A report examining the financial services sector has found that initiatives such as data collection, integration, and automation are being “constrained” by a lack of digital skills.
Up to two-thirds of technical decision makers agree that IT ability is not up to scratch in finance, based on a survey from Encompass Corporation. The report analysed responses from 100 technical decision makers across EMEA and North American territories.
Nearly two-thirds (64%) said their organisations lack the “skilled technical resources” to integrate external data into core platforms, and around 57% said they are only at a “foundational level” of digital maturity.
With regard to digital maturity, 16% believe that they have gained some ground, while 26% said theirs is currently ‘moderate’.
However, less than a quarter (18%) of financial institutions have successfully combined automated and manual data processes, the results found, while 56% said they still need to fully automate decision-making processes.
Despite this, financial leaders said they are “aware” of the importance of an effective data strategy, and 80% agreed that they would be able to improve customer experience when data integration challenges are overcome.
Around 62% agreed that employee satisfaction increases with effective data integration as the work becomes more rewarding, and 42% said that operational costs would decrease.
The vast majority (89%) of respondents believe that their organisation’s investment in data collection and optimisation tools will increase, with 74% stating that plans were already in place to invest in data transformation over the next 12 months.
Similarly, 68% said that they intend to improve data driven customer insights, while more than half (57%) agreed that they plan to “ingest additional external data sources”.
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Commenting on the results, Wayne Johnson, Co-founder and CEO for Encompass Corporation said: “An effective data strategy is key to reforming operations, streamlining workplace efficiency and improving costs.
“Unfortunately, financial institutions are operating in a complex, data hungry environment, and have fallen behind when it comes to automation and data integration practices, despite industry-wide recognition of the merits associated with an effective data strategy.
“As organisations look to integrate even more external data sources into decision making processes and manage an increasingly disparate workforce of employees based in different locations or even countries, efficient data management, enabled by cutting edge technology will no longer be just a recommendation, but an absolute necessity.”
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