Data Analytics

10 Ways Your Financial Firm Can Use Data Analytics to Level Up

Saquondria Burris

September 5, 2023

Financial Services Data Analytics

A comprehensive data analytics strategy gives financial firms a competitive edge, helping them inform decision-making, drive overall financial performance, and improve business outcomes. The fact is, all types of financial firms, from banks to investment companies, are finding new uses for analytics while optimizing proven use cases. You’re probably leveraging analytics for some use cases, but there’s more you can do. Embedding analytics processes across your organization can deliver more value—and deliver value faster. Here are 10 ways to benefit from data analytics at your financial organization:

1. Deliver Personalized Financial Services

Tailored offerings are mandatory for success in financial services. Connecting customer and financial data for analytics gives you a better understanding of each customer’s financial goals, risk profile, and financial status. You can then deliver personalized offerings to meet customers’ unique needs. Offerings can include cash back on credit cards, or personal or business loans at a favorable interest rate. Meeting each individual’s financial needs improves customer experiences while enabling cross-selling opportunities that improve revenues.

2. Gain Real-Time Insights

Real-time insights position your firm to seize opportunities or enable you to take action if you spot a potential problem. For example, you can deliver special terms on a loan or make a limited-time debit card offer while someone is browsing your site, or take immediate action if you suspect fraud on an account. For example, credit card companies use real-time analytics to approve transactions exceptionally fast and also analyze purchases for fraud. Likewise, in stock trading, every millisecond can make a difference when buying or selling at market prices, making real-time insights invaluable.

3. Improve Operational Efficiency

Analytics let you automate processes to improve operations. Manual and repetitive tasks can be automated to minimize human intervention and errors while speeding up processes. For instance, onboarding customers, approving loans, and processing transactions are common tasks ripe for automation. Data analytics can also play a key role in digital transformations, enabling digital processes and workflows that make operations more efficient. For example, Academy Bank transformed operations in a hybrid environment, saving more than four hours of manual data entry per day and developing new online services to improve the customer experience.

4. Manage Risk Across the Enterprise

The financial industry is constantly exposed to risk—market risk, credit risk, operational risk, and more. Data analytics offers early insights into risk, giving you time to proactively mitigate issues before they become full-blown problems. Applying analytics lets you better understand and manage risk to protect your organization against potential losses while supporting financial stability. For example, analyzing customer data, historical data, credit scores, and other information predicts the likelihood of a person defaulting on a loan.

5. Inform Financial Investment Decisions

In an industry as complex as financial services, you need the ability to analyze vast amounts of data quickly to understand trends, market changes, and performance goals to guide investment strategies. Sophisticated data models and analytic techniques offer granular insights and answers to what/if scenarios to inform investments. In addition, financial analytics can help you strategically build a diversified investment portfolio based on your risk tolerance and objectives.

6. Ensure Accurate Regulatory Reporting

In your heavily regulated industry, timely, trustworthy reporting is critical. Compliance with myriad rules that are constantly changing requires analytics for visibility into adherence and to create accurate compliance and regulatory reports. Data analytics also helps monitor compliance to identify potential issues, helping you avoid penalties by ensuring operations follow legal protocols. Plus, analytics processes offer an audit trail in reporting, giving your stakeholders and auditors visibility into how the reports were created.

7. Enhance Fraud Detection and Prevention Capabilities

Fraud is ever-present in the financial sector—and fraudulent tactics are becoming increasingly sophisticated and harder to detect. Your business must be able to identify fraud before financial losses occur. Analytics, including advanced fraud detection models that use machine learning capabilities, help identify patterns and anomalies that could indicate fraud. Analytics must also prevent false positives. For example, analysis must be able to distinguish between a customer’s legitimate purchases and fraud to avoid suspending a valid customer’s account.

8. Create Accurate Financial Forecasts

Forecasts directly impact profitability, so they must be trustworthy. Data analytics can deliver accurate forecasts to help with budgeting and investments. The forecasts predict revenue, expenses, and organization-wide financial performance. Having a detailed understanding of finances enables you to make informed decisions that increase profitability. Data-driven predictions also inform scenario analysis, which lets you evaluate potential business outcomes and risks based on assumptions you make about the future.

9. Determine Customers’ Credit Scores

Credit scoring is essential in finance, allowing banks and other lenders to evaluate a customer’s creditworthiness based on their credit history, income, and other factors. Analytics can determine if the person is a good credit risk, meaning the customer will repay the loan on time and manage their credit responsibly. Analytics can be used for any sort of financing, from offering a loan to raising credit card limits.

10. Understand Customer Sentiment

Like other industries, financial services firms want to understand the perception customers and the public have about their business. That’s where sentiment analysis helps. It interprets the emotions, attitudes, and opinions behind social media posts, reviews, survey responses, and other customer feedback. This lets you better understand customer feelings about your brand and services. You can determine if your customer and business strategies are working, and make improvements accordingly. Customer sentiment also serves as an economic indicator, giving you insights into how optimistic customers are about their personal finances and the overall economy.

Unify Data for Financial Services Use Cases

Data analytics has become an essential part of decision making, automated processes, and forecasting for financial services. The insights help firms like yours stay competitive and proactively adjust to changing market conditions and customer needs. New analytics use cases are constantly emerging. One way to capitalize on these use cases is to have all data unified on a single, easy-to-use cloud data platform that makes data readily available for analysts and anyone else who needs it. The Actian Data Platform does this and more. It connects all your data so you can drive financial services use cases with confidence and enable enterprise data management for financial services.

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About Saquondria Burris

Saquondria Burris serves as the Marketing Communications Manager at Actian. With over 10 years of experience in marketing and communications, Saquondria is a gifted writer who specializes in building marketing collateral and communications processes that reflect the architecture, voice, culture, and tone of brands. Saquondria has also worked with startups, and entrepreneurs in building out their marketing and communications strategies. Saquondria also couples her content management skills with SEO optimization. A Miami native and self-proclaimed beach bum, Saquondria spends her free time writing screenplays, attending live music concerts, and traveling.