New research from data solutions firm InterSystems finds that nearly nine of ten—a whopping 86 percent—business leaders at financial services companies aren’t confident that their data can be used for decision-making. The study of more than 550 business leaders across 12 countries globally revealed the problem may stem from disconnected systems and data sources, with almost all (98 percent) respondents saying that there are data and application silos within their organization.
The survey found that overcoming these data challenges is a top priority for financial services businesses in the year ahead. More than half (51 percent) cite their biggest technology priority as gaining access to real-time data across the business for improved decision-making, while 44 percent say it is to develop new applications.
Improving data access is vital
In fact, well over a third (37 percent) of the business leaders surveyed said their biggest data challenge is how long it takes to access data, and that the data is outdated by the time they get it. Sixty-three percent of global business leaders say the data they use is more than 24 hours old, a quarter (25 percent) say it is between one and three days old, while for 17 percent it is between 4 days old and a week old.
The inaccessibility of data from all the needed sources (33 percent) or in the format needed (32 percent) are also major issues, along with visibility, with 31 percent saying it is difficult to gain a view of enterprise-level risk. The primary impact of these challenges is difficulty gaining a 360-degree picture of customers to deliver personalized services (36 percent). This can affect a firm’s ability to retain existing customers, attract new ones, and create a competitive advantage.
What’s more, thirty-five percent of business leaders say these challenges make using data for decision making difficult
Similarly, more than a third (34 percent) revealed they are not able to base decisions on real-time information so often must rely on assumptions that aren’t always correct.
“The financial services sector handles and processes huge amounts of data every day,” said Ann Kuelzow, global head of financial services at InterSystems, in a news release. “It is the lifeblood of organizations and is key to everything from compliance to business 360 and customer 360, which enables them to deliver the products and experiences their customers need. Therefore, it’s vital that they find ways to overcome the challenges they are experiencing in accessing, harmonizing, and analyzing data to be able to use it more effectively to drive their organizations forward. This is where data fabrics, a new architectural approach, will come into their own.”
More than three-quarters (77 percent) of respondents revealed they would consider implementing a data fabric to simplify access to distributed data. Data fabrics are enabling firms to bridge data silos and speed and simplify access to data assets to provide a consistent, accurate, real-time view of internal and external data.
This real-time access to data allows financial services institutions to further key initiatives, with 35 percent of respondents saying they require access to distributed data in a timely fashion to improve operational efficiencies, while 31 percent need it to make strategic decisions (31%). More than a quarter (26 percent) of business leaders believe having access to real-time data would help to improve enterprise risk and liquidity management.