Solvency II – Are you Ready?

Solvency II is the European insurance industry’s Y2K, with a host of vendors competing in the space.  Although insurance companies have been preparing for Solvency II for a couple of years, not all have made their decisions about the technology still needed to address all elements of the new regulation framework.…

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AHIP Institute 2012: Big Data, Wellness, and Consumerism Come up Big

Wow. AHIP: Institute 2012 was quite a ride. It was informative listening to Malcolm Gladwell and Atul Gawande speak about the pressing challenges in healthcare and hearing their unique perspectives on how to arrive at a solution beneficial to all.  Not to mention the sessions with Deepak Chopra, Paul Begala, and Ari Fleischer, which were inspirational and provided yet another perspective on...

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What is Master Data?

There is a lot of buzz about Master Data Management (MDM). What exactly is master data? Master data is not definable it varies from one organization to the next. You may have heard it defined as non-transactional data, all the business nouns, data that is shared across the enterprise, reference data etc.…

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Analyzing Core Banking Data for the Long Haul

When you decide to invest in Business Intelligence (BI) for your bank it may be tempting to make the easy decision and use whatever your core system provider is offering.  Core banking platforms typically provide a comprehensive solution, but it is important to evaluate your options before purchasing a BI solution. …

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What is the cost of running a business on spreadmarts?

There is almost universal agreement that spreadmarts come with inherent risk due to the inaccuracies created from manual manipulation of data. This is hard to quantify in terms of dollars. Most evidence we have is statistical and anecdotal  But, there is another aspect to spreadmarts that is directly quantifiable. As part of creating a BI strategy and road map, West Monroe’s methodology...

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Business Intelligence is Intelligent Business for Banks

Banks, like so many other organizations, are fundamentally built on data. So why do many of these institutions lack adequate tools to harness the power of this data? From outside the financial industry looking in, banks appear to be nothing more than institutions built on money movement. And why not? Money is constantly coming and going in the form of deposits, withdrawals, loans, payments...

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So you want to leverage BIG DATA? Start smaller.

Have you heard of big data and wonder what it could do for your organization?  The promise of things like dashboard reporting and real-time analytics can tempt companies to skip over more traditional business intelligence initiatives to get right to the hot stuff.  Don’t do it! Business intelligence is a broad collection of disciplines that help organizations leverage their data to...

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Big Regulation = Big Data

Big data has become a cross-industry term utilized by the capital markets industry, the pharmaceutical industry and the scientific community.  Big data is used to describe extremely large datasets.  Binary prefixes to describe the size of data have graduated from kilobytes and megabytes to data stores sized in terabytes, petabytes and exabytes (slightly more than 1 million terabytes) of...

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Data vs. Information – The Real Difference

People often use the terms data and information interchangeably, but I see them as fundamentally different.  Data itself is raw, unprocessed facts. It is not aggregated, and therefore lacks context.  Information on the other hand is structured, processed, aggregated and synthesized data to provide context. As we have evolved into the information age, we have collected increasing amounts of...

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Spreadmart Risk Assessment and Mitigation

Every organization in the world runs on spreadmarts. Spreadmarts are end user developed repositories of data built using spreadsheet programs such as Excel, desktop databases such as Access and reporting tools such as Crystal Reports. While these are great tools to have, they are not necessarily the best way to use data to make important decisions.…

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