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How to reduce operational costs with Drive

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Our customer data analysis platform, Drive, launched at the end of 2023 and, already, the profound value of our newest AI-powered technology is clear. 

Sitting in the unique crosspoint between customer-centric, data-driven decisions and simplified, low-cost access to such data, Drive enables financial institutions to reduce their operational costs without compromising on quality of service.

But, as financial services professionals, many feel a natural sense of curiosity when it comes to unfamiliar innovation. 

Could this product help your fintech to better compete with the market? Could it really provide enough ROI to large-scale institutions to reflect genuine value? 

In this piece, Bud’s VP of Product, Jakub Piotrowski, offers his insights on how Drive can help financial institutions reduce their operational costs while simultaneously boosting offerings and building loyalty with customers. 

What is Drive?

Before we begin, let us introduce you to Drive: Bud’s newest AI-powered customer data platform. Drive democratises access to data, maximises operational efficiency and helps uncover limitless opportunities for growth. This means you can act at the right time, every time.

Enabling companies to identify high-impact segments, the Drive’s AI core creates automated suggestions to deliver personalised messages and offers, plus organisational growth.

How does Drive work? 

By building on the transaction enrichment that underpins all of our open banking technology, Drive layers additional data exploration and analysis features onto our already extensive suite of solutions. 

To make it accessible for everyone, an essential part of Drive is Drive Copilot, a genAI-based chatbot-style interface that gives employees of financial institutions access to data instantly. Drive Copilot queries customer data to devise segments and strategies to target customers with next-best-action initiatives. 

How Drive can reduce operational costs for a growing fintechs

Having spoken to relevant stakeholders within small but scaling financial institutions, we found that a large proportion of resources are aimed at developing a reliable data baseline. By uncovering creative ways to use data, both in the development of services and to benefit customers, fintechs can do exactly that. 

As most small fintechs are young businesses, this type of organisation has a clear advantage over legacy enterprises – their cloud-based set-up makes it easier to scale. The core features of the business fall to established team members, and teams often recruit for new hires in order to mine the data and generate insights. But here is where the bottleneck often lies. 

Without an established tool or process to instantly access the data required, it can become overwhelming for new hires to develop their own methodology, taxonomy and process. Let alone keep up with all of the data access requests. 

This is where Drive offers tangible benefits. 

It offers a tool that automatically accesses the data that teams need, and presents it without requiring manual sifting or sorting. Drive eliminates the need to test and create these new processes, which instantly boosts productivity across the organisation. 

Moreover, high quality, reliable insights enable small fintech businesses to work at the capacity that suits them, scaling when necessary. Jakub estimates that with increasing data sets and growing numbers of requests, data departments can be at least 25% more productive, accelerating growth while keeping cost at bay.

Understanding Drive’s potential impact on mid-sized institutions

The term ‘mid-sized’ institutions is often misleading, because these are often very well-established companies that work with hundreds of thousands of customers internationally. These companies have not scaled to enterprise level (yet) –  but with Drive, they could get there. 

Jakub has found that the typical set-up at medium-sized institutions involves at least 50 dedicated data scientists, engineers and analysts. Often using a mix of third party vendor systems and in-house processes, these organisations require incredible co-ordination as data travels from one source to another – creating the need for ad-hoc requests that ultimately result in bottlenecks. 

The key challenge for stakeholders in these organisations is that this manual workaround for data retrieval creates an underestimated level of extra work. For example, the retrieval of data, its classification and reports might require manual transfer between five different systems. 
Here, the impact of Drive is evident: it could simply replace the existing infrastructure, transforming medium-sized institutions from evolved legacies to modern, cloud-based systems. 

In fact, Jakub estimates that the combined personnel, software and hardware eliminations could easily lead to seven-figure savings. 

Data analysts wouldn’t be required to consolidate the information through a data warehouse, let alone suffer with expensive, yet inefficient legacy systems. By partnering with Bud, Drive clients simply shake off the pressure of competing in the digital evolution – they’re already at the forefront.

The value of Drive at enterprise level

Through Jakub’s many conversations with stakeholders at enterprise level, he has learned about the typical data department setup at large institutions such as retail banks.. It often involves bringing in entire organisations that provide centralised, streamlined access. At Natwest, for example, there are 2,500 individuals employed to analyse data for both internal and external clients. 

Large enterprises tend to have a siloed and rigid approach to working with data. It is often very much driven by the technology landscape, with core banking platforms, mainframes and data marts dictating how responsibilities are split. 

In this setup, any request (especially ad-hoc) tends to be expensive and requires significant communication overheads. Because of that, tracking the cost is important. In fact, it’s such a major consideration that employees often avoid asking questions, and exploratory work where the outcomes are uncertain or need to be proven is avoided.

Democratising access to data organisation wide

The most successful, data-driven initiatives are often driven by internal or external consultants, where cutting across departments and spending on research is possible and encouraged. But even those depend on being able to access and interpret data, which often heavily involves data domain experts to generate extracts or write queries. 

This approach leads to a lack of consistent, high-quality insights and is therefore a waste of resources, with at least 1 in 10 data analysts focused on easy-to-automate tasks. 

Instead, Drive serves internal clients with direct data access, which removes the need for data operators to go back and forth. By eliminating this easily automated role, enterprise companies can redirect their talent as Drive takes over the day-to-day data queries. 

In this way, these enterprises can continue to compete with leaner and younger organisations, by channelling their budget into innovation. 

Discover how Drive could transform your business today

Whatever the size of your business, partnering with Bud can help it to become both customer-centric and data-driven. 

Unlock the ability to automate personalisation and track customer performance against real data. Reduce the cost of serving clients, and empower your employees to get the data they need, directly from the source. 

Reduce the burden on your data department when you partner with Bud and experience Drive.

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