I don’t know about you, but everyone seems to be talking analytics – it is another great digital transformation buzzword. Most of the time in financial services, analytics means customer analytics – how we can combine structured data within the bank with the world of big data to give us amazingly new actionable insights that will delight our customers and make the bank a fortune.
On a personal basis, I find that all a little intrusive – the idea that someone is trying to ‘anticipate my needs’ is a little creepy – especially when so often they cannot execute my actual, real life, immediate needs very well at all! Thankfully many consumers disagree so I completely get why banks are doing it.
However, I am increasingly interested in two other areas of analytics (yes really!):
- Network analytics
- Application analytics
Before you nod off, why should this be of more interest to digital transformation executives and channel/product owners?
Against a landscape of increasing financial services regulation (e.g. GDPR, PSD 2, etc.) and the move to more open banking, what is happening in your data network and your applications is increasingly crucial and can really drive revenue and reduce costs.
For example, the latest cutting edge work in network analytics – where you can identify and track every data packet that travels across your network. Just stop for a moment and think what this means – you can see, real-time where every packet of data comes from, which part of the business initiated the move, where it goes – and all of this is recorded, stored for future use and used for predictive analysis.
This now gives us the opportunity to set data policy more efficiently, automate policy with less manual intervention and enforce policy in a manner that is provable – all of the time, everywhere. Imagine how much cost this could take out of IT Operations. Imagine also how useful that would be when having to comply with GDPR for example.
And imagine the benefit of this for regulatory reporting – the ability to prove to the regulator that our data behaved in the way we intended it to – all of the time and everywhere.
This also has a major impact on our ability to combat cyber crime – you can monitor the data performance across the network, establish normal patterns and be alerted, real time when these norms are broken. Nice!
In terms of application analytics, things have moved on too. In the past, we had to add tags to existing software and load a tag manager to make sense of it all. This takes time (often banks take up to 18 months to even get this type of work in the development queue given how much regulatory driven change is in the ‘must do’ category).
The very latest application analytics platforms can do this much more quickly and to a more forensic level. Indeed the very latest approach can enable us to see the application journey map, which systems the application interacts with, how all these elements are performing and identify issues at the code level.
As a channel owner, how good would it be to be able to talk to your IT support colleagues and be able to identify in near real time where the issue lies, even down to the line of code that is the problem! How many incidents could be avoided by being able to spot problems with your application before the customer notices? For many banks, social media is the early warning system as customers start to share their bad experiences more quickly than we can spot them.
I heard one bank who has adopted this new technology describe it as taking them from being ‘paramedics’ to ‘brain surgeons’ in understanding their digital business.
So new developments in network and application analytics can deliver real value very quickly in the business – not as sexy as customer analytics I grant you but much easier to monetise and less fraught with data protection issues.