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12:33 PM
Marty Loughlin, Wall Street & Technology
Marty Loughlin, Wall Street & Technology

5 Ways Semantic Technology Is Transforming the Financial Services Industry

Semantic search intuitively finds and connects relevant data across the enterprise. Innovation in this technology is helping organizations simplify and transform operations.

After many years focused on reducing costs, financial service organizations are once again seeking to grow revenue. However, in the intervening years, the business environment has changed dramatically, and these organizations face significant new challenges on the journey back to growth.

First, we are in a new era of rapidly evolving regulatory oversight. Organizations must not only comply with an ever-growing list of compliance and reporting requirements, they must also testify to the quality of the data they report on. Second, savvy consumers, many of whom grew up in the age of user-friendly apps and instant data access, are demanding better service and products tailored to their individual needs.

Responding to these new challenges will require massive business and IT transformation. In particular, these organizations will need to change how they track, manage, and consume data. For many organizations, this data is not easily accessible -- it is distributed across the organization, often trapped in local business units, applications, data warehouses, spreadsheets, and documents.

Traditional technologies are struggling to address this challenge and many believe a new approach is required. Some of the new big-data solutions do help. They are good at liberating and colocating data. However, they often struggle to make it usable. Creating a "data lake" where rigid structure is not required can result in yet another silo of unusable data where context, meaning, and sources are lost. Many organizations are turning to semantic technology for the answer.

Semantic technology has been around since the late 90s but has recently gained momentum as enterprise-quality applications have emerged that make it operationally viable. Briefly, semantic technology enables data to be described, managed, and consumed in an agile, standardized, human-friendly, and machine-readable way.

While search technology allows you to find data, semantic technology enables you to find it, understand it, link it, and take action on it. It is rapidly becoming a data "power tool" for financial services, offering agility and access to data not easily available before.

Following are five ways semantic technology is simplifying and transforming operations in the financial industry.

1. Selling more products and services
For most organizations, the easiest path to new revenue is to sell more to existing customers. To sell to your customers, you must first know them -- who they are, what they buy, how they interact with you, and how they feel about your products and services.

Semantic technology unlocks and links silos of diverse customer data (accounts, transactions, interactions, and social media) to create a combined 360-degree view of customer interactions that can be used to make specific, individualized recommendations for the next best action. For example, mining call center transcripts for important life events like marriage or births and cross-referencing this information against the customer's business interactions can be used to recommend new and relevant products.

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