An iconic example of the banking and insurance industry
Although they are very different, banking and insurance do face some similar challenges:
- Poor client perception
- Limited touch points with clients
- Declining number of visitors in traditional front end agency network
If you add those issues to the business disruption caused by the digital economy, there is no need to explain the concern experienced by some of the industry’s top managers.
While overflowing with data, banking and insurance make very little or improper use of it. Even when data exploitation initiatives are undertaken, they are almost always handled in silos. For example, the car insurance division of a company can set-up a promotion for its clients, without paying attention to other divisions’ actions and potential synergies. Who hasn’t ever received a promotional offer to buy financial products from his bank just after taking out a loan from the same bank?
Nevertheless, a proper and innovative use of data is an almost impossible challenge for many business unit managers. Companies are divided in many units, which makes data aggregation even more complicated since managers, who do not want to share it, hoard the data. In order to go through the customer process, banking and insurance management needs to put together (i) websites and mobile applications (the digital business unit) (ii) social networks (the communication unit) (iii) agencies (the banking network) and (iv) product development and engineering (product business units). Anyone familiar with these organisations would agree that it is an almost insurmountable task.
A pragmatic approach is to avoid thinking about centralising data, but rather to exploit it where it is.
Step 1: Develop a cross-unit approach through dashboarding
The first step is to demonstrate how powerful it is to show simultaneous data within the customer process.
Implementing cross-unit dashboards proves to be highly relevant in doing so. It provides the opportunity for each stakeholder to visualise his data within the whole customer process, and to set common objectives, which will eventually become KPIs. The manager of the digital business unit will then be able to see clearly that he has originated quite a number of online leads, which resulted into offline purchases in an agency. This can either be measured statistically – if office visits or calls have increased after a campaign held exclusively online –or through a “how have you heard about this product” questionnaire given to the client when the first contact has been established.
The same goes for the head of social networks. Sometimes it is impossible to see a positive buzz by looking at the figures. The ability to visualise the value added through an appropriate dashboard can very easily highlight existing correlations, even with a time lag.
Conversely, offline campaigns encouraging people to come and visit the agency can increase online sales. But at the end it is only the central Head of Digital Ops who really has access to all the data and can notice the real business drivers instead of the local business manager who actually has a direct interest in said data.
Thus, dashboards can help to quickly develop a very consistent horizontal culture within organisations where all concerned parties have access to on time information.
Step 2: Develop a culture of KPIs
KPIs do not have to be a list of overwhelming and cumbersome numbers measuring every possible object that can be measured. Nor should they be completely absent from your repertoire of tools. The idea is to analyse your needs and your measurables and create KPIs that are specifically suited to your business, company and position.
Many of Captain Dash customers are also developing a culture of KPIs:
- Major KPIs are shared within the whole company
- Sub-KPIs can be specifically determined within the teams
Step 3: Centralise data
Still, the issue of centralised data remains unsolved.
How can it be tackled?
DON’T: try to change the information system itself.
There is no point in trying to homogenise the data because it all comes from different worlds:
- from the cloud (Facebook, twitter, etc.)
- from traditional IS such as ERP systems
- from web analytics such as Omniture or Google Analytics
DO: create data connectors, which enable you to automatically and regularly extract the data. Of course, the third-party operator must meet all safety requirements for data encryption and user agreement in order to implement a peaceful use of data. But once these conditions are met, it is usually easy to set up.
Captain Dash for example, has developed both processes and technologies to fit all types of ERP, information systems and files. As of now, we have never had a problem with data resisting this process.