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  • Is your Financial Institution ready for Data Migration? Take our quiz to find out!

    Technology may run on software, but software needs fuel. That fuel is data. And unless properly configured for a specific application, technology won't run very well.  Like putting the wrong gas in your car makes it run badly (or not at all), bad input means bad output. Input = data and that makes clean data migration really important to the success of your ETL (extract, transfer, load) project.

    The reality is that data migration is actually the last step in the process.  We've sat through hundreds of data-mapping sessions and validated thousands of datasets.  From that experience, we've learned a few things about data migration and its partner, data validation. In this post, we define the four big truths about data migration, but if you think you know them, skip to the Readiness Quiz and find out if your team is truly ready.

    Truth #1:  Begin at the Beginning:  Source Data

    Data migration begins by understanding the source data. What it represents? How is it generated? How is it used today? And what controls it?  A new technologically advanced system may not fall into the same DB storage or structure. So How much of Source Data is really of use? That needs to be migrated?

    Particularly if your shop is migrating off legacy technology, what many project managers find out is that Jane or Ron or Jeff are the only people who understand its data. Uh oh, Houston, we have a problem!

    Now you’re faced with new technology that needs its version of data, called target data. What happens when a new application with new programs and new configuration rules starts running? You’re about to find out and it might not be what you’d expect.  That’s where data profiling comes in.

    Data profiling is a process used to define source data.  It’s comprised of three definitional components:

    1.  Accuracy
    2. Completeness
    3. Validity

    Data Profiling components

    We believe this first step is essential to ensure a high quality ETL process.  For example, to address identified quality issues, you might need to modify the conversion code. Another example is the opportunity data profiling offers to cleanse your files of incorrect or unused data. Particularly if you’re migrating from a legacy system in place for many years, there could be thousands of errors in the data that will bog down the schedule with testing errors.

    Manually performing this kind of data profiling is possible, but bringing in a data migration expert will accelerate your ability to pinpoint data issues through the use of sophisticated query tools.  In addition, expert data profiling ensures that you’ve captured the most important data issues, especially those that might put your organization at risk post-conversion.

    Correct profiling will filter out unnecessary data, extra validations and legacy data linkages, dependencies.

    Truth #2:  How Good is Your Data?

    Data is generally considered high quality if it is fit for use.  "Data cleansing" is the process to improve data quality.

    Data cleansing represents both small changes, like ensuring dates are in the correct format, and complex changes, such as de-duping records. Data cleansing is often seen as an opportunity by organizations, to clean up files before a technology conversion.  However, defining, prioritizing, and executing against it can be a real challenge.

    Here’s some of the questions to guide your data migration team’s analysis:

    • How much of your existing data is accurate & inaccurate?
    • What are the data update intervals and which process(es) update the data?
    • Is your data compliant with current regulations?
    • Are data attributes consistent across all datasets?
    • Should you convert all data, regardless if the original use case still exists?
    • Are data formats consistent across all datasets ? (for e.g. Date Format, Currency Decimal places etc.)

    Truth #3:  The False Promise of Lift and Shift

    Can you imagine plugged in, turned on, and ready to go business technologies? That’s just not ever going to happen.  Then why do we believe data can be lifted and shifted?

    Lift and Shift is a just myth and if anyone guarantees that data migration from source to target will work by L & S method is simply telling a lie. The truth is that successful data validation requires a thorough output mapping between the  source and target systems. Ensuring your team has a deep understanding of its new technology, either through vendor training or working with a third-party expert can be a critical factor to a successful conversion. Once completed, a comparison between the source and target system outputs is defined, variances noted, and rank ordered.

    Now, armed with real information, your organization can better define its data validation scope. In our experience, time spent testing data unnecessarily, without prioritizing data migration risk, is one of the major causes of implementation delays. This causes coding, implementation delays, additional regression testing cycles, and increases the likelihood the product launch schedule will be interrupted.

    Truth #4:  Testing is Subjective

    The truth is that it may not be possible to completely test a new application. You are going to end up going live with some degree of errors.  We understand the dynamics of financial institutions and the desire for an error-free implementation. These demands often result in over-testing where every single field, attribute, and condition is a test case. This kind of approach is not just inefficient, but also time consuming and does little to improve implementation quality.

    The question is then, is how do you decide what to test? This is where all the previous activities bear fruit. With a proper understanding of your source system data, assurance of data quality, and effective output-mapping, you’ll be ready to make these decisions with confidence. However, at this point in the process, if you still lack confidence, consider the following:

    • If the target system is mature, consider presuming that all core functionality works as defined and focus on any customization or areas of high processing complexity.
    • If the target system is immature, consider running the source and target systems in parallel for some period in order to focus testing on variances between the two.
    • At a minimum, clean the source system data of inaccuracies, unused fields, and inactive records.
    • Consider bringing in an outside domain expert to work in partnership with your team.

    Are You Ready?  Take the Quiz and Find Out

    This is our Readiness Quiz.  It will help you determine how closely your perception of readiness is to your actual readiness.  The way to use it is to rate your readiness on a scale of Very Ready to Not Ready.  Once completed, it will help you to see more clearly the strengths and weaknesses of your organization relative to its ETL plan.

    Feel free to cut this quiz out and share it with your planning/steering committees.  It’s based on our decades-long experience of guiding organizations to better understand their readiness for the big work ahead of them.

    Data-migration-blog_GLF_Table

    In Summary

    The four truths about data migration/validation are:

    Data-migration-blog_GLF_4

    Organizations undertake data migrations for any number of reasons. These include everything from an entire system upgrade to establishing a new data warehouse to merging new data from an acquisition.

    In today’s competitive environment, data is not only the fuel that drives your processes, but it’s the key to unlocking the value in new technologies. The question to ask yourselves is this: are you ready?

    In our experience, we’ve found that organizations often under-estimate the effort to effectively migrate data and minimize data validation risks.  This is usually the case because rigorous data quality protocols were either not put in place or have degraded over time.   Another challenge is ensuring your team has access to knowledgeable domain and application experts that can effectively put data into its proper context for analysis.

    Our Readiness Quiz should give you a better picture of how well your organization understands its source data and how prepared you are for the ETL.  If you’d like to discuss its results with our team of experts, we’re here to help make sense of it all.

    October 28, 2020
  • Digital Account Opening: Top 5 Implementation Challenges Banks face

    The current global scenario has limited Banks in their capabilities to physically onboard the clients.

    Since the New-Normal, why has a Digital Account Opening solution begun to rule the Banking world?

    With multiple behemoths in the industry looking to throw their proverbial hats into the digital ring, Banks and Financial Institutions (FIs) alike are now under pressure to innovate and step up their digital game. To sustain their businesses within the prevalent markets, Banks should steer towards scaling their customer acquisition by delivering a seamless Digital Account Opening (DAO) experience.

    However, implementing a true DAO solution is easier said than done. In fact, a research by Gartner indicates that 96 percent of customers who are forced to put considerable effort into an interaction become more disloyal.

    Banks need to provide their customers with a seamless user experience as they have come to expect with all of their products and services.

    In 2009, online account opening was just moving into the early mass market and was a “nice to have” feature for many financial institutions unlike in today’s COVID times. By 2014, DAO was no longer a luxury, but a differentiator for banks or credit unions. However, since the pandemic, Digital Account Opening is a mandatory service which Banks are providing.

    Implementing a near perfect DAO solution can be an uphill battle, but there are more than a few good reasons that can incentivize Financial Institutions to transition faster towards such a digital banking service.

    The DAO solution provides Banks the opportunity to increase their revenue and adoption rates. It increases switching costs, allowing your Bank to stay ahead of the competition by getting new customers, while retaining existing ones.

    Moreover, organizations across the board that utilized DAO experienced a 16% market growth. The digitally shy institutions, however, saw a 9% decline in revenue growth year over year.

    DAO solutions also give Banks the opportunity to eliminate account opening barriers. An online account opening system lets your customers open accounts from the comfort of their homes. Banks can leverage this functionality to offer better customer service and an overall better user experience. The online solution allows financial organizations to scale customer acquisition and eventually reduce the acquisition cost.

    The 5 Technical Challenges Banks need to overcome for an effective Digital Account Opening Solution

    According to Digital Banking Report , the abandonment rate for Digital Account Opening stands at 19%. This rate increases exponentially as the time required to complete the application increases. Ideally, the online account opening process should take less than ten minutes with help of very little documentation and via better user experience.

    However, deploying a Digital Account Opening system does not equate to a rising application volume.

    Why?

    At Go-Live Faster, we’ve identified the 5 major hurdles for Banks attempting to launch their own DAO solution.

    An Ineffective Process Design

    Ineffective Process Design - Challenge 1 for Digital Account Opening Implementation

    Banks and Financial Institutions (FIs) must not try to replicate their offline onboarding process to the online account opening services.

    The reality, however, is that it takes little information to open an account. Restructuring the process for the simplest account opening and funding will allow Banks to reduce risks while complying with regulatory requirements.

    Designing a successful Digital Account Opening Solution requires out of the box solutions to optimize the customer workflow in a way that can help your Bank increase application volume.

    Poor User Experience

    Top-5-Challenges_DAO_2

    Research suggests that completing the Digital Account Opening Process should take less than ten minutes.

    The components of an effective Digital Account Opening Process include:
    1. A simplified data entry process
    2. Instant Account approval
    3. Immediate Account Funding
    4. Digital ID verification
    5. Optimized multichannel onboarding
    6. Pre-verified User / Existing Customer opening new account for his immediate family member or new business account opening should be simpler as compared to new DAO
    More often than not Banks do not address all 5 components while deploying their Digital Account Opening Solutions. That’s why, with a global Fintech solution provider such as Go-Live Faster, Banks can overcome critical issues faced in:
    1. Digital ID verification
    2. KYC Checks
    3. Workflow Integration
    4. Unstable Legacy Systems
    5. Core Banking systems when updating client's onboarding details

    Inadequate Integrations

    Top-5-Challenges_DAO_3

    The third major challenge Financial Institutions face while implementing their DAO solutions is failing to integrate their entire digital ecosystem.

    Integrating workflows without considering the edge cases and exceptions often results in manual intervention. To avoid shooting yourself in the foot, it is important for your IT vendors to support all interfaces in use.

    Remember to focus on the following integrations:
    1. KYC
    2. IDV
    3. Core

    Not Validating for Broken Workflows

    Not Validating Broken Workflows

    The high abandonment rate on DAO solutions is correlated to the unforeseen exceptions triggered in the production environment.

    These exceptions add to a poor user experience. They also result in an increase in the number of iterations a Banks’ DAO solution has to undergo, which leads to building costs and perhaps even a delayed launch of the priority features.

    It’s important to proactively identify such issues to minimize losses and accelerate the launch of your Bank’s DAO solutions. This can be achieved by leveraging Go-Live Faster’s domain expertise, analyzing the DAO workflow from Digital literate Layman’s perspective, and understanding the possible break areas and how to handle ‘What-If’ scenarios.

    Not Measuring what Matters

    Not measuring what matters - Digital Account Opening Challenge 5

    It’s vital that Banks realize that DAO implementation is not a one-time activity. Like with any other IT system, testing and tweaking your DAO solution is critical to maximizing its efficiency.

    By continuously monitoring your online account opening solution, it’s possible to proactively identify and eliminate any errors within the solution.

    However, creating the best possible DAO solution mandates measuring the right metrics to aptly cater to your customers’ needs. We recommend measuring the following metrics post your Digital Account Opening solution’s implementation.
    1. Offline and Online customer acquisition rate
    2. The abandonment rate at each checkpoint
    3. The average time taken at each checkpoint
    This information will guide your strategic decisions and ensure that your Bank prioritizes the features and services that matter the most. By measuring such metrics, you will be also be able to:
    1. Identify the reasons for abandonment
    2. Analyze issues in the user experience
    3. Figure out how to minimize the average time for each user activity

    Conclusion

    The more progressive Financial Institutions have been looking at DAO initiatives as a competitive advantage. While designing their DAO solutions, Banks should employ design thinking to create a better digital experience for its customers. Such a thought process ensures that the end consumer is at the center of this new experience, reducing the probability of making mistakes.

    Go-Live Faster’s experts can help your bank identify a heat-map highlighting the top 10 used workflows and provide unique solutions to improve all your online banking solutions. Serving Banks since the last 14 years, in USA, our domain experts will help you make the right decisions while balancing any risks during your project implementations.

    It’s time for your Bank to Go-Live Digital!

    October 16, 2020

If you are looking for someone who can help you accelerate your time to market on product releases look no further. Get in touch with us today to explore our scientific and analytical reports derived from our proprietary technology!

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