The Business Benefits of Data Integration

Companies today are bombarded with data (text, figures, images, video, etc.) streaming in from multiple channels (such as feeds, email, and Twitter) at a non-stop pace (24/7). In other words, information is now pouring in from all fronts, at all times and it all needs to be analyzed, categorized and properly digested.

But, are businesses taking full advantage of what this wealth of data has to offer?

Probably not, according to Rob Morris, the vice-president of financial services at IBM Global Business Services UK&I.

In his recent article, Don't be a data hater, integrate your information, Morris recounts a recent survey that polled a wide cross-section more than 7,300 consumers in 13 countries along with more than 2,500 leaders from 500 firms to get a sense of how banks, in particular, are rising to the challenge of data integration.

I was somewhat surprised to learn that the study found that banks in all regions are failing to integrate their systems and simply can't provide the level of transparency required to have a single view of their risk, of each of their customers and of every transaction. As remarkable as it sounds, only 17 percent of the firms surveyed have completely integrated their governance, risk and compliance processes.

Digging deeper, a second survey of 225 business leaders revealed that even though data analysis is well-recognized as a major business opportunity, data isn't being used in the most effective way. In fact, almost half (47 percent) of senior leaders said they don't have sufficient information to do their job, and 79 percent admitted that they make make business decisions based on intuition.

As Morris sees it, one of the biggest problems is that information remains siloed. I agree. From talking a wide range of clients, it's clear that data integration, across all sectors, is lacking. And that means two things: First, businesses are missing out on valuable opportunities, and secondly, they're also failing to effectively use data that could help significantly mitigate risks.

TAGS: Finance
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