In this third article in our series of insights about data access, connectivity and integration for the financial services industry, author Matt Gillespie unpacks the realities behind putting data in the right place at the right time to yield insights that drive more effective business processes. Gillespie is a technology writer, research analyst and journalist who writes about cloud, AI, cyber security, software-defined infrastructure and data integration, among other topics.

The promise of a future informed by sophisticated insights that are powered by massive data sets in real time doesn’t always match the reality. In fact, many executives at financial services firms find themselves unable to access the data they need. That starves the analytics that would otherwise enable better data-driven decision making. And there’s no getting around it—too many desktops are still awash with static, isolated spreadsheets.

Data may be trapped in silos, making free interaction with it impossible. Even when the right data sources are tapped, the flow of data may be unreliable, reducing certainty that the data available is the right data. Likewise, connecting to an ever-growing range of data sources—from enterprise databases to market data—adds technical complexity that most decision makers have no time for. Additional considerations pile up for centralized data sources such as data lakes and cloud resources, both public and private. Performance is also critical, especially for real-time data flows.

All those shortcomings can be overcome. The key to getting the full value of data using analytics is to recognize and respond to the strategic value of data connectors (aka drivers). Due attention to the quality of these components is vital to achieving data-driven success.

Data Powers Benefits Across the Business

Even in sophisticated financial services companies, from banks to trading houses and insurance firms, a remarkable number of data-driven processes still rely on manual collection, processing and analysis. Data silos are often to blame, and many business analysts and decision makers waste endless hours onworkarounds to manually overcome those blockages.

In today’s environment of massive data stores and intelligent algorithms, brute-force “strong coffee and a spreadsheet” approaches need to make way for more intelligent, connected mechanisms. What’s more, a unified data environment avoids the errors and inefficiencies that inevitably arise from multiple isolated versions of data. The sheer scope of insights that are possible from unfettered access to data can be a transformational force throughout the organization:

  • Increase revenue and profitability> with data-driven decisions based on applying data science and algorithms to the broadest collection possible of both live and stored data sources.
  • Improve customer experience and retention with individually data-driven engagement strategies, service personalization and curated recommendations for products and services.
  • Reduce compliance and audit risk with data connectors from Simba that get ALL of your data into your audit and compliance tool.
Missed the other posts in the series? — Learn about data access for Compliance & Audit , and Fraud Prevention .

Improved Connectivity Drives Up the Value of Data

At the operational level, your analytics platforms need data connectors that ensure connectivity with high performance and dependability in real time. Still, you ideally should never have to think about them very much.

Simba provides you with the data connectors that streamline the process of building architecture for your analytics systems to pull data from the widest variety of possible data sources. Those include enterprise back office applications such as Oracle and SAP, big data from Hive, MongoDB, Presto, Cloudera Impala and Cassandra, and SaaS/Cloud services such as Snowflake, Marketo and Salesforce in addition to custom applications.

The financial services industry harnesses that data to power insights using analytics and intelligence tools such as PowerBI, Tableau and Qlik, in addition to a myriad of custom applications. Rather than trying to build your own or relying on cobbled-together sets of commodity drivers, many organizations are better off working with Simba, which provides the following benefits:

  • Expertise. Building, optimizing and maintaining data connectors requires specialized skill sets that most companies simply don’t have at their disposal internally.
  • Quality.To fulfill their critical role in business-analytics workflows, Simba data connectors provide high throughput, low latency and high reliability.
  • Longevity. Simba updates its data connectors through future technology transitions, so your internal teams can focus on delivering value for the business.
  • Simplicity. Simba provides single-source acquisition and unified support across client, server and cloud drivers, whether off-the-shelf or custom.

By enabling your business analytics practice with more robust data connectivity, you set the stage for data-driven decision making and insight-based innovation.

With Extended Data Reach, Analytics Deliver Better Insights

Simba offers financial services firms a range of approaches they can use to get the data connectors they need in place. Most connections to common data sources can be made with Simba’s standard, off-the-shelf connectors. For niche sources or specialized requirements, Simba can develop custom connectors or supply the same SDK to customers that Simba engineers use internally to build drivers.

Implementing a robust solution based on Simba data connectors puts the data you need in place, when and where you need it. Breaking down the barriers to data access, connectivity and integration supports outcomes where data realizes its full analytics potential, which decision makers and others can consume and take advantage of in forms that include the following:

  • Planned and ad hoc reports let business analysts capture and interpret data to verify strategic and tactical operations alike as well as to meet internal and external audit requirements.
  • Data visualizations offer sophisticated graphical representations that make insights more intuitive and reveal the interrelationships between datasets.
  • Executive dashboards enable real-time views of data as it emerges, capturing KPIs to compare the current state with projected and historic results.

The free flow of data from every source and stored location doesn’t just happen. But when business analytics are enabled by expertly built, maintained and supported data connectors, they are the source of powerful insight that helps make firms more successful.

Conclusion

To support data-driven decision-making across the business, analytics engines need access to all useful data sources, with low latency, high throughput and high reliability. Simba is the industry leader at delivering and integrating the data connectors that underlie that access, so you can transform data into insight that powers increased competitiveness and profitability.

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