Business Intelligence: The Next Frontier

Analytics: The next FrontierNot too long ago, most astronomers and experts believed that the Milky Way was the only galaxy in the universe.  Beyond our own galaxy was an infinite nothingness – absent of warmth, stars, and light.

As telescopes have evolved, so too has our understanding as to just how large, detailed, and complex the universe really is.  In a very short period of time, our understanding of what lies in the universe completely changed.  And still – whether we knew about them or not, those stars and distant galaxies have always been there.  They did not suddenly appear.  Instead, our use of technology has opened our eyes to a truth that has always been there.

For decades, collection processes have been built on platforms that warehouse extensive amounts of data.  Similar to the analogy of the stars, while this information has always been there, it has not been until more recently that we have had the tools to uncover these hidden truths to improve our businesses and to make lasting change.

While exciting, it can also be a little overwhelming, and perhaps intimidating, to begin to look at business in a new way.  After all, our industry has been around for a long time and we have established operations and processes that have worked well for years.  Collections today, as we know however, is very different from what it was years ago and is evolving at a rapid rate.  Increased challenges require increased innovation.

Here are a few tips that will help to get you started:

Go Beyond the Surface

We have had access to surface-level information for a long time.  Liquidation Rate has become kind of a gold standard, and while important, provides very little information.

Take the next step in looking at the reasons behind performance.  What information does your client provide during the loading process?  How does that compare against the rest of your business?  Are your recoveries being paid to the agency or to your client?  Are you getting a return on the letters and phone calls you are sending?  What activity appears to generate the most inbound calls and payments?

Less Can Actually Be More
While there are many advantages with getting into more detail with your operations, more information is not always better.  Make sure that you are focused on the right detail.  How will a specific metric impact your operations?  Try to cut down on bombarding yourself with information that will not impact your decision-making in any way.  It’s pretty easy to get caught up in adding more and more information.  Try to maintain what you are looking at and ensure the information you are reviewing is something you actively use.  If it’s not, what would be better?

Share, Share, Share
Information reviewed and acted on by a single individual will in many cases cut down on your ability to make a meaningful change.  Again, you don’t want your staff to be bombarded by information that does not impact decisions, but you do want them to be onboard.  Once you have ensured that you are focused on the right information, don’t keep it to yourself.  We tend to best excel at those areas that are tracked and shared – there is a reason for that.

In the end, the important key is to act and take advantage of the latest technology we now have before us.  While the stars have always been there, if someone does not first look through the telescope, we will never learn anything new about them.  By focusing with your teams on getting beyond the surface, and focusing on the right detail, you may find untapped horizons that you never even knew were there.

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