Analytics creates competitive advantage for organizations

By : |August 13, 2013 0

BANGALORE, INDIA: In continuation to previous article, Jeby Cherian, VP and MD, Global Business Services, IBM India & South Asia shared his opinion with Abhigna NG from CIOL on key pain-points faced by the banking sector while handling customer data and how IBM foresees the analytics trends in the Indian financial sector. Excerpts from the interview:

CIOL: How do you see the analytics trends in the Indian financial sector?

Jeby Cherian: A study conducted by The IBM Institute for Business Value found that 71 percent of the surveyed banking and financial markets firms report that the use of information (including big data) and analytics is creating a competitive advantage for their organizations, compared with 63 percent of cross-industry respondents. Big data itself does not create value, however, until it is put to use to address important business challenges.


The good news is forward looking leaders are using insights gleaned from Big Data and predictive analytics technologies to accelerate the performance of the business. The modern day CFO is expected to be a strategist and controller – focusing on growth and cost-control, and generating higher value. By aligning Big Data with potential market growth plays, CFOs can extend their reach to influence decisions about what products to sell, what processes to standardize, which acquisitions to chase, and where to find talent – ahead of the competition.

The changing role of CFO is moving beyond optimizing the finance function to transforming the enterprise. Using advanced analytics, they can proactively set business strategy and help the business predict certain outcomes.

CIOL: According to you what is driving Big Data market?

JC: Big Data is a ripe investment area. A new joint study by Gartner Inc., and Financial Executives Research Foundation (FERF) reveals that 15 of the top 19 business processes that CFOs have identified as requiring improved technology support are largely addressed by BI, analytics and performance management technologies. If you are not using the right tools to mine your data, you could fall behind your competitors.

The best part about Big Data is that it opens a business up to new possibilities. CFOs and senior financial decision makers can now ask and get answers to an array of new business questions. Gathering the data is no longer the challenge. The opportunity is around uncovering new and unique ways to use the data to solve pressing customer and business problems, and open up new pathways to growth.

Big Data insights can empower us to understand the value of leading indicators and how to act on that information before it shows up in financial reporting. Increasingly, business decisions are based on predictive analytics, and not on gut instinct or experience. This is vital since when we make decisions by gut instinct, we often make the wrong ones. Data is the basis of competition in the ‘smarter’ era and Big Data is a vast new natural resource that can be mined for value.

CIOL: Can you highlight some of the key pain-points faced by the banking sector while handling customer data?

JC: The biggest challenge ahead for the banks and financial service firms is to manage complexity arising from increasing and rapid changes in regulation and corporate governance. Higher capital requirements; a dwindling pool of low cost deposits, intense competition and drying up of sources of fee based income are some of the key challenges that banks face.

Even the biggest and best managed banks have witnessed sharp losses on account of inadequate risk management. Further, non-banks like telcos and FMCGs have been allowed to participate in the origination and delivery of financial services. Banks need to sit up, take notice of these, and look at co-operation seriously.

Lastly, banks need to take cognizance of and respond appropriately to the emerging customer who because of the information age and social media, is very aware and very demanding.

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