22 March 2016

BI4ALL at Business – Banking and Insurance

Banking and insurance companies have to constantly deal with large amounts of information, many of which are produced by its diverse business applications, creating several challenges, from regulatory and compliance, governance, growing expectations from customers on their commercial relation. To be able to respond to those challenges, a quick and efficient management of all this data is of paramount importance, providing the business information that is fundamental for the operation and ensuring both security and trust from their customers, partners and regulators. When that information relies upon a myriad of spreadsheets interconnected and dependent on data extraction, calculations, revision and correction it becomes an incommensurable organizational challenge.

For managers on these fields, the issues they face are clear cut for them – “How can I improve my organization’s efficiency? How can I make it more competitive so that I can beat my competition?”.

This is the core operations field for Business Intelligence (BI) solutions, as they take a key role in supporting the strategic decisions in any given organization, regardless of their field or operational complexity. An efficient solution provides different analysis areas about a company’s management and operation, allowing a more informed decision-taking, transforming data into relevant information on all business dimensions.

At the financial sector, given its fierce competition, BI is perceived as a potential advantage for efficiency and competitiveness gains. First of all, because it will provide the basis for effectively analyze financial information, focusing on operational costs and profitability analysis, ensuring that the manager can eliminate unnecessary costs and align investment decisions with strategic priorities, ensuring that the company is far more efficient. On the other hand, the fact that BI makes it possible to cross internal and external information, as it is the case of market research, opinion information gathered from both social media and polls, it provides objective information on whether the organization is either on the winning or the losing end as far as the market is concerned.

The medium-term Roadmap is also another factor to be taken into consideration. As BI initiatives begin, there are two main risks: to opt for a project that is beyond the capabilities of the organization, with unforeseeable duration and risk or, on the other hand, to choose the easy path of quick wins, without a clear thread of organization. It is worth noting that initiatives with the biggest success have started with the definition of a dynamic and scalable architecture, followed by improvements that make it broader in reach and capabilities. As these initiatives grow, the success of each new phase or module implementation serves as a proof point and a rational leading onto the next steps in both complexity and richness of information.

The overall success of a BI initiative relies upon a number of given factors, from technology and business alignment, to executive support to the processes put forth and, lastly, with the partnership with the suppliers. On a first phase, it is fundamental that the organization’s business processes can be easily served by the selected technological solutions. As a follow-on, the executive support ensures that BI initiatives achieve the required changes on the organization’s business processes, with clear benefits in efficiency, productivity and competitiveness. This benefit, however, is often reduced by the resistance to change within the organization and by the vested interest of those who prefer to keep the status quo. To effectively manage this risk, the initiative should have a strong support from the organization’s leadership, so that it supports the implementation of the potential benefits. Lastly, the partnership with the suppliers is key at a time when there are a vast number of BI solutions available to choose from. Simply put, the selection is based on trust, field recognition and uncompromised competencies from the selected partner.

Having all these competences and capabilities, BI4ALL is your partner of choice for financial and operational information monitoring in real time.

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       Pedro Martins
            Manager
Business Development
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