Banking Technology Trends: Overcoming Process Hurdles

Editor’s Note: This is the second half of a wide-ranging interview with OpenText Senior Industry Strategist Gerry Gibney on the state of the global financial services industry and its technical needs.  The interview has been edited for length and continuity.

Unifying Information for Financial Reporting

I heard a lot of discussion at the SIBOS 2016 conference in Geneva around financial reporting. Banks face procedural hurdles, especially if they’re doing merchant or commercial banking.  A lot of them still have manual processes.

In terms of the procedures, the bigger the bank, the bigger the problem. That’s because the information is often in many places. For example, different groups from the bank may approach their corporate banking customers to buy or use a service or product – which is great, but they have to track and report on it.

Often in the beginning, these separate group reporting processes are manual. Eventually, they’ want to automate the reporting and join the information to other data sources, but that’s the big challenge – it takes time to assemble and coordinate all the information streams and get them to work as an internal dashboard.  A similar challenge is creating portals to track financial liquidity.

Another example is where clients ask for specific reports. The bank don’t want to say no, so they have to produce the reports manually, often as a rush job, and in a format that the client finds useful. The challenge is to take large amounts of data and summarize so you can give people what they ask for with the periodicity, the look, and the format that they want.

Embedded Visualizations for our Customers’ Customers

That’s where we come in. A lot of the value we offer with OpenText Analytics is embedding our analytic and visualization applications in a client’s own application so that they can offer dashboards, windows, reporting and so forth, to their own internal or external customers.

The beauty of our embeddable business intelligence or analytics piece is that no one on the business side has to see it or work with it. It offers functionality that can be applied as needed, without having to make IT adjustments on your part or requiring people to enter data into bulky third-party programs. Tremendous capabilities are suddenly just there.

Users can build a data map that automatically gathers and manages data, then organizes and reports it – in any format required, whether visual via charts and graphs, or numeric, if you prefer. Plus, it has powerful drill-down ability.


Flexibility to Cope with Regulatory Shifts

The other aspect of reporting is reporting to regulatory agencies. After the Great Recession and the banking crisis, governments worldwide have been stepping up their efforts in regulating the financial industry. Not just nations – local governments also.

In fact, the fastest-growing department in every bank now is regulatory compliance. There are ever-increasing workloads, more workflow but without more people to deal with it.

The problem for the U.S. government is that it presents a moving target. Dodd-Frank controls and the Volcker Rule, required banks to end proprietary trading. There is potentially a new level of risk from government changes in requirements and the need for banks to produce new reports, even sometimes on things that they weren’t aware they needed to report on.

Banks and other financial institutions need a reporting solution that enables quick and easy production of whatever information government regulators are asking for.  An ideal reporting solution will maximize the flexibility in how you can look across both unstructured data and all the structured data in multiple silos. This is a good use case for ad hoc analytics and reporting – the power to create new types of reports whatever regulators may require.

Financial Analytics: Understanding Your Customer

Another analytics-related topic I heard at SIBOS was the need to understand customers better and how to identify a good target customer. This is top-of-mind for banks.

I’m amazed that people gather streams of data in their CRM systems and then don’t use it. Often their CRM systems are stand-alone, not connected to anything. They might contain information that’s extremely valuable and could enhance their efforts. For example, sales efforts, proposals, and pitch books. They could tie these things together, and then analyze their findings to correlate sales resources to the results.

With a unified analytics flow, you can drive business by managing client relationships, figuring out through advanced analytics who is the best candidate for up-selling or cross-selling, as well as identifying new customers. Finding new insights by searching all these CRM systems is a tremendous value that analytics, especially embeddable analytics from OpenText, can deliver.

Analytics can have tremendous amount of value to business operations and make them more efficient, productive, and profitable. You can’t ask more than that.

To learn more about how OpenText Analytics can help the financial services industry unlock the business value of existing data, consider our Webinar, “Extracting Value from Your Data with Embedded Analytics,” Wednesday, Dec. 14, at 11 a.m. Pacific Time/2 p.m. Eastern.  Click here for more information and to register.

Gerry Gibney

Gerry is Senior Industry Strategist for the financial services industry, with over 25 years' experience in banking and investment management. Before OpenText, he worked at Fiserv Investment Services Group and Microsoft. He is a Certified Financial Planner (CFP).

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