It’s almost budget time, and most financial institutions are looking for ways to cut costs while improving efficiencies. Plans for next year feature substantial growth, maybe a merger or acquisition, and most certainly some new product offerings to attract and retain clients. With this projected growth, however, comes the need to continually add people and processes to manage the extra business, with data representing a particularly high-cost, tactical problem.
Drowning in Data
It’s a fact that many financial institutions are currently drowning in data, but turning it into usable business intelligence is complex and expensive. A 2016 study released by Experian showed 97% of U.S. businesses recognized the need to achieve a complete, 360-degree view of their customer, but the biggest challenges they faced were related to big data management.
Extensive Excel Usage
In many instances, companies have multiple specialist employees working independently with different silo-ed systems producing enterprise reports. They employ extensive use of Excel to consolidate and analyze banking data. There is either no backup for them, or it’s limited at best. Companies scramble to provide cross-training to cover vacation, sick leave or staff turnover periods, and the poor souls who hold these positions have limited advancement opportunities.
An Expensive Process
These valuable employees spend hours consolidating information, which often requires multiple systems churning out data, employees chasing each other for information, and interdependencies that can derail the whole process if one report is delayed. After consolidation the information is analyzed, usually providing point-in-time (monthly) rather than real-time (daily) data.
The disadvantages of this method include:
- The lack of automation, which results in higher than necessary business costs.
- Potential for inconsistency of the data.
- Ongoing increases in staff headcount to produce the increasing number of reports required.
To resolve this, identify what information you need, the format you need it in and the frequency with which it’s required. Determine what you want the solution to look like and what you need to develop it. For example, if you need board reports delivered monthly, where does the information come from for these? Identify all possible sources and steps involved in gathering the data, provide for a high availability of information when it’s needed, not just when it’s available, and calculate the cost of doing this with your current process.
The Ideal Industry Solution
JOHO OneSource™ is a data warehousing solution that uses platform-independent tools and modules. Migrating manual processes to this automated solution begins with a consultative process called JOHO AYR™ (Are You Ready), during which we identify the systems, sources, and availability of relevant data to build an enterprise-wide, automated information solution. This addresses the problems and challenges identified above and provides a platform for providing additional value through the incorporation of additional data sources over time.
To implement this solution, our enterprise professionals at JOHO identify subject matter experts for each vertical in your organization. Once all the components are available, we build a system that incorporates mission critical data sources . This provides the flexibility to add additional data sources and reports going forward. Even in cases where your institution changes a system or implements a new one, we can incorporate the new sources into the portal without losing value or historical data.
The JOHO OneSource ™ solution offers multiple benefits including:
- Frees up your high-level, skilled staff, and enables you to avoid adding new employees
- Uses a standard point-and-click interface and common reporting tools, so all consumers in the organization have the same view of the data.
- Doesn’t take a vacation, fall sick or change jobs, and
- Compares favorably with the cost of adding a high level, skilled analytical staff member over five years.
A Real-Life Potential Example
For example, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of a financial institution could be considering retirement. In preparing her transition strategy she identified the Chief Operating Officer (COO) as the most qualified individual to step into her role. Unfortunately the COO handled so many consolidation and reporting tasks that the transition would take a year to accomplish effectively. As an example, the new COO can perform the work by selecting five clicks of a dashboard instead of combining 40 different worksheets to obtain the data. By implementing JOHO OneSource™, calculations that previously took days to complete can now be done with the click of a button. The COO will be able to move up and his position can be filled by an employee from any community financial institution.
Making it Happen
As you review your strategic plan for the next year, now is the time to consider these options. Partnering with JOHO provides business continuity and insulates you from turnover of the highly-skilled, technical resources required to build and maintain an enterprise reporting solution.