The Power of Analytics in the Financial Industry

November 8th, 2013

It looks like we’ve survived the Great Recession that plagued the country – and in fact, most of the world – for a good part of the past decade. Banks will naturally take the lead as the economy continues to rebound, and the lesson learned from history’s most recent business nosedive is this: Being on the cutting edge of analytics technology will be what defines competitive leaders.

The Changing Analytics Picture

Today’s smartest financial institutions are perfecting their analytics teams and processes to mitigate any risks associated with IT availability, payments fraud and regulatory compliance. This means using a customer-centric strategy to modernize systems, maximize efficiency and provide impregnable security.

Cloud Computing

Most banks have entered the cloud computing realm as a means of simplifying operations and creating agile IT infrastructures.

  • Fundamental cloud capabilities including automated self-provisioning of computer resources, application lifestyle management and system metering and chargeback can enable innovative IT services.
  • Cloud desktops, analytics, development and test platforms and storage can save banks money and help them efficiently deploy new applications.
  • The results are in – and they’re tangible. Clients using IBM Pure Application System’s built-in opportunity analytics cut system provisioning time by 65 percent and reduced physical infrastructure via a 30 percent improvement in application visualization.

Data Management

To be industry leaders, banks need integrated systems that provide a robust structure for all types of data, logs and alerts. This includes:

  • Real-time data compression to decrease storage footprints.
  • Automated information tiering to eliminate manual data restructuring in response to transaction workloads.
  • Storage visualization to shorten access time and enable data sharing across systems during peak transaction times.
  • Solid-state disks to shorten data access time for analytical queries to create and save regulatory reports.
  • Accelerated querying to enable real-time fraud detection and customer activity analysis.


If a bank’s data is not secure, then nothing else matters.

  • Financial institutions must provide reliable, secure public access from a myriad of channels including mobile devices, remote PCs, ATMs, and connections to nontraditional service providers.
  • With advanced analytics, banks can effectively address online or employee fraud, transaction monitoring and suspicious behavior detection, list screening and know-your-customer (KYC) scoring.

Your Analytics Talent Pool

Not surprisingly, the need to build a robust analytics platform has revolutionized the staffing picture for financial institutions. Banks need to specialists with the skills sets perform the descriptive and predictive analyses functions essential to client centricity.

  • Data scientists have the technical expertise to distill problems down to a clear set of hypotheses that can be tested. In addition, they need strong communication prowess, so they can translate data into compelling stories that move business cases forward.
  • Data/web analysts generally don’t have the highly advanced skills of their scientist counterparts, but they do have a strong understanding of analytics packages.
  • Data analytics professionals are in high demand. This year’s report by the Dice career site listed them at number four in a survey of more than 1,000 hiring managers. Last year, by comparison, data analysts didn’t even make the top 10 on the Dice list.

A niche firm with expertise in IT and analytics staffing is a great place to start as you establish your leadership position in today’s financial industry. To learn more, read our related posts or contact the team at Select Group, Inc. today.

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