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Business Analytics & Data Management, Compliance, Data Analytics

2 minute read

Automation and Data Visualization Streamlines Risk Reporting and Enhances Compliance

Mar 19, 2021

Written by: Stephanie Lennon

The Big Picture

We remember spending hours (if not days) each month in mind-numbing tedium as junior analysts, producing regular reporting for our business lines. The recurring exercise had us piecing together data from various sources, manually updating Excel files and praying fervently that none of the associated formulas got corrupted along the way. Excel would generate new graphs, which we transferred over to PowerPoint, and, more often than not, further manipulation would be required to fit them into the approved templates to avoid formatting glitches. Copy-Paste was both our dearest friend and greatest foe.

That was many years ago exactly how many, I hesitate to say. Regardless, we can agree that reporting was and always will be a fundamental part of the financial services industry. Scroll forward to present day and we find that analysts are still struggling with the same old song and dance. The key difference, however, is that regulators have started taking notice and demanding change.

Case in point: A Top 30 bank was struggling with outdated methods of producing more than 100 recurring risk reports in a compliant fashion. Analysts were spending valuable time navigating manually updated spreadsheets, calculations and presentations to compile reporting instead of driving business insights to better manage risk.

The Spinnaker Approach

Spinnaker introduced the strategic use of automation to streamline reporting for the bank’s first- and second-line risk organizations. Through partnerships with key stakeholders, we assessed reports based on criticality, complexity, data availability and suitability for automation to prioritize the automation backlog. In that process, we identified opportunities to eliminate overlapping metrics and reporting, and align intent across business lines.

We worked with SMEs to map data to its strategic source, fixing errors that had occurred over time as information was moved from legacy systems. We tapped into our deep financial analytics skills to recommend and implement meaningful Tableau visualizations. Finally, we tested and validated new reports before retiring earlier processes and provided guidance for future evolutions in the reporting suite.

The Client Benefits

Spinnaker delivered a rigorous, repeatable reporting process that leaders trusted to ensure the bank meets regulatory requirements. We cut the number of reports and metrics by as much as 70%, drove consistency across product lines and reduced the ongoing cost to produce the information. Armed with a system that automatically delivers the latest reporting, analysts can now focus their valuable time on value-added insight generation.

While leadership sleeps well at night knowing their reporting suite is reliable and the regulators are satisfied, front-line analysts are doing happy dances, too. Having walked in their shoes, we can’t blame them!

“Feel free to add in my personal thanks for this. There are all kinds of efforts toward automation these days. This is the only one I can think of that is actually truly helpful. You guys are saving me a ton of tedium!”

- Front-Line Report Owner

Click for a copy of our Business Analytics and Data Management case study to find out how Spinnaker helped our client streamline, automate and improve its risk reporting within a tight regulatory deadline.