Will the unstructured data explosion burn your financial institution?

Applications for accounts and loans continue to require more verification than ever before, requiring hundreds – or even thousands – of data points for a single credit union member or bank customer. In fact, financial institutions could accumulate nine times more unstructured data than structured data by about 2020, according to The Financial Brand. Worse yet, capturing this important information is painstakingly slow and error-prone.

This gap is often where robotic process automation (RPA) solutions come in.

But what is RPA, other than an industry buzzword? And is AI the same thing?

Let’s take a look.

Repetitive work done well

Robotic process automation is the deployment of software robots to significantly reduce the time, resources and errors associated with repetitive tasks that require workers to change focus between screens, systems and third-party information sources. While the discussion around workplace automation does include some concern about the elimination of jobs, about 80 percent of workers feel that automation will create positive change, according to CreditUnions.com.

For example, RPA solutions help improve the user experience and accelerate digital processes by automating manual, rule-based and repetitive tasks where the human touch does not add business value. Free from these lower-value tasks, employees have the time to focus on important work, like providing better service.

But before jumping into a robotic process automation implementation, financial institutions should evaluate process efficiency on its most basic level. Robotic process automation “will not magically resolve data quality issues or existing platform limitations,” according to The Financial Brand.

After all, automating an inefficient process will still leave you with an inefficient process.

Analytical assistance where you need it most

Artificial intelligence (AI) is all about teaching computers to think and analyze while performing tasks. These technologies may include speech recognition, learning, planning and problem-solving capabilities.

What can AI do for your financial institution?

In addition to these examples, you can use:

  • Chatbots for customer engagement to answer customer questions and make recommendations
  • Analystbots to detect fraud and help manage risk by analyzing portfolios and transactions much faster and more accurately than humans
  • Compliancebots to keep track of laws and regulations in real time, ensuring your institution is complying with regulations

What should you do now?

Now is the time to tackle unstructured data head on.

To do so, follow these steps:

  • Evaluate the efficiency of your current processes at a base level – before automating any tasks
  • Utilize content services to digitize documentation, speed processes and integrate with your core banking system
  • Start researching where RPA and AI solutions could quickly make the most impact for your institution

Robotic process automation and artificial intelligence are more prevalent than you might think. Many financial institutions are already using innovative solutions involving RPA and AI to capture information, stay ahead of regulations and provide the quick and informed service customers and members are looking for.

Don’t fear the data explosion. Harness it.

Rick Hiles

Rick Hiles

Rick Hiles is a team lead in Hyland’s Financial Services group. A graduate of Miami University, Rick has worked for Hyland since 2012.

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