting the relevant data on demand as it’s needed. It accesses, integrates, and transforms the data as it’s being requested, providing a real-time, consistent, harmonized view of the data from different sources, all from a single view. This allows firms to gain a complete 360-degree view of the customer.
Going a step further
A smart data fabric takes this approach a step further by providing built-in analytics capabilities which enable business users to understand customer behaviors and actions better and even to predict the likelihood of future behaviors, such as purchase of new services, churn, or response to targeted offers. It also provides the business with self-service analytics capabilities, so line-of-business personnel can drill into the data for answers without relying on IT, eliminating the usual delays associated with adding custom requests to the IT department’s queue.
This next generation approach also helps solve latency issues, as smart data fabrics lets the data reside in the source systems, where it’s accessed on demand, as it’s required.
Adopting this approach will help to restore firms’ trust in their data, ensuring that they can quickly access consistent, reliable, and accurate information on which to base decisions, fuel data initiatives, and build up a comprehensive view of the customer.
Elevating the customer experience
Being able to leverage the wealth of customer data inside and outside of the organization for customer 360 will empower firms to offer a vastly improved customer experience. For instance, with a single view of the customer, advisors, help desk, and support teams will be able to provide customers with the immediate answers and recommendations and thereby enhance their interactions with the organization.
Armed with customer 360, firms will also be able to increase revenue streams by predicting customer behavior to maximize cross-sell and up-sell opportunities. For example, incorporating and analyzing dozens of data points from different systems enables firms to determine which customers are likely to respond to a premium credit card offer and least likely to default on payments. This allows firms to identify which customers to target with particular offerings and services. Similarly, firms will be able to predict which customers are at risk of churning and take appropriate corrective actions in advance to reduce churn.
Together, these capabilities will help to elevate the experience and services being offered to customers, while also helping financial services firms to create and cement a competitive edge.
Restoring trust in data
Ultimately, by adopting smart data fabrics, firms will be able to overcome the data challenges that are currently preventing them from using their data to make better decisions by leveraging a more complete and more current 360-degree view of each and every customer. With a complete and trusted 360-degree view of the customer, firms will be in a strong position to fuel new customer initiatives, enhance the customer experience by delivering cohesive and personalized interactions and offerings across departments, and set their institution apart.
Find out more, and read the full InterSystems here >>