02.27.2017

5 Ways to Create a Data Culture

5 ways to create the data driven culture your business needs

By Jay Patani, Tech Evangelist, ITRS

Jay Patani, ITRS

The financial services sector is fiercely competitive – and only getting more so. Banks once competed to maintain or increase their market share. Nowadays it’s a matter of survival, as the industry faces immense digital disruption. Some industry experts predict consolidation at dramatic levels. Those businesses that aren’t able to transform, to understand, and deliver on new customer expectations risk being replaced by smaller innovative players who can.

Meeting these expectations and delivering a great customer experience requires insight. This means you need to be able to collect and understand data from the many different touch points your clients have with your business. Online and offline. This is a key driver in financial services firms adopting big data strategies, and evolving into innovative, digital businesses. Some are already investigating the use of A.I. as a potential competitive differentiator.

For businesses to truly achieve competitive edge though, it would be foolish to rely on a few key hires in the business to deliver on their digital data strategies. A data friendly culture should be adopted across the whole business. So how does your business create the data-driven culture it needs?

  1. Use ITOA (IT Operational Analytics) to deliver on the basics and prevent future issues

Reliability of products and services is an important factor for customer retention. This is where ITOA can be a key differentiator for your business. It provides a smarter way of making sure systems are always available and responsive by detecting, investigating and automating both decisions and remedial actions, delivering the reliability customers expect.

Currently, the focus is on doing this in real-time, however increasing demands and customer expectations mean that the focus is already moving to predictability of issues and 100% service availability. This in itself has its own challenges; data organisation and security, as well as having tools in place that can break down the data silos across the business.

  1. Know your customer – use analytics to deliver a great customer experience across your brand

 By collecting data from across the different touchpoints and client interactions, including different products, services and brands, you can spot trends and patterns in client behaviour. This will help you with targeting your clients by providing valuable information or offers in a timely manner.

As an added bonus, it will also help with combatting identity fraud, for example, by flagging any anomalies in customer behaviour patterns.

  1. Let genuine use cases drive the tools, rather than vice versa

By focusing on the use cases first, and then resourcing the tools to collect the data and run the analysis required to support those use cases, you don’t limit yourself to the art of the possible. If you start with the technology and then work out what you can do with it, you are immediately restricting yourself within the limitations of that technology. Things to consider when drafting your use cases are:

  • Are they regulated or non-regulated? I.e. do you need your data to be immutable?
  • Do you need to handle real-time data and analyse that data as it is received?

Your use cases may focus on areas such as customer service data, fraud prevention, regulatory and compliance requirements or IT Operations. Typically, these types of use cases involve many different departments and business areas, where they can all benefit from having access to the same underlying source of data.

  1. Consider the bigger picture. By using a data lake, different parts of the business can benefit from access to the same data. No more silos.

The data lake concept is an important one as it provides a more agile way to store and manage your data, at scale. This flexible method of classifying and storing data also means that you can create new sources of data from your query results, further aiding collaboration across teams and reducing resource efforts as a whole.

  1. Adopt a digital culture as part of everyone’s job:

By creating a data-friendly culture, you’re not only freeing up some very valuable, and limited, resources, such as data scientists and business analysts, you’re also empowering people across your business to make better informed decisions in a faster timeframe.

Encourage people to be data-savvy, and equip them accordingly. Then, people will be able to ask, and answer, questions of their own data in an intuitive manner as the results to their queries prompt further exploration.

A data savvy business environment will help businesses to overcome data silos and further enhance collaboration, positively impacting customer experience and facilitating competitive edge.

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