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    Using Big Data to Drive Big Decisions

    Not long ago, you might not have considered data or analytics to be crucial to success. But in this digital age, the power of technology is essential. The field of data analytics is increasingly important for gaining a competitive edge, and the applications are almost endless. Not only can analytics help companies reduce guesswork by making data-driven decisions — and saving money in the process — robust analytics can also help inform long- and short-term strategies.

    However, while data can be relatively easy for most companies to acquire, many businesses struggle to properly manage it. Aggregation and reporting tools can process basic pieces of intelligence, making large volumes of data easier to interpret. Most data analytics tools offer built-in dashboards that enable users to organize and visualize key performance indicators (KPIs) in a given area.

    When it comes to interpreting big data, machine learning can help companies identify patterns and inconsistencies. Such tools can empower leaders to gain deeper insights into factors influencing their business — for example, linking payment patterns to industry trends.
    With the right volume of information, analytics can also be used to forecast trends. This can help companies get a better handle on projected revenue or the value of certain products to ensure competitive pricing.

    On the financial side, analytics can help convert data into tangible recommendations. For instance, if your capital reserves reach a certain level compared with market trends, your accounting department can recommend a cap on cash spending or alert leaders to investment opportunities.

    Such tools can also be invaluable when it comes to marketing and customer experience. For example, if your forecasting model shows a potential turnover in your customer base, an algorithm can trigger an outreach initiative to help you improve retention. Historical data can also be applied to tailor ads to customer segments, enabling companies to better reach the right audience.

    Ultimately, data can help organizations better understand the big picture. But while such tools can be informative, analytics can’t replace the power of people. When it comes to interpreting data, remember that context is key. And local experience is simply invaluable.

    At Regions Bank, our team of Commercial Banking relationship managers can help you navigate opportunities to maximize data by helping to improve daily operations and long-term planning. To learn more about Regions’ work in Commercial Banking, visit regions.com/commercial-banking.
    Draper Stanford is Senior Vice President and Commercial Banking Relationship Manager, Regions Bank. You can contact him at Draper.Stanford@regions.com.
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