How not to steer a business
Lessons from the bankers
Broadcast The mainstream media generally portrays the financial services industry as being in a total mess, with customers failing to be served and management often apparently serving themselves.
Against this background, a recent Reg Reader study looking at the way information is captured and used in the financial services sector provides some clues as to what may lie behind some of the issues we hear about. The results suggest that when it comes to business intelligence (BI), the focus is squarely on the financial bottom line, and making sure that companies are clean with respect to risk and compliance. Meanwhile, product development, customer segmentation and customer services – areas that might actually make a difference to the amount of value delivered to customers - are often neglected from a BI perspective. It’s understandable that many firms have needed to focus their BI efforts in order to ensure regulatory compliance. But the lack of balance when it comes to BI is likely to come back to bite.
All of which raises the question of what’s really required in today’s stressed economic environment when it comes to making relevant information available to the people that need it – including those on the front line of the business as well as senior management.
If you are in any way involved in information management, analytics, business intelligence and reporting in your organisation, join our panel of experts on January 25th at 11:00 GMT, to discuss the findings of this latest research and some of the lessons that can be learned about good and bad practice, the use and misuse of technology, and how to wade through a lot of politics and apathy that often stand in the way of making progress.
Those working in financial services can gain some insights into the activities of their peers and how they measure up. Those from other sectors can get some pointers from experiences gained in a tumultuous industry where information is more critical to doing business than ever before. Either way, putting financial services together with business performance and intelligence can’t help but lead to a lively and provocative debate, so feel free to join us simply for the entertainment value.
This latest Regcast features Martha Bennett from Freeform Dynamics who led the research, Jason Frost from Blueprint who specialises in helping customers with the more demanding end of BI related requirements, and Will Thompson who looks after BI technology at Microsoft.
You can register for this free event here and you can also gain access to our on-demand version here, if you are unable to make the live event.
The media might think the financial services industry is a mess but I assure you the guys pulling 6-7 figure bonuses know better. It is also charmingly naive to assume that businesses that operate in a cutthroat world of high octane math and survive on their ability to clip as many pennies as often as possible, have somehow managed to completely ignore some huge untapped well of potential profit that would be magically revealed by some garden variety BI incantations.
That result should not have been a surprise,
and I sincerely doubt changing BI will change the result even if "done properly" whatever "properly" turns out to be. Governments have made compliance the most important aspect of running a financial institution. Investors USE to be the most important aspect, now they are #2. When you are done managing those two aspects, there's not much left from which to focus on customer service. Or, to make it short and sweet: it isn't a technical problem, it's a management issue, and one where management actually has limited input to boot.
As early as 1995 Harry and David policies were that they only wished to retain 45% of their consumer customerbase because it was simply "too expensive" to provide ideal customer service. Oddly enough, they had and have little interest as well in business interests, probably because a laissez faire model of this type just won't work.
Oddly enough analyses have never examined this portion of their odd industry, which is the delivery of specialty foods of various sorts and at one time stood the chance of resounding success. As it is, because of this "BI" attitude, they're going out of business, having suffered bankruptcy twice and verging on it again (this latter is my opinion only, mind).
The problem is psychopaths. Pure and simple. And yes despite the ad-monkeys jumping on the spin wagon here in the forum - yes its a mess. The US Economy collapsed, but nobody wants to use those frightful words..... since it happened to the USSR only 2 decades or less before. Massive regulation and a proper psych profiling approach is the only thing that can save this, frankly, rather primitive part of our 'civilised' society.