By Sean Farrington, UK MD, RVP Northern Europe at Qlik

It is inevitable; everyone who plays the game Monopoly will eventually land in jail by an unlucky roll of the dice or unfortunate pick of a card. While the passive players sit in jail, the more ambitious ones, those that usually win, will do anything they can to get back on the board and into the game.

The failure of traditional Business Intelligence has dealt us all a bad card. We can either sit back and wait for turns to go by or take immediate action. Those organisations that have embraced Data Discovery have picked up the pieces and not only have gotten back on the board, but have changed the course of the game!

Using Data as a Power Play

Traditionally, organisations spent an exorbitant amount of time pulling together various financial reports and figures only to distribute them in a flat, non-interactive way. However, today’s winners in the financial services industry are finding ways to effectively leverage their data via data discovery.
With data discovery, it’s not just about finding new answers; it’s about finding new questions and new hypotheses. By eliminating wasteful, non-value added work users can extricate themselves from the “jail” of data bottlenecks, and instead focus their efforts on analysis and decision making. As a result organisations become smarter and solve problems faster.
Some great examples include:
· A top global bank uses Basel II/III data to monitor billions of transactions for counterparty risk analysis. As a result they can optimise their capital allocations and make proactive changes to meet the ever changing regulatory environment.
· A top US bank has replaced a 200-page Quarterly Credit Review report with automated dashboards. This one change has eliminated countless hours of work for their employees, delivers data in near real-time, and enables users interrogate the data in a self-service fashion.
· A top investment firm has replaced a portfolio of manual reports with an automated, self-service portal. The previous reporting process took dozens of employees more than three days to develop and the end result was a static, outdated report. The new automated analysis is not only more user-friendly, it’s also updated throughout the day.

By moving from manual, static reports to more agile data visualisation and analytics applications these organisations have all been able to reduce the time their employees spend on aggregating data and allow them to shift their focus on exploring the data and making better decisions. The organisations that do this not only save time, they also unlock new realisations and unlimited potential from their data.

Winning with Data Discovery

The days of working with static BI reports are over. Simply exporting data and consolidating it onto an employee’s desktop for isolated reporting is no longer acceptable. The process is manually intensive and results in errors, omissions and the general lack of visibility into the actual business results.

Financial services organisations must move to a more agile data discovery model that allows users to ask the next question and get the answers they need without starting from scratch. By removing unnecessary technical obstacles, users can focus on the data available and their own insights. Keeping ease-of-use at the forefront, it's easy for people to remix and reassemble data in new views and create new visualisations on the fly for deeper understanding.

In today’s competitive marketplace, the difference between reporting on your data and understanding your data can truly separate the winners from the losers.