Banks continue to face intense pressure, and the banking sector is rife with change and uncertainty. Changes in banking laws and regulations continue to stress their performance. Capital is scarce and will become more expensive.
But challenge brings opportunity, and in this case it is a world of opportunity—in analytics. Leading organizations have started to embrace analytics to determine what they are doing, why they are doing it and what they should be doing to survive and thrive in these turbulent times.
Investing in Intelligence
Intelligence is replacing intuition. And as the banking world becomes a violent, swirling, swelling ocean of data, the challenge for all these institutions is to find a way to harness that data to improve the performance of the business. Leveraging business analytics can help turn data into information that can effectively manage risk and drive risk adjusted performance.
To be sure, the field is still new and growing. Data miners and number crunchers are in high demand. While some of this backroom number-crunching will wind up in places where it can be done inexpensively, the demand will continue to grow, thanks to several continuing trends. First, there is the sheer data explosion: everything is measured and all the data is captured, digested, examined, interpreted and shared. The other trend in banking is a focus on customer profitability and the delivery of improved customer services.
The further challenge in analytics is the interplay between decisions and decision-makers. This requires experience and an understanding of business and cultural issues as well as quantitative methods. It cannot be done effectively from thousands of miles away. It also requires managers who understand something about the potential and the pitfalls of analytics.
The burgeoning field of analytics has incredible promise. Harnessing data and then using it to interact with the business to address business needs requires not only quantitative skills, but experience. Financial professionals with the ability to understand and build scenarios and see patterns in data are needed to bring those skills to the big data and delivering on the business needs of banks. Touch the customer experience and lifecycle, and create strategies to make improvements in key areas.
Employment in the field requires strong analytical skills, including an ability to synthesize data and interpret research results, good presentation skills, an understanding of and experience with customer experience and financial service/banking experience.
Analytics is spreading into virtually every business domain. If you are qualified, you should take a look at where analytics is going, because it will soon be important everywhere.