January 05, 2011

Many banks are focusing on basic business analytics. But there are a lot of pieces of the business analytics process that banks are missing.

Banks are looking at the here and now when they're trying to leverage their solutions. But the key to using business analytics is to learn how to focus on the future. Part of the problem when banks are building these systems is that they're building them for today, without really considering what they'll need in the future. Sometimes when you focus on the here and now, the opportunity already is gone.

Consider the famous quote from hockey great Wayne Gretzky: "I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been." It's the same principle in using business analytics: Know where the market is going to be.

Banks always say, "It's the client, it's the client, it's the client." But what do they really mean by that? Banks want to be in touch with their clients, but they have to develop a sound strategy for customer acquisition and retention. After all, marketing is going to drive who is coming through that door.

In order to be successful, you need to change how you're looking at your business. Everyone's focus has been efficiency, and everyone has done that pretty well. But the key is to go beyond efficiency and operational excellence, and to use technology in a way that allows you to strike a better balance between efficiency and entrepreneurialism.

Incorporate a strategy that utilizes IT as a means to generate revenue. Take the opportunity to use the technology to make money, to make the client happy and to simply be ahead of the curve.

Ron Ruckh is managing director of financial services for LECG (Devon, Pa.)