How can your financial organisation leverage data literacy for better customer experiences

Digital skills shortages in 2023

The finance sector is driven by customer experience, with many customers who select a business’ products remaining with them for life. Financial organisations also benefit from significant amounts of data to work with, but using it effectively and analysing it well is key to maximising its value.

The finance industry recognises the future is data-driven, and repositioning your business as a data-driven organisation will, when done well, result in better customer experiences. Deloitte asserts, “a data-driven finance function manages data as a strategic asset. It recognises the full potential of the growing amount of data and is organised in such a way it can accommodate the usage of granular data.” To achieve this, organisations must recognise the need for data democratisation through their organisations and work to deliver this for improved customer experiences.

Tableau’s research shows 79% of employees are expected to heavily use data by 2025, up from 40% in 2018. In finance, finding an effective way of managing data for business success is vital to leverage the maximum value from your company’s data. Understanding how to utilise data and to ensure it is appropriately understood at all levels of your organisation must be a priority for finance companies going forward. Developing the data skill sets of employees at all levels ensures your move towards a data-driven future is possible.

Advancing data literacy within your organisation

The EY DNA of the CFO survey found that 89% of CFOs anticipate significant involvement in their company’s strategic decisions. Their research indicates how data can be transformative in improving finance functions and giving greater insight for better decision-making. All of this benefits the customer.

However, for data to be truly implemented, it must be understood. The right systems must be in place to support employees’ data skills and ensure they can effectively utilise the available data. The sheer volume of data in finance means it is easy to become overwhelmed, and it can become confusing without the right direction.

Accenture’s findings suggest only 21% of people are confident in their data literacy skills, and this needs to change if financial organisations want to leverage the true value of their data. Rather than a dedicated data team who are relied upon for all data-related activity, data democratisation is essential to ensure all employees are empowered and confident in their use of data.

It starts with data democratisation

Data democratisation means making data accessible to all employees and stakeholders within your organisation, but it cannot stop there. Simple access to the data is not enough to empower people to use it effectively. Your people need to know how to make sense of the data available to them to use it for the benefit of customer experiences.

Data collection is not a concern for most organisations. Many have more than they know what to do with. The issue lies in people being able to use it well and for meaningful conversations and decisions to be made due to a comprehensive understanding of the data.

To make data-driven decisions, your organisation needs a data-literate workforce. This begins with democratising your data and then finding an approach to ensure your people can be confident in their use of it.

Remove data team silos and build company-wide data skills

Due to the large amount of data being processed by any financial business, having a business-wide data-literate team allows the creation of a single customer view of behaviours to help optimise their experience. Leveraging your wider team, rather than relying solely on the data department, allows a data-first approach to become standard in your workplace. Soon, data literacy will be at the core of your business. Investing in training your whole business in data helps build a solid foundation to smoothly pass through and understand customer data in order for swift action and decision-making, ideal for enhancing customer experiences.

The Hub-and-Spoke method is one of the most effective ways of breaking down silos and pushing forward with a data-driven approach to your whole organisation. This method advances the development of data literacy within your organisation through data experts present in every department. Organisations still have a central, highly-skilled data team (their “Hub”), but this is surrounded by data specialists in each department, driving, promoting and utilising data day-to-day (the “spokes”). This method puts data at the front of all decision-making and allows your departmental experts to trickle down their data knowledge and skills to the wider team.

Empowering your wider team to embrace and regularly work with data allows them to become more confident in its use.

A culture of data literacy in finance

Data analytics has a bit of a reputation as an advanced skill set siloed to only the most highly skilled data engineers and data scientists within your organisation. There is no reason organisations cannot give their employees the knowledge and experience they need to be confident data users themselves and deliver highly-effective data-driven experiences for customers.

Building a culture of data literacy requires a number of different factors, including executive buy-in, focused developing programmes and training and communicating with and demonstrating to your employees what higher understanding and use of data can bring to your business. A democratised approach to data makes it seem intimidating or difficult to deal with. Instead, it has become commonplace and an invaluable tool for delivering better customer experiences.

Corndel offers a range of strategic, scalable data skills development programmes funded by the Apprenticeship Levy. With Level 3 and Level 4 programmes, you can access the data skills training your employees need and push your commitment to a data-driven future for your business. Our Digital & Technology Solutions Professional Degree Apprenticeship effectively provides your employees with advanced-level skills to power up and future-proof their careers. The programme meets the growing digital and data demands of the modern workplace whilst also building technical expertise. The programme is ideal for recognising and supporting your top performers and giving them a springboard to advance and succeed in a wide range of in-demand IT and data roles.

Explore our courses and further content to learn more about data literacy and how it can support the development of better customer experiences.

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