Global study sponsored by Qlik finds more than 80 percent of respondents believe fully leveraging data-driven insights would boost annual revenue by at least five percent
Providing customer-facing financial services employees greater access to data leads to more revenue, reduced customer churn, and increased customer satisfaction, according to the findings of a global study by WSJ. Insights, sponsored by Qlik® (NASDAQ: QLIK), a leader in visual analytics. According to the study, more than four in five (83 percent) financial services executives agree that fully leveraging financial and customer data into analytical insights would represent an increase of at least five percent of their annual revenue. But less than one out of five companies allows access to information and data consistently across all departments or teams, including customer-facing employees on the corporate frontlines who could benefit from having the information to better serve customers.
The study, which surveyed 300 global financial services leaders, confirms that while financial services companies have access to powerful insights from their data, often this data does not make its way to employees at the edge of the organisation – those who are customer-facing and need it the most. While a majority of respondents rate their analytics function as ‘highly effective’ in terms of two primary objectives: capturing customer information (86 percent) and securing/safeguarding data (80 percent), only about half the respondents say their organisation is effective at gaining a clear understanding about who needs what information (51 percent). A majority agree that customer-facing functions will be a priority for expansion of volume and variety of available data (55 percent), and that they will carry out a major transformation of the entire analytics function (52 percent).
“There’s gold in these servers, and the trick is how we extract that gold from the ore,” said J.R. Reed, a senior manager for financial analytics at Deloitte Consulting LLP. “Data is an asset, a very important asset. Companies have been gathering this information about their markets and their customers. They’ve been accumulating all of this information that they can use to positively impact their customer and positively impact their business.”
Additional key findings include:
- Organisations are challenged by communications issues and data complexity: One of the top internal challenges to getting information to the right people is the fact that information is spread across a myriad of different, often mutually incompatible systems (42 percent). Other problems include critical information being lost due to poor communication (43 percent) and a lack of recognition of data as a shared corporate asset (41 percent). In terms of external challenges, a majority of respondents agree that information is frequently too complex to be processed, analysed, and disseminated in a timely fashion.
- Banks lag other financial industries in understanding who needs what information: Banking leaders are more likely than those from other industries to say that their analytics functions are highly effective (88 percent compared to 76 percent for other industries). But only a minority report high levels of effectiveness indicating that improvements are needed – especially in an environment where smaller, more disruptive companies are finding new ways to capitalise on their customers. According to the survey, the sector’s analytics functions lag other industries regarding their understanding of who needs what information (45 percent compared to 55 percent). This disconnect is troublesome considering that banking leaders are more inclined than those from other sectors to believe that their customer-facing employees are highly confident in making the most of such information.
- Capital markets organisations are highly effective in getting information to those who need it most, but lack confidence: Capital markets respondents are much more likely than their counterparts to say that their data analytics functions are highly effective at getting vital information to those who need it the most (52 percent rating the function at least 8 out of 10 for effectiveness, compared to 32 percent in other industries). Yet only 42 percent of capital markets executives believe that line of business leaders, department heads, and managers are highly confident in using such information to support business decisions or improving customer outcomes. In addition, just 36 percent believe that customer-facing employees are highly confident in fully utilising information. Most (58 percent) say they plan to expand the volume and variety of information available across the organisation with a particular emphasis on customer-facing functions.
- Insurance organisations are less likely to make customer information consistently available to all departments and functions: Insurance respondents are more likely than counterparts in banking and capital markets to say their organisation collects data from multiple sources and have access to it from anywhere (46 percent compared to 38 percent in other industries). Yet they are least likely to say that their data analytics function excels at getting vital data to business units that need it most (26 percent vs. 45 percent), and also least likely to say the organisation allows access to information sources and data consistently across all departments, including customer-facing employees (14 percent vs 20 percent).
- Challenges standing in the way of self-service data access vary by company size: Small firms are most challenged by practical difficulties such as internal communications, systems interoperability, information complexity, and lack of standards, while large firms are most challenged by organisational issues such as data ownership issues, end-user training, and accountability of senior leadership. Large firms are most likely to say that they plan to carry out a major transformation of their analytics function (57 percent compared to 52 percent overall) and to expand the volume and variety of information available across the organisation while prioritising customer-facing functions (67 percent compared to 55 percent). Small firms are more likely to say they will invest in new data infrastructure, including delivery platforms for users across the organisation (52 percent compared to 47 percent).
“Financial Services firms face the analytical perfect storm: the greatest complexity and frequency of data, combined with the rapid-fire questions that come from the business,” said Duncan Ash, Senior Director, Global Financial Services at Qlik. “The person who can act the fastest in a volatile market stands to profit the most from their decisions, incentivising business and technology teams to work in unison.”
Board Report Highlights Complex Decision-Making Process Across Banking and Finance sector
‘The State Of Decision-Making’ report from Board, reveals business decisions made in silos without modern planning tools
A third (33%) of Banking & Finance decision-makers believe decisions made in silos, despite majority (63%) of decisions being implemented worldwide
More than half (57%) of Banking & Finance decision-makers rely on spreadsheets for decision-making despite modern planning tools now available
The #1 decision-making platform, has today released ‘The State Of Decision-Making’ report focussing on how UK organisations make their important business decisions.
Based on a survey of 500 senior decision-makers, across industries including, Banking & Financial Services, Consumer Goods, Manufacturing, Pharmaceutical, Professional Services, Retail, and Transport & Logistics, ‘The State Of Decision-Making’ report from Board shows that today’s business decision-making process is increasingly complex, with multiple departments and seniority levels all responsible for some form of decision-making, leading to a lack of cohesion between units and a waste of business resources.
‘The State Of Decision-Making’ research found that while a clear majority of respondents (63%) working within the banking and finance sector say the important decisions they are responsible for get implemented globally, the decision-making process itself is not joined-up across the business, with one third (33%) also saying that crucial business decisions are made in departmental silos.
The research, conducted on behalf of Board International by independent research organisation 3GEM, also asked respondents the tools they use to make decisions and, while almost every action within an organisation today will lead to the creation of new data, it seems many businesses are not using the crucial insights which data can provide to make important decisions.
More than half (55%) of respondents in the banking and finance industry said they were making business decisions based on data and insights, but ‘gut feeling’ decisions are still made by up to 44% of companies. What’s more over half (57%) of the sector’s companies still rely on spreadsheets to aid their decision-making, despite more modern and reliable tools now available.
“In today’s fast-paced, data rich and evolving business environment, making quick and effective decisions is critical to both compete and survive,” explains Gavin Fallon, Managing Director for UK, Nordics & South Africa at Board International. “Important decisions are being made at any one time across multiple business functions, but all too often, important decision-making is disconnected, modular or fragmented.”
The research also asked respondents about the challenges banking and finance decision-makers face at their organisation, with nearly a third (29%) citing a lack of available data and insights and one quarter (25%) citing the fact there are too many people in the decision-making process as their biggest frustrations. However, industry decision-makers believe that the process can be improved with the introduction of new technology, with the majority (57%) of respondents saying this would make their decision-making better, while 41% also felt increased use of data and insights would help.
“Businesses have to plan every day for a far more uncertain future and set themselves up to prepare for change and keep changing against the backdrop of a more volatile and uncertain marketplace than ever,” continues Fallon. “A bad decision can have wide-ranging impact across the whole organisation and no business can afford to waste time and resources on bets that may or may not come off. As the business environment increases in complexity, the ability to not just react, but predict, in real-time, becomes more important than ever.”
Reinventing Your Digital Marketing Strategy Post-Covid
By Paige Arnof-Fenn, Founder & CEO Mavens & Moguls
I started a global branding and marketing firm 19 years ago. Marketing is a term that means different things to different people so it helps to clarify whether you are talking about market research, PR, social media, advertising, promotions, guerrilla marketing, strategy, analytics, SEO, SEM, B2B, B2C, content, etc. There are so many tools in the marketing toolkit today but I think it is redundant to say digital marketing because truly everything has a digital element since everyone is accessing and interacting with your brand online, through their phone or via the website at some point. In the old days there was print, TV, radio, direct mail and outdoor those were your only options but today technology runs our lives so everything is digital eventually. If digital is not part of your strategy then you would not be relevant so digital marketing is marketing in 2020.
As far as digital goes I am a big fan of SEO, social media especially LinkedIn and Content Marketing. Because we are always online now 24/7 it is easy to get sucked into it but you do not have to let it run your life! My advice is to pick a few things you enjoy doing and do them really well. You cannot be everywhere all the time so choose high impact activities that work for you and play to your strengths. It does not matter which platform you choose just pick one or 2 that are authentic to you. It should look and sound like you and the brand you have built. Whether yours is polished or more informal, chatty or academic, humorous or snarky, it is a way for your personality to come through. Everyone is not going to like you or hire you but for the ones who would be a great fit for you make sure they feel and keep a connection and give them a reason to remember you so that when they need your help they think of you first.
There have been a lot of changes in the past few months due to the virus crisis but one thing that has not changed is that smart technology still runs our lives today and it is hard to stay on top of the latest tools and platforms to take advantage of current trends so you may feel lost, confused or frustrated by all the options and noise in the market today. There will be new tools and technologies coming for sure but here are some digital strategies to include in your plans to grow your audience:
* Smart speakers and voice search are growing in importance so being able to optimize for voice search will be key to maximize the marketing and advertising opportunities on Siri, Alexa, Google Home, etc. I predict that the brands that perfect the “branded skill” with more customer-friendly, less invasive ads are going to win big. Are you prepared when customers ask your specific brand for help like “Alexa ask Nestle for an oatmeal cookie recipe” or “What is the best Mexican restaurant in Boston?” if not you are missing a big opportunity!
* Live video grabs attention – live streaming is available on every major social media platform and it is only getting bigger to hook in users with short attention spans, in a mobile first world, you have less time to grab people, attention spans are shorter than ever so video will be used even more, show don’t tell for maximum impact, rich content drives engagement.
* Interactive marketing makes it stickier — brands will drive engagement even more with polls, surveys, quizzes, contests, interactive videos, etc. to grab audience attention even quicker
* AI-powered chatbots cut costs and convert visitors into leads by encouraging themed content to answer FAQs with voice search-friendly semantic keyword phrases, is your content strategy ready?
* More confidence in trusted content, friends and influencers than advertising – the world has been moving this way for years with people seeking their friends’ and influencers’ opinions and advice online on what to buy, where to go, and what to do more than a paid ad or fancily packaged content. Customers are savvy today they are happy to buy what they want and need but they do not like to be sold things. Curated content and ideas from a trusted source beat paid content every time. Partnering and building relationships with the right influencers with content that is co-created helps brands scale and grow faster and amplify and boost their message.
* Authentic relationships beat marketing automation — technology runs our lives more than ever but it is relationships that drive business and commerce so people will find more ways to connect in-person to build trust and strengthen connections. Make sure you offer several ways to talk with them and get to know them. Algorithms can only tell you so much about a customer, transactions are driven by relationships. Use automation where you can but do not ignore the power of the personal touch.
* Big data is getting bigger but customer conversations are key to best insights for content. Talking directly to your customers to get first-hand in real-time their experience and knowledge will be a priority and competitive advantage to get the messages right.
* Content will match the buyer’s journey and understanding that journey will inform how to attract, engage and convert customers and which keywords and topics are used.
* Influencers will continue to rise in prominence so partnering and building relationships with the right influencers with content that is co-created helps brands scale and grow faster and amplify and boost their message.
Banking beyond the office
By Tim Hood is the Associate Vice President for Hyland in EMEA.
Following months of unprecedented challenges, the global financial community is beginning to get a sense of COVID’s long-term legacy. And while the current situation still has some way to run, the prospect of a rapid bounce back to the old normality looks doubtful.
Over the last six months, a wholesale review and reinvention of a raft of working practices has taken place.
Fortunately, the financial sector was able to adapt relatively quickly to this altered reality because compared to some, it was well down the path to digital transformation.
And as the work-around solutions using technology that was never intended or designed for remote working have been refined or replaced, many firms are finding that these new ways of working are actually working well.
That’s evidenced by the fact that ‘return to office’ dates keep rolling back, with a number of institutions not expecting staff to return to the office until the beginning of 2021, at the earliest.
However, the social distancing measures that remain in place will undoubtedly continue to have a major impact on the traditional office space. With almost half of British workers now working from home according to the Office for National Statistics, how many will want to return to the office, having been free of their daily commute for the last six months? In a recent survey by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR), one-third said they wanted to continue working from home.
And as homeworking protocols become ever more embedded, that could see many functions where remote oversight is possible, never return permanently or totally to a central office.
So, with homeworking seemingly here to stay, for a large number of organisations the new norm is likely to be a blend of remote and office-based working.
In uncertain times, one of the most critical business skills is the ability to adapt. Just because we have always done things that way is no longer a valid line of thinking. So, when it comes to matters like remote working, it’s time for a more flexible mindset.
Some banking leaders are beginning to acknowledge the changing reality. Barclays CEO Jes Staley said that corporate offices “may be a thing of the past.” JPMorgan, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley are also proving to be trend-setters in the reassessing the future shape of offices and flexible working.
Of course, effective remote working depends on people having access to accurate, up-to-date information.
That may require reprioritising investment to ensure more appropriate technology solutions are in place. Believe me when I say that accelerating digital transformation is no mere nicety, but a prerequisite for corporate survival over the coming months and years.
Of course, every organisation is different and will have to review its existing systems and procedures before implementing any major technological changes. But I would say that there are several core components required to help ensure future resilience.
As a minimum, there should be the establishment of a content services hub to centralise document storage and workflows in a single location, with a user interface that’s consistent – whether you are logging on from your dining table at home or at your office desk.
This will remove potential information silos where data gets stuck, and also prevent the creation of multiple document versions that inevitably follows.
Next, look to introduce intelligent automation where you can, to accelerate improvements in document storage and workflows.
Then, look at shutting down any redundant or unnecessary systems and applications. This is an opportunity to streamline operations by ensuring business-critical information, which may be spread over several dozen apps in some corporate organisations, is uniformly updated and easily accessible. When staff have to search for important documents across multiple locations, they end up frustrated and prone to making mistakes that result in delays and poor customer service.
Though the immediate response to COVID-19 may have had a short-term adverse effect on many in the financial sector, longer-term it can be the catalyst that enables the creation of a truly digital workplace that seamlessly melds together a flexible, distributed workforce with a much streamlined corporate space.
Achieving that will require organisations to carefully chose the correct technology solutions. If they can do that, then our brave new world may not be so scary after all.
Board Report Highlights Complex Decision-Making Process Across Banking and Finance sector
‘The State Of Decision-Making’ report from Board, reveals business decisions made in silos without modern planning tools A third (33%)...
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