Collecting Data

By Samuel Greengard Print this article Print

The financial services industry is undergoing some of the most significant changes in its history, and information technology increasingly determines who soars and who stumbles.

Collecting Data

Putting financial data to maximum use is also a fundamental tenet at CoreLogic, a leading provider of consumer, financial and property information, analytics and services. The company collects data from thousands of sources and repackages it for approximately one million customers that are looking to reduce risk, enhance transparency and improve performance.

Using Sybase IQ and Informatics software, CoreLogic culls information from spreadsheets, Word files and myriad other public and private data sources—all while scraping data from Websites—in order to provide sophisticated information and analytics tools to its customers.

“When we rolled out self-service BI-type capabilities, the mortgage industry responded extremely positively, and that opened up an array of possibilities,” says Asif Rahman, director of application development for CoreLogic. The move, he adds, provided “a significant boost in performance and much better data compression than an older SQL database.”

What’s more, Sybase IQ allows the firm to distribute a single processing core across multiple nodes in a cluster and process transactions within subclusters. The next step, Rahman says, is extending its products and services to a mobile platform.

PwC’s Courbe points out that a robust and flexible technology infrastructure is the ticket for entry in today’s competitive business environment. With the right systems in place, it’s possible to support cloud computing, mobility, analytics and other initiatives—while accommodating core functionality requirements, including GRC and security.

The ultimate goal, he says, “is to create greater intelligence through the sharing of data across the organization. Private clouds, mobility and social media can help an organization leverage capabilities to maximum advantage.”

The key, Ernst & Young’s Nichols concludes, is focusing on ways to make information technology more strategic. “It’s important to ask a number of questions,” he says. “How do we adopt the changes the business requires? How do we supply the business with the tools it needs to evolve and implement a strategy? And how do we prioritize changes?

“You’ve got to be nimble. You’ve got to be flexible, but, in the end, you must be efficient and drive the functionality that’s required in today’s business environment.”

5 Ways to Drive Gains in Financial Services

• Build a robust and flexible infrastructure. Financial services firms have always required fast networks and powerful computing capabilities. But, in recent years, customers have come to expect even more powerful features and faster execution of transactions.

• Focus on the customer. As financial services become more segmented and fragmented, it’s critical to connect to customers in multiple ways: branches, ATMs, mobile apps and through social networking. Technology must link different channels seamlessly and provide data instantly.

• Put data integration and analytics at the center of the business. Web analytics, social media analytics and predictive analytics provide insights and define strategies.

• Embrace security and GRC. Regulatory and compliance issues aren’t going away. An IT infrastructure must incorporate tools and capabilities that provide maximum visibility and protection.

• Explore the cloud. Private and hybrid clouds offer opportunities to increase agility and use computing resources more efficiently.

This article was originally published on 2011-12-06
Samuel Greengard is a freelance writer for Baseline.
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