5 Ways to Get the Most Out of Your Data

Posted by Strategically Speaking

Wed, Feb 27, 2019 @ 11:00 AM


Data is indispensable. With it, you can make informed decisions to increase customer retention, employee satisfaction, and revenue. Without it, you’re risking your profitability, your performance, and in some cases, your credibility with customers, staff, and board.

But just having data isn’t enough. You need to know how to get the most out of it. Because if you’re still performing manual report processes or cobbling together data from various sources within a spiderweb of spreadsheets, you’re missing out on a significant amount of those key data points. And your leaders can’t make informed decisions because they’re only getting a portion of what they need … and the information they are getting, they’re getting too slowly.

The Financial Brand reports that 62% of organizations need someone within their firm to manually perform some steps of the analytics process. This leads to 69% being dissatisfied with the quality of their analytics output and 81% being dissatisfied with the speed of the output.

The bottom line? To make informed decisions, your financial institutions needs the facts and it needs them now.

To make sure your leaders have access to the information they need when they need it, here are five ways you can get the most out of your data:

  1. Make sure you have quick access to historical data. To succeed in today’s highly competitive financial services landscape, you need to understand your customer as well as where their future opportunities are. Collecting and archiving data provides the ability to analyze historical patterns and trends to better forecast growth opportunities.  You can better target programs and offerings that are meaningful to different segments of your membership while measuring their impact and effectiveness. For example, an analysis of customer spending trends during holidays, vacations, and back-to-school can create opportunities to offer targeted and personalized marketing campaigns. 
  1. Combine different data. When you have multiple sources of information stored in several locations, it can be difficult to gather necessary and relevant data in a timely manner. But if you have a data warehouse, you can combine, integrate, and aggregate data from multiple sources in a user-friendly dashboard. That means being able to gather insights from credit management, account metrics, branch performance, growth analysis, transaction reporting; and information from third-party databases like student loans, loan origination, credit cards, and mortgages.
  1. Cut back on the amount of time and staffing it takes to create a powerful report. Digging through records, juggling multiple spreadsheets, and trying to combine them in a way that makes sense is not only a long, resource-intensive process – it’s also prone to error. This approach to data analysis can slow operations across your entire financial institution and frustrate leaders who are eager to make decisions. The good news is there are flexible reporting tools available that provide both pre-made reports for common requests and the ability to create your own. The reports are visually appealing, easy to interpret, and have the ability to dig down into a granular level if you need to.
  1. Report on the information that drives informed decisions. Simply reporting on balances and counts does not leverage your data – it’s a snapshot in time. Take advantage of archived data to report daily, monthly, annual, and year-over-year growth. Add context of analytics to provide the framework for a fact-based decision process. Segmentation analytics break decisions into smaller, more manageable action items that align with your financial institution’s strategy.
  1. Compare your growth rate against your peers. When you can compare your performance and growth to that of similar financial institutions, you can think strategically about your current position in the competitive environment and consider your current progress toward a calculated plan. You can identify strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats while analyzing internal and external factors that are impacting your financial institution. With the right tools, you’ll have insight to financial institutions of all sizes – and you can see what numbers you’d need to achieve to reach that level.

Prioritizing your data can make the difference in whether or not your financial institution is successful. By making business decisions that are data-driven, you’ll have a competitive advantage in an incredibly competitive industry. You can’t afford to use guesswork.

Topics: Credit Unions, Financial Institution, Community Banks, Data and Analytics

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