Over the years, automation in financial institutions made headway from old ledger machines to software systems that automate just about any process. But, we are finding that we aren’t as efficient as we should be.
A prime example of this starts with a business owner who comes into a branch and opens a new business checking account along with personal accounts. The branch collects data about both the business and the business owner, along with collecting required documentation. This information would be found in the institution’s core accounting system and documents uploaded to a separate doc imaging system. Six months goes by and the business needs to borrow money. They fill out an application directly to a business lending software system including name and address that is already sitting in the accounting system and are then asked to provide some of the same documents already captured in the imaging system when they opened the account. The customer is being asked to provide information that is already at the institution and wondering why they have to provide all the same information again. If the customer is wondering why they have to repeat the same information the institution already has, the internal processes are also being affected by having to deal with wasting time on information that is already there.
Financial institutions need to start thinking about how any data captured can be integrated across multiple software systems to provide needed information that has already been captured when and where its needed. Efficiency to both the client and the institution is key, so, where might you start? Here are three tips to help get your institution started:
1. Determine future state/vision
- What do you want your institution to look like – where are you going ? What is the strategy or vision?
- How can you make your processes more efficient by utilizing data you already have?
2. Disparate system review
- Review and understand where data is residing and is it interfacing/integrating with key systems. Start with the data from your core accounting system then determine data from all other systems that will enhance the overall client information.
- Consolidate and/or eliminate systems/spreadsheets/databases that aren’t relevant or can’t be easily integrated into other existing data systems.
3. Prioritize data required to support business processes
- Does data already exist to support the necessary processes?
- Where is the data and is the data complete to support processes?
- What additional data is required and where to we capture the necessary data?
Once you know what data is required, the next step is to determine the data repository to hold the consolidated data. A data warehouse is the most common but not every institution has access to one. In that case, determine if there is an existing system database that allows integration with other systems data. By utilizing one data repository, the access and analysis of data is much more efficient and will help to streamline the acess to required data.
The process can seem like a large undertaking, but with the right software and partners the utilization and optimization of data can not only improve the customer experience, but increase efficiency and reduce redundencies for your financial institution as well.