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Innovation Within Financial Services Starts With Data

In the financial services industry, innovation and disruption in the form of new services like mobile banking and application based finance tools present numerous opportunities for businesses to refocus and reset to gain the upper hand in a highly competitive space. Even bolstered by technology, however, such efforts are met with a number of challenges—especially because enterprises face perennial resource and regulatory constraints.

To remain at the edge of this ever-changing industry, organisations are embracing new types of data and new ways to sift through the data, such as artificial intelligence (AI). According to research conducted by Gartner, 90 percent of all corporate strategies will cite information and analytics as key competencies by the year 2022. From real-time customer feedback found on social media to early indicators of a grounded commercial aircraft through its flight sensors, publicly available information can help financial professionals shed light into deeper corners of their business and form insights that help companies optimise their services and differentiate themselves from their rivals.


Why Artificial Intelligence?

Companies have long looked to publicly available data streams to inform their business decisions, but historically, they have struggled to extract the most relevant nuggets of the ensuing information in a timely fashion. Due to expanding volume and variety of sources of publicly available data, it is impossible for one person or team to sift through potentially billions of daily data points in search of the most important details that could help enterprises make faster and sharper decisions.

This includes early indications of risk to an enterprise. Ability to detect risk can be a major competitive advantage, as it allows organisations to prepare for what’s coming and make smarter choices. Learning early on about breaking news and events, for example, enables senior decision-makers to act upon the information they receive before the original incident turns into a crisis.

Today, missed opportunities are increasingly a thing of the past, thanks in large part to AI.Gartner writesthat data and analytics are likely to become a focal point for businesses, which will layer artificial intelligence onto market and customer information to gain valuable insights. With the help of AI, ingesting and processing digital data becomes a more manageable task. Data in the form of social media, Internet of Things (IoT) sensors, weather reports, blogs, and the dark web can lead teams to pursue new avenues of exploration and innovation that can help companies retain a competitive edge.

AI can help financial services companies identify patterns, exceptions, and insights that are relevant to their business. It can alert them to events like tech outages, cyber security incidents, and natural disasters even before broadcasters report this news to the public, so they can understand the scope of the issues that might impact their operations.


Visibility Is Key

Without AI, companies can fall into the trap of having “innovation blind spots” — situations in which they may not be receiving and acting on relevant and high-impact information quickly enough, and therefore can’t readjust and innovate as needed.

Think of market, security, and breaking news visibility as a kind of peripheral vision. It provides a clearer, more comprehensive picture of issues and situations as they unfold. This is especially important to enterprises that operate in numerous geographic regions and time zones. A major event occurring halfway around the world, in the middle of your night — such as a typhoon or other extreme weather event — could affect your business while you’re offline. But deploying an AI system that delivers real-time alerts will help ensure you and your global colleagues are informed of critical developments as they unfold — so that you can respond decisively for the benefit of your business.


Solving Old Problems with New Data

Data analysis is hardly new, but the ways in which public data sources are multiplying, diversifying, and proliferating — and the extent to which companies extract information from them — have improved dramatically. Digital transformation and related analysis strategies present opportunities to solve age-old problems and improve upon outdated practices.

In the ever-evolving financial services landscape, knowledge is the greatest form of power, and crucial to optimising business strategy. Having constant access to the right public data, and the tools to sift through it for relevant information in real time, will empower organisations to drive innovation and enhance their competitive position in their market sector. With real-time alerting, you can ultimately safeguard your business, both now and in the future.


Authored by Jonathan Barrett, SVP EMEA & APAC, Dataminr


  • Editorial Director of the The Fintech Times

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