Why every Fintech should think about data from the beginning
Fintech is a lucrative sector right now, and it’s expected to grow to $31.5 trillion by 2026. No wonder startups want in on the action. However, it is also one of the most challenging niches to enter.
Endless regulations, competitive markets, risky new technologies and financial challenges are just some of the things that can derail even the best fintech ideas.
But a key challenge that can often be an afterthought is your BI data. But for a fintech to succeed in moving from the start-up stage to the scale-up stage, it must ensure that data analysis and BI are in place.
Although you may not have a lot of data at the start of your fintech journey, if you are successful (and I hope you are) then, believe me, you will have a lot of the stuff.
Let me outline why I passionately believe that CEOs and CTOs of fintechs should be thinking about data from the beginning.
You’ll be surprised (and incredibly pleased) at how quickly your user base can grow
In terms of experience, you will be surprised at how quickly the number of users grows on your platform. And with each new user comes more and more data.
More users = more data = more demand for access to the data.
In short, as your user base continues to grow, so does the demand for access to timely information in the form of visual storyboards, interactive reports and analytics. This will start to put pressure on your product management and development teams and will eventually increase your backlog.
The key then is to ensure your platform and team are ready.
So, what’s the best way to be ready for this tidal wave? The best way is to make sure you think about data from the beginning.
Why data and business intelligence are key from the start
There is no underestimating the value data can bring to your business and your customers. Data presented to users at the right time and with the right focus can be so powerful.
In short, if you start early – you will learn quickly.
Your Dev and DevOps teams will learn how to best build your data stack to support analytical queries, whether in real-time against your application or via a dedicated data lake or warehouse.
Your product management team will start to see (and hopefully hear) how the analytics are helping your customers. They will discover which ones work, which ones need refining, and how they will also begin to get more feedback on other potential customer requirements.
And your customer success team will start to see their customer success metrics trend in the right direction.
As an interesting side note, you don’t have to deliver everything from day one. You can start with a well-placed visual storyboard (nice name for a dashboard!) that is focused on the user’s role and secured to their data permissions.
Even a well-placed “big number” or “trend chart” embedded in the right workflow can add great value.
In summary, the benefit of thinking about your data from the start is huge. The more data you collect, the more you can analyze, improving your products and services, attracting more customers and deepening the ones you already have.
So how do companies think about data from the start?
Embedded analytics as a key enabler
Embedded analytics has emerged as one of the most powerful and modern key opportunities to disrupt the way fintech organizations leverage massive data produced on a daily basis.
Through the use of embedded analytics, fintechs can connect multiple databases at the source and display real-time data inside their application. That way, users no longer have to switch to another application—for example, a dashboard or a BI tool itself—to look at data. Instead, APIs connect embedded analytics to the host application.
Essentially, this gives them a self-service business intelligence solution, shifting most of their team’s time away from producing reports and managing data – back into complex analytics.
And by building into your existing data stack using your branding, it never moves data from the source, ensuring security and governance is maintained.
This goes beyond simple alerting tools: systems with built-in analytics allow users to view visualizations and take a closer look at live data. Some tools even allow you to include graphs and data that can be automatically updated and customized to include your own annotations and scheduled to the minute – giving non-technical users the ability to engage with data.
It gives hundreds of people access to data, as opposed to five or six analysts in the business who then produce reports for the rest of the business.
The fintech industry reached great heights since the arrival of dynamic apps and online services. Disruptive technologies were the need of the hour, and that’s exactly where BI and data analysis came into play.
Companies that know the importance of business intelligence have already started to take advantage of the benefits. For example, Amazon’s popularity, growth and revenue are results of the user experience it provides to consumers – it is clear to see that it considered BI integration long ago.
Leveraging data and BI from the start will help you stay ahead of the growth curve and thus accelerate your bottom line.