John Beran

Chief information officer

Comerica Inc.Detroit

To be competitive in this rapidly changing banking industry, many financial services organizations are focusing on getting the ability to quickly shift business directions while maintaining exceptional customer service.

To do this effectively requires easy access to huge amounts of integrated customer data and its subsequent analysis.

Previously in our industry, this data often was locked up in aging applications developed around product requirements instead of customer needs. Today, data warehousing is the structure that allows us to integrate data and to quickly perform the extensive business analysis required for nimble decision making.

It also plays a vital role in customer service and relationship management.

With data warehousing, we can turn raw data into strategic information about customers, their product preferences, and the appropriate distribution channels to reach them.

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Glenn Santmire

President, worldwide financialUnisys Corp.

Blue Bell, Pa.

Data warehousing is crucial to the banking industry today, and will grow in importance exponentially for the foreseeable future. Banks are now - and will continue to be - as much in the business of managing information as of managing money.

Increasingly, a bank's success or failure in meeting its strategic objectives will hinge on its ability to capitalize on information resources that help it reach new markets in new ways.

The data warehouse is the linchpin in this process. It's the crucial point where raw transactional history and behavioral data about customers can be collected, analyzed, and turned into information that yields insights into how the customers prefer to bank and helps the bank determine how to satisfy those preferences in the future.

Groups analyzed and targeted through this information discovery process can vary from the entire customer base to limited affinity groups to individual "segments of one."

This process of information discovery enables banks to create and target new products and services more accurately and profitably than with conventional "shotgun" marketing approaches. The bank can also link the data warehouse to retail delivery systems to sell tailored products and services at any point of customer contact, whether teller station, customer service desk, telephone service center, or other channel. For example, a bank marketing debit cards can identify and target affluent homeowners with a demonstrated preference for convenience and electronic purchasing, flagging these highly qualified candidates to branch and telephone center personnel who can pitch them on the new service.

Over the next decade - and even beyond - the banks most adept at usingdata warehousing to energize a marketing-driven culture will leave less nimble competitors in their wake.

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Christopher R. Jennings

Chairman and CEO

Dauphin Deposit Corp.Harrisburg, Pa.

The technology that makes data warehousing possible is here. Most banks already have access to the datato feed those systems.

I believe the top 100 banks have it clearly figured out. The people we listen to a lot - Coopers & Lybrand and First Manhattan Consulting Group - say data warehousing is critical to maintaining and developing our franchise. And, data management, warehousing, and mining is a priority development focus for us.

Banks gather so much information on customers through loan applications, savings accounts, and investment product sales. This information is extremely valuable for data mining, but it often just disappears.

I believe the top 100 banks are working on data warehousing diligently, as we are, but it will take three or four years before data warehousing will be in full flower.

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Amos Barzilay

Director of Industry Marketing

Informix Software Inc.Menlo Park, Calif.

Data warehousing is a computer architecture that enables banks to use the voluminous information embedded in various operational systems to achieve a competitive advantage. Banks employ data warehouses for enterprise-wide decision support applications, such as profitability marketing, and risk management.

Until recently, only a few banks could afford to build enterprise wide data warehouses. Today, data warehousing can enable banks to focus more attention on relationship management.

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Peter F. Digiammarino

Vice president, finance industry

American Management Systems

Fairfax, Va.

What makes data warehouses particularly relevant today is the reemergence of the customer as the focal point of the banks' growth prospects.

Over the past decade, most banks have had to constantly acquire new customers primarily because they lose so many of their good customers each year.

For many banks, selling existing products to existing customers provides the most cost effective path to achieving growth targets with the best return on investment. In order to cultivate what we call the "internal market," banks need a holistic view of each customer and their history with that customer.

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