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According to research findings released today by NTT DATA Services, a recognized leader in global technology services, 68% of financial services institutions (FSIs) report that mining and managing data is the most critical challenge for improving the digital customer experience. This article is copyright 2018 The Best Customer Guide.

The report, "Digital CX in 2020: Cracking the Code on Data," found that a myriad of both strategic and data issues loom large as digital customer experience (digital CX) matures.

"FSIs are handling the easy digital tasks well - checking balances, paying bills, monitoring savings and opening credit cards," said Lisa Woodley, Vice President, Customer Experience, FSI Business Consulting for NTT DATA Services. "However, the challenge remains in accessing, mining and analyzing the kind of data needed to start connecting the dots for the consumer. FSIs will have to evolve how they think about and manage data if they want to quench the consumer's thirst for personalization, customization and financial guidance."

In September 2017, NTT DATA surveyed online 1,102 consumers and 102 financial services institutions, including bankers, insurers and wealth managers, to understand digital CX priorities, current challenges and areas for improvement.

Key study findings included:

  • 61% of consumers demand that the digital experience with their bank, insurance carrier and wealth management firm improve.
  • More than half (55%) of FSIs believe that digital CX is the most important part of the customer experience - improving customer retention, customer service and customer acquisition.

However, FSIs struggle to use data and analytics to elevate the digital customer experience:

  • 61% of financial institutions lack a vision for what to do with data
  • 47% are unable to mine the data
  • 55% can't deploy the data
  • 51% don't have the proper analytics in place to act on the data

Privacy and security of data remain major challenges for FSIs:

  • 70% report data privacy as a major challenge
  • 64% report security as major a challenge

The top five data challenges for FSIs are:

  • Turning data into actionable information (56%)
  • Organizing and managing data (51%)
  • Integrating data across product channels (46%)
  • Maintaining data quality (44%)
  • Managing real time interaction data (36%)

FSIs forecast limited increases in digital CX investment. Nearly half of FSIs surveyed (47%) expect budgets for IT projects to support digital CX to increase by 5-10% in 2018. However, 8% say they will cut digital CX budgets.

"When it comes to investment in digital CX overall, FSIs are spending just enough to stay competitive," added Woodley. "With this level of spending, we believe that most FSIs can deliver only basic digital CX - meeting rudimentary requirements for ease of use, but little more. There is a definite gap between what companies want to do and what they are actually budgeting to do."

To download a copy of the report, visit: