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By: Ted Luchsinger, Financial Services Industry Principal at SAP

With the recent surges in viruses, ATM scams, data breaches and cases of identity theft, paired with the looming possibility of yet another recession, it is no wonder the public has lost confidence in financial institutions.  As a financial services provider, how do you re-instill the confidence of existing and potential customers?  What will encourage them to put their trust back into your brand and products?

 

When customers choose to utilize your services, they hand over highly sensitive personal information, such as address, social security number, phone, email, and then rely on you to practice proper data stewardship to analyze and protect this data. Multiply that one entry by millions of customers and the result is an immense amount of data to filter and examine. Add to that your multiple compliance responsibilities (AML, SARBOX, and BSA), and the simple management of data is not so simple….. The strategic application of Enterprise Information Management (EIM) enables you to take control and advantage of multiple aspects of your customer data.  Then data enables you to develop profitable customer relationships.

 

An EIM solution takes a four-pronged approach to governing data. First, data quality is maintained, ensuring that your information is correct and reconciled.  Also, the solution manages metadata or data on data, which can be various facets about your client, such as his marital status, number of family members in his household, his age group and income (all very useful for segmenting purposes). Furthermore, EIM governs master data by establishing a standardized way of defining and managing your files.  Properly managing master data makes information consistent and allows various departments within your business to communicate with each other.  Finally, EIM allows you to effectively analyze unstructured data by filtering through large sums of information to find recurring patterns, allowing you to make better decisions and to take action.

 

What can proper data governance through an EIM solution do for a typical relationship? For example, Jon has a personal savings account under Jon Smith and a business account as Jonathan Smith.  Data quality and metadata checks can reconcile those two entries into one account using address information and place him into a customer segment that will be targeted for a lower rate loans available only to customers with both types of accounts. With master data controls, the personal banking and business banking sections of your financial institution can work together to provide him with this offering.  In the future, when Jon complains about a certain service, unstructured data solutions can find, filter and detect the comment as negative, allowing your customer service rep to contact him to resolve the issue.  Only by building a relationship based on solid quality, integrated and governed data with effectiveenterprise information management, financial services can finally regain the trust and confidence of consumers.

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