While many banks have achieved a high level of operational excellence, they aren't getting the most out of their information systems. But they're working hard on it.

That's a finding from the Ernst & Young 1996 special report on technology in banking. Half of the top 100 bank holding companies are planning or piloting data warehouse systems that will help provide more complete information about customers. (See chart.) This information can be used for critical efforts like research and development, customer segmentation, profitability analysis, and product development.

The report also found, however, that banks that outsource functions often achieve operational efficiencies but fail to recover key information on the activity of accounts.

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