The most important aspect of data has nothing to do with data

The rush to collect more data is becoming a priority for many organizations that believe that by collecting more relevant data, they will have an information advantage over competitors. There is no doubt that the data opportunity is unprecedented and may even represent the biggest driver of business growth and transformation across a wide range of industries, influencing business models, products, infrastructure, marketing effectiveness, and even altering how we think about currency. In the financial services and real estate finance industries, data provides information about everything from borrower stability and product cross-sell opportunities to portfolio and asset value.

As an analytics provider to the financial services and real estate finance industries, the Situs family of companies has spoken with many organizations that are inspired by the data opportunity. We’ve found that although many financial institutions know exactly how to use pieces of data as they relate to a specific function, they may still struggle to get their hands around the bigger data opportunity. We often hear, “We are collecting all of this amazing data, but we are sitting on a gold mine trying to figure out how to use it.”

In the race to collect data, many businesses fail to define their objective. In our 20+ years of delivering analytics, we’ve parsed, organized and analyzed a lot of data. In doing so, we know that our objective is to extract insights that will inform business, balance sheet or risk management decisions, whether we are valuing a mortgage servicing rights portfolio or uncovering risk in a financial model. Knowing how our clients will use the data enables us to focus our attention on the right data attributes and characteristics. It helps us better organize, standardize, perform quality control and supplement the information to ensure we can effectively meet our objective. In short, it helps us use data strategically and verify or refute business assumptions.

While collecting data is critically important, it is even more important for organizations to develop a strategy and objective for that data. When the data objective is defined, it’s much easier to optimize the data and extract insights. If your executive team is struggling to define the objective, invite others to the table who may think about practical problem solving from a user’s perspective. Run a data hackathon. Start with the intent to improve data quality within the organization and identify solutions for internal and external clients. Like any other entrepreneurial opportunity, a vision and objective will ensure your organization is not just accumulating information but utilizing it to shape real business change.

Situs provides clients with a range of solutions including data optimization and management, as well as analytics and advisory to the financial services and real estate finance industries. To learn more about how we can help optimize your data and drive informed and confident decisions, email us: