Why Data Insights should be a Key Area of Focus for the Financial Services Sector

  • Anurag Bhatia, Senior Vice President and Head of Europe at Mphasis

  • 25.11.2021 10:26 am

Q&A with Anurag Bhatia, Senior Vice President and Head of Europe at Mphasis

Do you see real time data as a priority for organisations looking to boost cost and operational efficiencies?

Absolutely - just think how fast the amount of data produced globally is growing, from 33 zettabytes in 2018 to a predicted 175 zettabytes by 2025. Banking and other financial services leaders have no choice but to prioritise putting in place a strategic approach to how they process data to extract the most valuable and actionable insights from the increasingly vaster and richer data pools they’re sitting on. It’s the only way to drive growth, remain competitive, attract and retain customers and underpin more informed, quicker and higher quality decision making.   

Focusing on data insights is the most powerful enabler of value creation, as is putting the right digital infrastructure in place to harness the transformational benefits of DataOps, which opens the door to organisations being able to monetise their data. As part of an effective service transformation programme, organisations can significantly reduce any operational or cost inefficiencies by simultaneously introducing next-generation digital capabilities in a phased way (beginning with Cloud migration) while letting go of the legacy infrastructure and data siloes that still hold many traditional players back from fully embracing innovation. Failing to do so can affect their bottom line in the longer term, particularly in the financial arena. 

What part will data insights play in positioning companies to be more agile and future-proofed?

The current European economic climate means firms operating in the financial sector must be more agile than ever to capture opportunities as they emerge in the new digital economy, and build resilience against the impact of major events such as the pandemic or the UK’s exit from the EU.  Organisational decisions coming from real-time data will be a critical driver not just for the industry but for wider post-pandemic economic recovery.   

When it comes to remaining agile, the advantages of Cloud-enabled architecture, for example, can allow businesses to be innovative in their use of data. Combining Cloud and other digital tools for real-time data analytics means that they can also benefit from building the scalability they need to react to sudden changes in demand as well as spotting emerging opportunities fast; this leads to an accelerated route to market for services or products, and consequently new revenue streams that can help businesses diversify and cement their market position for the future. 

Used well, data analytics can also help organisations detect and manage risk, strengthening their ability to predict how various market developments could affect them – highlighting actionable ways to mitigate and minimise negative impact in advance. 

Is more effective use of data the only way to reach the ‘new’ customer?

Yes, I’m an ardent believer that making the best use of data is the only way to properly engage with the ‘new’ customer – meaning today’s customer who has changed their behaviours and needs as a result of the digitalisation and other trends accelerated by the pandemic. Consumers expect multi-channel communications, together with a high level of personalisation, faster resolution, optimum convenience and speed from their service providers. 

Once companies undertake a digital transformation project and aggregate data in a centralised lake, they can analyse it fast by introducing other technologies including AI, machine and deep learning to gain a deeper understanding of what their customers really want, and align their entire product development process with providing a superior customer journey. However, most legacy firms are still not set up for truly real time interaction or effective automation of analytics. 

What are the key trends driving the future of data in the financial services industry?

Financial services organisations need to act with urgency to tap into real-time data analytics and I think we’ll see real acceleration there from now on, reaching the peak by 2022 (as projected by Gartner). Investment is already happening in this area among the financial community, but I would say that the momentum will really ramp up in the next year or two in terms of financial services companies directing their attention to utilising data insights to deliver on their vision and unearth previously concealed opportunities. 

I believe that the advancement and adoption of Cloud, data and digital technologies have been sped up by five years or so as a direct result of the pandemic and this will remain an important driver in the financial services industry.  For instance, true AI adoption will happen sooner than initially supposed, leading to further development in the quality and accuracy of data insights. With regulation, cybersecurity and the adoption of other innovations – such as blockchain – becoming more and more prevalent, data will become an even more vital component of the evolution of the financial markets ecosystem.

How is Mphasis helping financial organisations undertake data insight-driven digital transformation?

As we’re deeply rooted across all verticals within the financial services industry, we can provide tailored guidance on how our customers can directly address market challenges, and maximise value in the fast-shifting landscape as part of their digital transformation journeys.  We support them in understanding how technology can be the enabler of reaching specific business goals, and particularly how to leverage Cloud and cognitive innovations to enable what I call a ‘zero dollar transformation’; further, through applying our X2C2TM framework, we help organisations to prioritise customer-centricity and implement their data to enable faster, more detailed hyper-personalisation for their end users. 

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