Banks are relying more and more upon Big Data and analytics to transform their distribution and marketing strategies. In our research into how high-performing companies (those that deliver above-average business performance on a consistent basis) approach analytics, we found that high performing companies are embedding predictive analytics insights into key business processes twice as much as low performers; they are winning the competition for analytics talent through multi-pronged talent sourcing strategies, they are leveraging more advanced tools and techniques; and they are investing at a much higher rate. In fact, we found that 53 percent of high performers plan to significantly increase their analytics investment over the next three years, compared to only nine percent of low performers.

While the research findings are clear, we are also seeing more and more examples of banks using analytics to obtain insights that help them make better distribution and marketing decisions. A good example is South Africa’s Nedbank, whose Market Edge product enables their corporate merchant clients to access data about where their customers are and what they are buying. As seen in this EFMA Awards video, this helps the corporate clients understand buying patterns and ultimately make better business decisions. They present their customers with more attractive offers – products the clients really want — which helps increase their overall profitability.

Ultimately, banks committed to gathering data and using it effectively can establish an important competitive advantage and position themselves for faster growth. The transformation to what Accenture calls an insight-driven enterprise reaches beyond distribution and marketing to the creation of an analytics operating model. As described by Accenture, this model incorporates essential elements including the establishment of a center of gravity for analytics within the organization, agile governance, identification and development of analytics talent, performance measurement, and the encouragement of a high “Analytics IQ” throughout the company. Some banks are well on their way to becoming insight-driven enterprises and their performance against competitors that are less oriented toward data and analytics will be interesting to watch.

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