How to leverage data and analytics to enhance the customer journey

It’s no exaggeration that the data revolution has transformed just about every industry. How data can be analyzed and used to improve business outcomes is virtually limitless. Properly harnessed, data can help find and rate new opportunities, streamline workflows, identify and reduce risk, predict future trends, and enhance employee engagement.

Another big opportunity is improving the customer experience, which may not be the first use that springs to mind in a numbers driven arena like finance. From personalization to selecting the best products to cross sell to helping borrowers budget and keep up their credit scores, the more you can harness data, the more sophisticated and on-target your company can be when it comes to wowing customers, keeping them loyal, creating positive word of mouth, and ultimately growing your business.

So where does all this data come from? These days, there’s an incredible wealth of information being collected every single second of every day, in places you may not even realize. The tricky part can be figuring out where to find it and how to extract it. Technology is evolving so quickly that new ways to mine and utilize data are continually developing, so data collection and analysis is an ongoing process with continual refinement.

Look at every aspect of your portfolio. Where can you identify borrower patterns by tracking online activity? Useful information often lives in some unexpected places. For instance, a recent Columbia University study that used text-mining and machine-learning tools to identify trends in the raw text of more than 120,000 loan requests found that the specific words borrowers used in their loan applications significantly helped predict future loan defaults.

Another often-overlooked data source is your vendors — many likely have valuable data from their interactions with various parts of your business operations that you could tap into.

As VP of finance company markets for State National Companies, Mark Baltuska leverages 15 years of industry experience to work with finance company professionals to understand their portfolio risk challenges and help them find solutions. State National Companies, a division of Markel Corp., is the Customer Experience partner of Auto Finance Excellence (AutoFinanceExcellence.org), a sister service of Auto Finance News.

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