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Oct 30, 2014 11:00:00 AM

Why Big Data is a Big Deal for Banks (And How to Use It)

Recently, I had the privilege of discussing The Big Deal About Big Data at the 2014 Louisiana Bankers Association Technology Conference. While the topic of Big Data historically has been discussed primarily in the halls of the marketing department, more and more, it is becoming a strategic focus across the organization. The reasons for that are many, but as always, the numbers tell the most convincing story. 

60% of financial institutions in North America believe that big data analytics offers a significant competitive advantage and 90% think that successful big data initiatives will define the winners in the future.

(Capgemini, April 2014) 

Big Data constitutes a competitive advantage for organizations, and everyone is jumping in on the game. The topic has loomed large on the radars of bank executives for the past year, and adoption rates are picking up. In a recent Microsoft/Celent poll, 37% of financial institutions responded that they have either implemented or are currently expanding their Big Data efforts. And of those banks with active Big Data strategies already in place, 25% are already working to expand their analytics. 

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Topics: Electronic Health Records, Healthcare Data, Louisiana Bankers Association

Jul 10, 2014 10:30:00 AM

Winning with Big Data

Data is more prevalent than ever, but according to a report from EMC and Forrester Research organizations are just starting to scratch the surface with only utilizing less than 5% of their available information. The biggest barrier holding organizations back is cost of implementation. However, the advances in Big Data technologies and techniques are making it easier than ever for companies to tap into that previously elusive 95 percent of data.

Those organizations navigating this change well are discovering that the more big data they can leverage for strategy and insight, the greater success they have in taking their business to the next level. 

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Topics: Healthcare Data

Jul 3, 2014 11:39:00 AM

The Big Deal About Big Data

Make no mistake; Big Data is the business/technology/marketing buzzword of recent years. Ironic, because there’s so much debate about what that term means and even more discussion about what you can do with it.  

Big data is a collection of data from traditional and digital sources inside and outside your company that represents a source for ongoing discovery and analysis. (Forbes) 

It really doesn’t sound too complicated, does it? Put simply, Big Data is information your bank can use to inform strategy. The complexity arises in knowing how to identify useful data, knowing how to use and control the volume of information, and understanding risks and benefits. 

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Topics: Internal Controls, Healthcare Data

Apr 2, 2014 10:30:00 AM

It’s 2AM, Do You Know Who’s On Your Network?

In light of the recent data breach at Target, IT risk buzz words are swirling the banking industry, and rightly so. The cost of a security breach can cripple any business and, certainly, a financial institution. 

The Target breach has cost banks at least $200 million related to card reissuance and increased customer service activity with impacted account holders. So far, there are approximately 80 lawsuits against Target by banks and consumers, in hopes of recovering losses.


You may be thinking to yourself, “Only the largest banks and card issuers have the same exposure to hacking or cybercrime as a retail giant such as Target.” While the largest companies have more PCs, network devices, and people (via social engineering) to hack, organizations of all sizes are vulnerable.

In fact, the root of the Target breach was traced to a 125 employee, privately held HVAC contractor doing business with Target. The contractor was connected to Target’s systems using an EDI-type interface for invoicing refrigeration services. Hackers compromised the HVAC contractor’s IT system and piggy backed into Target's network.

While you can’t control the security of cardholder data outside of your networks, financial institutions can significantly reduce the impact of a large scale breach by implementing a sound risk management program. Such a program incorporates active network security monitoring, vendor risk monitoring and incident response handling.

As a start to assessing your IT risk universe, financial institutions should answer the following three questions:

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Topics: Risk Assessment, Healthcare Data

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