Data and the insight that it can provide is one of the most valuable assets a bank has to make informed decisions and drive profitability.
Even with the lightning-speed advancement of data analytics in recent years, most organizations are still spending countless hours finding and accessing data, confirming its currency and accuracy, and formatting the information to be consumed by leaders.
To me, there’s a lot of time being wasted in this endless cycle that goes beyond just the lost time repeating that cumbersome process over and over again – daily, weekly, monthly. It’s also wasted in the continual handling of the data itself.
When organizations finally decide to step off that hamster wheel and create structured, repeatable digital processes – better known as automated reporting – they transform the power of that data from getting to the information to getting to the “so what” of the information. This is where the real power of data lies: in the “so what?”
Of course, implementing report automation requires you to flex some muscles and power through some hurdles, but you’ll gain tremendous results from the moment you first press the “go” button: fewer errors, real-time information, and deploying your people – who are the second most important thing at your bank – to use that data to dream up new or updated products and services that will differentiate you in the market.
Automated reporting allows you to set aside the nuts and bolts of compiling and validating data so that you can focus on what the information says about your business’ performance. Most importantly, you can grab the steering wheel and follow the right information path for your organization. As you consider that journey, here are some of the most important benefits you can harvest:
Of course, you want relatively steady inputs and outputs from automated reporting so that you can monitor operations and progress, but you should also remain flexible and adapt your automation based on significant market changes. You also want to review your metrics with regular frequency (no less than yearly) to make sure the metrics you’re using to generate insights are still aligned with your business needs.
Our Spinnaker Consulting Group team knows how to unlock the power of automated reporting. We routinely assist clients in rationalization exercises, where they determine what reports and metrics are needed and why, and we guide them in building the automation that delivers exactly what business leaders value. Ultimately, we’re preparing clients to maximize the insights they get from their information as they put that data back to work for them.
Recently, I was invited to participate in Forbes Magazine’s Finance Council, which is a collection of senior-level financial services executives from across the country who’ve been tapped to share advice and resources. Last month, the editorial board asked council members for strategies to identify critical business metrics – and they appreciated the Spinnaker perspective on measurement, and the need to evolve reporting as business goals change. The crux of our recommendation: select metrics that drive decision making and for every metric you add, attempt to eliminate an old one.
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