Analyzing the applicability of Self-Service BI Tools in the Financial Service Industry

Why should the Financial Services Industry invest in a Self-Service BI Tool

2021-06-25 00:00:00
11 min read

What are Self-Service BI Tools?


As the name suggests, self-service BI tools are designed to be used by any individual within an organization without being heavily reliant on the tech department. Not to imply that these tools will eliminate the need for your data experts, but they do allow a certain level of independence in the sense that you do not have to be a statistical or analytical master, a luxury not available in your traditional BI tools. 


The global self-service BI market is forecasted to grow from USD 3227.2 million in 2020 to USD 9289.9 million by 2027, amounting to a CAGR of 15.8% from 2021-2027, according to MarketWatch. Another MarketWatch 2021 report confirms that BFSI occupies the largest share in this market among other competing industries such as IT, Supply Chain, HR, and many others.

So if you are among the ones who have not yet caught on to the winning trend, read on:

So what exactly is wrong with traditional BI Tools?

The technology that replaces, is always better than the one being replaced. Therefore, the very upsurge of self-service BI is proof that traditional BI is going obsolete because it has less to offer than self-service BI. 

Traditional BI tools are complex, which necessitates its handling only through the technology team. Significant time and effort are required to be invested in data cleaning and extraction, yet results yielded from often large and raw datasets do not satiate the result-yielding potential of data possessed. Insights obtained cannot be drilled down to arrive at the root cause or solution.

Speaking of the finance industry, there is little to no personalization in reports generated, be it for the client-side or facing inward. Standardization of reporting templates and ease of multi-level reporting are implausible propositions. One can often reach out to prospects speaking one particular language only - mostly English. 

Traditional BI tools are also costlier to maintain in the obvious sense of manpower required. But perhaps the more important thing is the cost the organisation incurs when you fail to arrive at the right decisions in real-time. 

One would conclude that while there is nothing wrong with traditional BI tools, it is the evolution of data in terms of size and complexity and how organizations use it today that necessitates analytics which is beyond the scope of traditional BI tools.

Addressing the question - Here’s why you need a Self-Service BI Tool

Your data is capable of producing so much more than you are currently extracting from it, and so much faster. 

1. Intelligent automation that requires minimal to zero human involvement is one of the central themes you will witness. Two resulting consequences: hours of mundane labor will be converted into minutes of work, and your tech team can devote themselves to other productive tasks to drive advancement. The creation of standardized financial reports and statements is done through automated report writing software. A welcome feature is the availability of all of this in a multilingual format.

2. Personalized reporting at scale through augmented analytics reporting results in higher employee/customer engagement and ROI. Your clients also view you as a firm that provides enhanced transparency and long-term acceptance. Moreover, the simplicity of the reports means that your clients grasp what their finances convey to them. High-performance employees benefit when they know exactly where they stand as against what is expected of them. They also like it when the personalized report tells them what they need to do to improve their performance.

3. Once you are comfortable enough using it, which you should be in a short period, obtaining granular insights becomes a regular feature during presentations. Your dashboards are no longer filled with visually impressive but, we dare say, superficial conclusions which do not touch the pain points you so desire to address. Given that only 1% of the world’s data is analyzed, it stands to reason that the way to proceed is not to look elsewhere but to look deeper.

4. At the heart of such granular insights are conversational analytics. Drill deeper into the data by asking relevant questions to the data and have it respond to you in real-time. What if you do not know which questions to ask? The system itself recommends relevant questions! Discovering hidden trends within the data which were not believed to even exist is the prime factor that persuades decision-makers to lean on data more than their intuition when making crucial decisions.

5. Self-service BI augments both external and internal processes and performance. Even in dynamic environments, Business Heads have comprehensive reports at their disposal 

Case Study 1 - External Performance

A stockbroking firm in the APAC region catering to 1,00,000+ active customers and employing 6,000+ professionals was generating portfolio reports with no performance metrics. Competitive analysis was missing, so was the ability to translate reports in languages other than English. What Phrazor, an NLG Tool by vPhrase Analytics did, was integrate reporting with the firm’s mobile application to auto-generate personalized and relevant reports in multiple languages. Reports were convertible in various formats such as PDFs along with report-sharing choices such as AV reports and summarized cover emails. The firm reported markedly improved rapport with clients.

Case Study 2 - Internal Performance

A leading private Asian bank with a physical presence in 2,700 cities and a robust digital infrastructure (more than 85% of transactions occurring digitally) found that its employees were investing unsustainable manual efforts in data extraction and report creation from MIS. Real-time analysis of sales reports was unworkable due to data redundancy, and managers found it tedious to create time-consuming reports just for the next senior in charge, who had to undergo the same process. With multi-level reporting also a dilemma, they turned to Phrazor’s augmented analytics for obtaining both comprehensive and detailed data points in natural language. Branch performance reports were compiled and transferred seamlessly to the C-suite. Manual efforts were eliminated and overall deliveries improved substantially. Clear KPI indicators tracked employee performances. Management was able to identify challenges and opportunities in real-time.

6. Data storytelling dashboards revive one of the greatest and most effective forms of communication humans know: stories. Self-service BI converts complex data into human-sounding narratives that do not lose their focused and action-oriented touch. Wealth management firms are optimizing their data through data storytelling dashboards to serve as advisors to their clients. Another benefit of such narrative-based dashboards is the engagement of the non-logical aspect of the human mind, and thus establishes a wholesome foundation for data analysis and interpretation. As Roger Carl Schank, an American cognitive psychologist and AI theorist among other things said: Humans are not ideally set up to understand logic, they are ideally set up to understand stories.”

7. Ready-to-use report templates are available through software like Phrazor. Such templates, designed specifically for the BFSI industry, improve operational efficiency and standardization. Click to view a list of standardized Phrazor reporting templates for BFSI.

Some considerations before setting up your own self-service BI with Phrazor

Pure data-driven decision-making requires some pre-established infrastructure. The requirements are few and necessary. Primarily these include possessing fairly structured data, defined processes, and initial support when operating such tools. The last concern could be done away with for the most part through an onboarding program. Care should also be taken to ensure that the responsibility of reporting does not remain undefined.

Get Phrazor by vPhrase Analytics

Our credibility is well-established in the global financial market with clients like Barclays, Fidelity, ABB, Sanofi, Abbott, Olam, and many more using Phrazor. With Phrazor, you can create personalized financial reports at scale in seconds, along with all the benefits of a modern, dynamic, self-service BI Tool presented above, namely automated, standardized, and highly personalized reporting that is of value for both clients and internal stakeholders, obtaining granular insights and real-time answers to queries, readymade reporting templates and creating a narrative experience, all of which drive optimal use of data, cost efficiencies, and objective decision-making.  


Obtain a hands-on experience by trying Phrazor for free or get in touch with our solutions experts.



About Phrazor

Phrazor empowers business users to effortlessly access their data and derive insights in language via no-code querying