Wealth Management Solutions

Monday, 21 July 2014 14:00

Expose your Dark Data

Written by 
Rate this item
(1 Vote)

Data analytics experts are finding that dark data can be helpful for forecasting customers’ interests and behavior, retaining customers’ loyalty over the long term and to learn how to reach others with similar interests or demographic but; what is it?

Dark data is a subset of big data, it includes information that companies collect, process and store but don't properly utilize, analyze or take advantage of to monetize.

A 2011 IDC study found that the world's digital data is doubling every two years. Although today’s Financial Services organizations are already capturing plenty of useful transactional data there is still additional customer related information that is relevant (aka dark data), often bypassed since organizations are uncertain about such non-transactional unstructured information. This may include investment account usage behaviors, trends in customer usage of online and mobile products and services, customer services satisfaction levels, demographics, etc.

IBM looks at big data in multiple dimensions: volume (amount), variety (types and sources) velocity (speed of transfer in and out) and veracity (accuracy or integrity of the data). SAP's definition includes those four dimensions and adds complexity.

By mining dark data for its true potential, Financial Services firms can obtain a comprehensive profile of a customer which will allow for targeted incentives on new products and services as well as, the ability to experiment with new product offerings to measure acceptance. Currently there is a great deal of geo-location data that can be tapped into to analyze the daily habits of customers for more effectual marketing, product offerings and lead generation. In the travel industry; hotels and airlines have made good use of dark data-driven insights to determine patterns, to respond to customer loyalty trends and award them accordingly. This kind of insight-driven decision-making is fundamental to an effective, customer-centric marketing strategy especially when social media and voice data is included. Analyzing networking topics that are of importance to customers or followers can be valuable information, especially the subjects that create lots of conversations, shares, likes and overall engagement. Besides the obvious marketing benefits mentioned, having the right analytics discipline and processes in place can also help organizations alleviate the concerns of compliance and risk-management. The added information can be used by compliance officers for regulatory investigations, e-discovery collection etc.

The true potential of dark data cannot be overlooked in Financial Services. Utilizing information or data that does not infringe on customers’ privacy should be a part of every strategic plan to help organizations keep pace with the needs and aspirations of individual customers.


Jose Pierre

José Pierre, founder and CEO of Marketware International Inc., leads a firm that provides strategic consulting to both top-tier multinational financial institutions and their vendors as well as turnkey solutions for global trading and portfolio management.


José Pierre founded Marketware International in 1995, based on a vision of developing technology platforms for secure, cost effective, high volume online trading and portfolio management. By 1997, TD Waterhouse, Royal Bank of Canada, CIBC and other top-tier North American firms were clients. In 1999, TD Waterhouse acquired Marketware and Mr. Pierre, as SVP for International Technology for the TD Waterhouse Group, directed the development and delivery of high volume, local securities trading platforms throughout Europe and Asia.

Finance & Investment News

Finance – Knowledge@Wharton

Knowledge@Wharton is the online business analysis journal of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.