Does your institution rely on manual processes to handle data?
Institutions today generate vast amounts of data that come in different forms: transactional data such as deposit activity or loan disbursements, and non-transactional data such as web activity or file maintenance logs. When employees handle data manually, through mouse and keyboard, it puts your institution at risk for inefficient reporting, security threats and, perhaps most importantly, becoming obsolete to your customers.
Take a look at how data is moved through your organization. Exploring targeted improvements can result in actionable, timely insights and enhanced strategic decision-making.
First, focus on areas that may have the biggest impact, such as a process that consumes outsized amounts of time, staff and other resources.
What manual processes exist in your institution’s day-to-day business operations? Can board reporting be streamlined? Do directors and executives have access to meaningful, current data? Or should the institution explore a process that makes new opportunities possible, like improving data analytics to learn more about customer engagement?
Build Your Data Strategy
Crawl — The first step toward effectively managing data is to take stock of what your bank currently has. Most institutions depend on their core and ancillary systems to handle the same information. Various inputs go into moving identical data, like customer or payment information, from one system to another — a process that often involves spreadsheets. The issue of siloed information grows more prominent as institutions expand their footprint or product offering and adopt new software applications.
It’s helpful for directors and executives to ask themselves the following questions to take stock:
- What is our current data strategy?
- Does our data strategy align with our broader institution strategy?
- Have we identified pain points or areas of opportunity for automation?
- Where does our data reside?
- What is missing?
- In a perfect world, what systems and processes would we have?
Depending on complexity, it is likely a portion of the bank’s strategy will look at how to integrate disparate systems. While integration is an excellent start, it is only a means to an end in executing your bank’s broader digital strategy.
Prioritize ROI Efforts and Execute
Walk — Now that the bank has developed a plan to increase its return on investment, it is time to execute. What does that look like? Executives should think through things like:
- If I could improve only one aspect of my data, what would that be?
- What technical skills are my team lacking to execute the strategy?
- Where should I start: build in-house or work with a third party?
- Are there specific dashboards or reports that would be transformational for day-to-day business operations and strategic planning?
- What digital solutions do our customers want and need?
Enable Self-Service Reporting
Run — The end goal of any bank’s data strategy is to help decision-makers make informed choices backed by evidence and objectivity, rather than guesswork and bias.
Innovative institutions have tools that make reporting accessible to all decision makers. In addition to being able to interact with data from multiple systems, those tools provide employees with dashboards that highlight key metrics and update in real time, generating the pulse of organizational performance.
With the combination of self-service reporting and data-driven dashboards, leaders have the means to answer tough questions, solve intractable challenges and understand their institution in new ways. It’s a transformative capability — and the end goal of any effort to better manage data.
The information contained herein is general in nature and is not intended, and should not be construed, as legal, accounting, investment, or tax advice or opinion provided by CliftonLarsonAllen LLP (CliftonLarsonAllen) to the reader.