The Golden Opportunity

Duncan Ash, Senior Director Global Financial Services, Qlik

Financial services organisations must get their analytical insights out to the field.

Business intelligence is often considered an executive level activity, but for financial services organisations, there is a golden opportunity to equip customer-facing staff with tools providing analytical insights beyond the c-suite – potentially advancing and streamlining the day-to-day of frontline employees.

These are the key staff who regularly meet customers, sell services, and ultimately determine whether or not a customer receives a satisfactory experience – essentially strengthening the backbone of the entire organisation.

The people in the field are the ones who see the customers the most – often providing the first and last impression of the organisation– and yet in so many companies, they are the least equipped to serve their customers as well as they would like.

Qlik, in partnership with the Wall Street Journal Custom Studios, conducted a study of 300 financial services executives about how they manage data, and how they use that data to drive key decision making criteria out to the edges of their businesses. It revealed some striking insights:

  • While 55 percent of financial services companies are beginning to realise the advantages that powerful insights from their data can bring to customer-facing staff, often this data doesn’t make its way to employees at the front lines of the organisation
  • Only half of the company officials surveyed (51%) said their organisation is effective at gaining a clear understanding about who needs what information, essentially leaving the frontline staff in the dust
  • Forty-three percent of respondents identified getting information to the right people as a top internal challenge, while 41 percent cited critical information being lost due to poor communication and a lack of recognition of data as a shared corporate asset as a major internal hurdle.
  • While most executives believe that expanded production of analytic insights is a priority, fewer than one in five plan to substantially enhance their company’s ability to deliver analytic insights to every part of their organisation.

The study also found that a majority (83%) of financial services executives agreed that fully leveraging financial and customer data into analytical insights would lead to an increase of at least five percent of their annual revenue. While this is more than achievable, empowering customer-facing staff with analytics tools is imperative in order for financial services organisations to achieve this level of ROI.

From this, it can be gathered that while knowing that customer-facing employees are the group who stand to gain the most from analytical insights, their organisations are not making sufficient efforts to provide them with the information they need.

Visual analytics and BI solutions have the potential to help frontline employees in banks, capital markets organisations and insurance agencies to serve their customers better, make more informed selling decisions, and build closer relationships with their clients.Ultimately, this will not only make staff more efficient and adept at meeting customer needs – but it will streamline and fast-track the sales process, resulting in more revenue and a stronger business value proposition for the broader company.

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