A business can thrive or fail based on its internal culture since culture impacts morale, productivity and, ultimately, the bottom line. In many ways, culture is like a personality that reflects the values and attitudes of the leadership team, which affects all employees.
Banking is about serving customers, providing exceptional service and keeping your best employees motivated and engaged. At the end of the day the quality of your people and the quality of your culture are inextricably linked. There are many traits to a positive culture, but those with the most impact to a bank include: leadership transparency and trust, valued and accountable employees, and overall team alignment, according to management professor Edward H. Schein. In an era where many banks are embarking on the big data journey, it’s important to know data analytics can benefit more than your bank’s performance; it can also help create and sustain a healthy workplace culture.
Banks that are adopting data-driven environments are moving away from making decisions based on past experiences, or a gut feel, to real-time decision-making. When sales and marketing teams are empowered with refined decision-making metrics, it creates a sense of value and ownership. Data analytics provides your team with the tools to enhance customer relationships and best practices to lift revenue, better cross sell and retain loyal, profitable customers.
A customer analytics product enables your employees to solve high-value business problems with actionable insights, quickly. Your staff will have the resources and capabilities to effectively segment customers in order to identify opportunities to determine best pricing, and target new products and services to the right customer at the right time. Data analytics makes your employees accountable for their work and reaching goals, giving them access to all areas of the bank’s performance right at their fingertips, leaving less room for excuses when it comes to making targeted, effective decisions in a timely manner. Plus, they will feel more valued because they are making better, more informed decisions that can lead to greater opportunities for the bank and improved customer service.
Operating in silos never has a happy ending. According to HR Consulting Experts Verity International, aligned teams have a high level of clarity and agreement on: purpose, vision, values, goals, procedures, roles and trust. So, how can adopting a data-driven strategy at a bank create cohesive team alignment? Because it encourages IT and business departments to work together and interact. Each person within the bank has a job to do that relies on the other to collaborate, including the employee who manages the data, analyzes the data and makes insightful decisions and actions based on the data. If working with a third-party partner, team members will need to collaborate with the consultants and data scientist.
Alignment among management and the various business departments within the bank helps answer big questions like: How can we get the most value from data across all departments of the bank? What actions should we take based on data insights? How will we measure, monitor, and track the actions?
Creating team alignment may be easier said than done, but it is critical. Charles Thomas, Wells Fargo’s chief data officer, believes setting a strategy for employee training and development will be the key component to include data and analytics as part of the bank’s core business processes. This cultural change will naturally remove department silos and allow buy-in from employees to see the big picture behind a big data initiative.
An advanced data analytics program aligns teams and fosters healthy working relationships since everyone is working towards a common goal: to make the bank more efficient, productive and profitable. When everyone is working towards the goal of turning data into more informed decisions and developing recurring best practices, results happen.
Trust and transparency among the leadership team is also a key component in creating a healthy workplace culture, according to consultant Glenn Llopis. When leadership is transparent about the bank’s performance and allows employees to access vital information about the bank and its customers, a level of trust and loyalty transcends throughout the organization.
By adopting a powerful advanced data analytics product, employees at various levels of the bank can gain access to a 360° view of the institution’s performance. A customer analytics program can quickly and securely dig deep into customer data allowing bank staff to uncover insights, such as customer churn, risk and opportunities. Plus, employees can drill down on specific metrics like: total new deposit accounts opened and closed, the profitability of customer segments, which campaigns are working, or where to best allocate time, money and resources. There are no secrets. With sophisticated filters, the information and insight creates a transparent working environment and fosters a positive employee culture.
With the right data analytical tools, data-savvy staff or an outsourced data analytics partner, predictive and advanced customer analytics can be the competitive advantage your bank needs. It can lead your bank to much more than just data exploration. It can lead to answers, action and the opportunity to create and sustain a vibrant culture with happy, loyal and motivated employees.
Mr. Simpson is senior vice president, Financial Institutions, with Chicago-based Saggezza, a provider of analytics products. He can be reached at Steven.Simpson@Saggezza.com.