The explosion of data in the financial services industry is creating new opportunities for business intelligence and analytics. At the same time, this explosion presents significant challenges. Over 2.7 zettabytes of data exist in the digital universe today. Every day, financial services companies seek to use these massive volumes of data to increase margins, reduce risk, boost customer satisfaction, and win in a globally competitive marketplace.

Integrating and analyzing an endless stream of new data sources has proven difficult for many companies. How do companies navigate, implement and optimize their operations in this data analytics environment? How much will it cost? How long will deployment take? What results can be expected?

In this article, I share the journeys of two companies that transformed their businesses using Birst as an enabling technology. The lessons learned by these companies can be applied to others in the financial services industry. 

An international financial research provider

The technical challenges at this international financial research firm were two-fold. The first involved the sheer volume of data and how to enable its account managers to access and present information to customers interactively. Data volumes were in excess of 400 million records and spanned multiple source systems. The second challenge involved the requirement that any customer-facing information adhere to the company’s corporate branding standards.

From a business perspective, the company wanted to enable its account managers to present the performance of its information assets to corporate customers in an interactive way. During these meetings, account managers work to drive better customer service, as well as to make product recommendations. The goal for the application was to create an integrated experience for account managers to help the customer understand details behind subscriber & investor hits on its reports and research.

Birst was able to solve the company’s challenges. On the back end, Birst’s integrated ETL, automated data modeling and data warehousing capabilities conquered the data volume and query performance problems. Multiple data sources were combined into one holistic view and updated daily. On the front end, Birst’s adaptive user experience was used to create a fully customized view for the account managers, meeting the company’s strict UI/UX requirements.

Today, the company’s account managers have customer information at their fingertips. Previously, this data was inaccessible. Using Birst, meeting preparation and delivery is far more efficient. Because of rich data visualizations in Birst, dashboards are presented interactively in customer meetings. Any question can be easily answered during the meetings, because of Birst’s ability to drill to any level of detail. This interactive approach engages existing customers enables up-sell and serves to retain customers at risk.

A global corporate travel management company

The CEO of this global corporate travel provider had a goal of delivering an interactive spend analytics application to corporate customers. This application was vital to growing market share. The deployment timelines were tight: The company wanted to deploy the application to CFOs and heads of procurement at thousands of companies within six months. Birst was selected because of its reputation for rapid delivery of enterprise data analytics solutions.

The technical challenges at this company were similar to those in the first example. With hundreds of millions of rows, spanning 945 source systems, plus Hadoop, the data integration effort was significant. Birst’s patented Automated Data Refinement process was brought to bear. Interactive dashboards were developed for the 10,000+ end users that the solution was designed to support. More than 100 different KPIs were made available to users. The result was an analytics solution that was delivered on time. The business outcome for the company was incremental revenue growth, in a mature space.

The Common Themes

Both of these stories share a common theme and tie into a bigger story on how companies, regardless of size or number of data sources, can use data and analytics to create competitive advantage for sustained growth.

The common themes between both these journeys are:

  1. Use data from multiple sources to build a complete picture of business performance
  2. Create a consistent definition of metrics, across a range of business functions
  3. Deploy interactive visualizations to engage and educate thousands of business users and customers
  4. Improve business performance through the use of analytics

Birst has helped many companies in the financial services industry transform their data into a competitive advantage.

WEBINAR: April 17

On April 17, Birst will expand upon these common themes and demonstrate how our cloud analytics platform is being used by IT organizations today, to solve challenging problems with data.

Click here to register for our Webinar, “Birst for Financial Services: Improve your company’s bottom line with analytics.” Learn how IT teams and data analysts can get the most value out of data and transform their businesses in 90 days.

About the author:
Richard Reynolds is a Senior Director of Product Strategy, focused on the Financial Services Industry, at Birst. Richard is a veteran of the BI industry, having worked with analytics and data warehousing solutions from Business Objects, SAS, Teradata and SAP.   Richard specializes in dashboards, predictive, and prescriptive analytics for the modern enterprise.  In his BI role, Richard has guided many customers to obtain business value from their enterprise data.