Insights Blog

Data analytics: the key to decision-making in financial services

Blog snapshot

In our latest article, we focus on how financial services can bounce back from the turmoil of 2020 through the use of data analytics. In it, we cover:

  • Insights from finance professionals into the difficulties they encounter when trying to make faster decisions
  • Steps you can take to gain more value using financial analytics

In times of crisis, organizations need to be able to move quickly. The COVID-19 pandemic has had far-reaching consequences for financial services organizations, forcing them to shut offices and go remote almost overnight, losing almost all face-to-face contact with customers and partners.

The challenge for these financial services firms today is to move quickly in a time of crisis. But the opportunity for tomorrow is to harness recent improvements in performance when business-as-usual returns.

What the industry says

In our latest survey, we asked 136 decision-makers in UK financial services institutions (from a global survey of 2,501) how they responded to the COVID-19 pandemic. The vast majority (88%) say they’ve been under greater pressure in the last few months to make decisions faster. Almost three quarters (72%) anticipate that the shorter decision-making cycles they’re working to now will become the “new normal”.

In order to make sound decisions, organizations need rapid access to accurate and relevant data. As an industry, financial services has always been extremely data-intensive due to the breadth and depth of its customer touchpoints. However, decision-makers today are demanding even more insights from their data than ever. 

As a result, when working with data analytics in financial services businesses, it’s crucial that data is organized in the best way possible to enable quick and accurate insights to be drawn. Almost a third (29%) of our respondents said that data quality needed to be improved in their operations. Common data quality challenges cited include consistency when organizations or systems merge; timelines and speed of process and accuracy – the need for data cleaning.

Empower your people

One of the most obvious ways to pave the way for more effective outcomes is to empower as many people as possible in a business to make decisions driven by accurate and relevant data insights. Our research shows that democratized decision-making empowers organizations, helping them to adapt to change faster.

Data literacy improvements will also be critical for any business looking to accelerate digital transformation. This has become more relevant than ever in the face of the ongoing crisis. In the financial services sector, the competitive advantage will hinge not only on infrastructure – an essential part of the equation – but also on the digital strategy and culture across entire organizations.

As we face the ongoing after-effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, harnessing and utilizing data insights will be crucial for financial services businesses. Staying alert, listening to customers and to employees, and taking the time to implement robust, future-proof processes will be vital as companies continue to compete for share of voice and share of the market.

What now?

Read our full white paper on the topic for analysis of the research and guidance to help you navigate what comes next.

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