In our industry, we know that data is the business. Market volatility and regulatory demands are making data more strategic than ever before to the industry. The availability of new data types, such as online customer reviews, customer sentiment analysis, socio-political events, or macro-economic trends is providing a compass of sorts, helping risk managers improve their oversight of risk positions and regulatory compliance, and giving CMOs a better understanding of customer preferences.

We hear from customers around the world that the key big data business opportunities center around:

  • Customer and Product Analytics – to understand sentiments and usage to build a stronger lifetime view of a customer.
  • Risk Analytics – to move toward real-time risk analysis and become more interpretive of risk rather than reactive to past events.
  • Financial Performance – to predict impact on the business through a better analysis of costs/revenues and building simulations for the impact of cost cuts.

Although the analysis and insights gained can and should lead to competitive advantage, banks also share some common challenges. The impact of big data, whether the massive amounts of structured data in systems, the explosive growth in new forms of unstructured data, or harnessing data streams from the cloud and social feeds, is a huge challenge.

With such large volumes it is almost impossible to start a big data project from the data upwards. One of the new best practices we are seeing emerge is to start thinking about the questions banks want to answer, and then look at the data required to answer or interpret those questions. As an example, banks in all countries can learn from the approach taken by RBS Group in the UK. By working with Microsoft’s Analytics Platform System the bank is mapping business customers’ transactions across the globe to build a correlative view on GDP trends; and therefore a more qualitative view of risk which can be leveraged in multiple ways.

It’s clear that the industry is fast realizing that bringing data-driven insight to every decision maker in a financial institution in a timely manner can have a transformative impact. Banks that start to ask innovative questions of data will be first to gain the benefits of a data and analytics program.

Microsoft and our partners are here to help you ask those questions to unlock insights on any data.

An insightful partnership with Accenture and Avanade

We are partnering with Accenture and Avanade to deliver business and technology solutions—based on the Microsoft platform—to global financial services institutions. The goal is to help organizations like yours navigate their business requirements and challenges. This means helping you find new ways of generating revenue by acquiring new customers while at the same time increasing sales from their current customers by better understanding customers’ needs, providing tailored offers, and enabling a streamlined experience. It is essential to not only locate the information you need, but to use it in a way that benefits the business directly. Then you need to determine what the value of the information is and how can you use it to grow your business.

At the core of this work is Microsoft Office and Windows, which are a profound part of financial institutions’ business processes and deliver the right BI tools. Solutions like Microsoft Power BI for Office 365 including Power Map, Excel, SQL Server, and Microsoft’s Analytics Platform System are the first steps to getting the core data right. And the powerhouse of Accenture and Avanade together is the key for unlocking the capabilities available in these technologies. The end result? Increased profitability and customer retention for your business.

Introducing TCS Customer Insights

Additionally, Microsoft and global solutions partner TCS, are pleased to launch the new TCS Customer Insights solution. Designed specifically to address the needs of the CMO and heads of product management, the TCS solution gathers information from internal systems such as CRM and transaction data, plus external data feeds that then enable business users to build insightful views of customer profitability, churn, and the lifetime value of the customer. This is made possible through the full integration of Microsoft Office and Microsoft SharePoint for engaging and collaborative user experience, and is built on top of Microsoft’s Analytics Platform System for high performance analytics processing.

Risk management with IMGROUP

IMGROUP also continues to demonstrate unparalleled innovation in risk management using the Microsoft platform. IMGROUP helps clients take advantage of new Excel capabilities for in-memory modelling and data visualization through PowerPivot, Power View and GeoFlow to provide businesses with the rapid insight that enables transformation while driving out license, maintenance and development costs. IMGROUP is also our exclusive UK National Systems Integrator for the delivery of SQL Server Analytics Platform Solution (APS) solutions, helping clients address challenges with performance and scalability by leveraging Microsoft’s data warehouse appliances, reference architectures and cloud services. SQL Server APS, HP’s Business Decision Appliance, SQL Server Fast Track and SQL Azure provide options for on premise, cloud and hybrid architectures designed for performance and scale.

Microsoft Services can help you get started

In addition to, and in support of analytics solutions from our partners, Microsoft Consulting Services (MCS) can help kick-start a project into gear. The depth of expertise in our BI technology, data and cloud platforms comes to the forefront in our Data Insights Center of Excellence of worldwide technical subject matter experts. Whether customer analytics, financial performance insights, or risk management analytics, MCS can partner with you to provide your transformative project with end-to-end support. Leveraging resources around the world, and a deep understanding of data architectures, these data insights experts offer support from early stage envisioning and design through project execution and delivery to bring your data insights initiative to production. Contact your account manager for more information on our MCS services.

Get started today

As you can see, it is now possible to discover insights from data in new and unexpected ways and take advantage of this data to grow your business. Combine the familiarity and rich capabilities of Microsoft technologies to help make sense of your data, big and small. Go here to get started.