This past week I got to spend some time with my younger sons at a Boy Scouts of America camp. My middle son was involved in a climbing exercise called a “smooth chimney”. This is one of the harder climbs because you have to basically push yourself up and stay in the chimney with that friction. During his climb about 30 feet up, he started to get fatigued. The problem with this climb is that if you stop applying force you either don’t progress, or worse—you fall.
I imagine that some of you are in similar situations when it comes to employing analytics to help your organization grow its wallet share. Let me share a few tips that can help you continue your climb to the top with analytics.
First, you need to understand what you are trying to accomplish and what value you will get out of this exercise. For my son, he wanted to have the view that could only be seen by climbing up 75 feet above the tree line; for your institution, you may want to have the view of a new market, an expansion of an existing product line, or an optimized line of business. Without solid analytics, you will be missing out on huge opportunities, because you just will not have that great view. Whatever the goal, as a director of an enterprise with analytics said, “First of all, management should understand the value of analytics and how it will help them in making business decisions.” If you don’t understand that value, the effort that will be expended will not be appreciated or realized in your ROI.
Second, you have to have expert help to make sure you succeed. Just like you would never start a climb for the first time without someone to ensure you have all the right knots, safety equipment, and of course someone to belay you, an analytics project should have the right experts to make sure you reach your goals. Most organizations have some talent when it comes to analytics, but they simply do not have the bandwidth to fill the gaps—and don’t worry if that is you, because in a recent Forbes survey about 60% of all enterprises had that problem. Bringing in outside partners with analytics as a core competency enables your organization to scale up or scale down while still adding critical capabilities to your financial institution.
Last, you have to keep going forward. It is no longer enough to just talk in your C-Suite about power approaches to analytics strategies. You need to invest in the time, the people, the processes, and the solutions that empower insight-based decision-making and decision automation to keep pace with your peers or outpace the competition. In nearly every industry, we see how analytics is changing how we interact, buy, and invest. Your bank or credit union cannot simply give up or not keep pushing. Just like in the case of my son’s climb—if you stop pushing outward and upward you fall downward, or are just stuck in one place.
I am proud to say my son climbed to the top. Words cannot express the view he had, the sense of achievement, and the confidence he now has to take on any new challenge. If you follow these simple steps, you can benefit from the same outcomes as they relate to deploying analytics at your institution.