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Why every Fintech should think about data from the beginning

Fintech is a lucrative sector right now, and it’s expected to grow to $31.5 trillion by 2026. No wonder startups want to get in on the action. However, it’s also one of the most challenging niches to get into.

Endless regulations, competitive markets, risky new technologies, and economic challenges are just some of the things that can derail even the best fintech ideas.

But one key challenge which can often be an afterthought is your BI data. However, for a fintech to successfully move from the startup stage to the scale-up stage, it needs to ensure data analytics and BI is in place. 

While you may not have much data at the start of your fintech journey, if you’re successful (and I hope you are) then, believe me, you will have lots of the stuff. 

Let me outline why I passionately believe that CEOs & CTOs of fintechs should be thinking about data from the outset.

You will be surprised (and incredibly pleased) at how rapidly your user numbers can grow

From experience, you will be surprised at the speed that user numbers grow on your platform. And with each new user comes more and more data.

More users = more data = more demand for access to the data. 

In short, as your user base continues to grow, so does the demand for access to timely information in the form of visual storyboards, interactive reports, and analytics. This will start to put pressure on your Product Management and Development teams and will ultimately increase your backlog. 

The key then is to ensure your platform and your team is ready.

So, what is the best way to be ready for this tidal wave? The best way is to ensure you are thinking about data from the beginning.

Why data and business intelligence is key from the start

There is no underestimating the value that data can bring to your business and your customers. Data presented to users at the right time and with the right focus can be so powerful. 

In short, if you start early – you will learn quickly.

  • Your Dev and DevOps teams will learn how best to architect your data stack to support analytic queries, whether that is real-time against your application or via a dedicated data lake or warehouse. 

  • Your Product Management team will begin to see (and hopefully hear) how the analytics are helping your customers. They’ll discover which ones are working, which need refining, and how they will also start to garner more feedback about other potential customer requirements. 

  • And your Customer Success team will start to see their customer success metrics trend in the right direction.

As an interesting side note, you do not need to deliver everything from day one. You could start with a well-placed visual storyboard (posh name for a dashboard!) that is focused on the user’s role and secured to their data permissions. 

Even a well-placed “Big Number” or “Trend Chart” embedded in the right workflow can provide huge value.

In summary, the upside of thinking about your data from the start is tremendous. The more data you collect, the more you can analyse, which improves your products and services, attracts more customers and deepens those you already have. 

So how are companies thinking about data from the start?


Embedded analytics as a key enabler

Embedded analytics has emerged as one of the most powerful and modern key enablers to disrupt the way fintech organisations leverage massive data produced on a day-to-day basis. 

Through the use of embedded analytics, fintechs can connect multiple databases at source and display real-time data inside their application. That way, users no longer need to swap into another application – such as a dashboard or a BI tool itself – to look at data. Instead, APIs link embedded analytics to the host application.

Essentially, this provides them with a self-service business intelligence solution, shifting the bulk of the team's time away from producing reports and managing data – back to the complex analytics.

And by embedding into your existing data stack, using your branding, it never moves data from source ensuring security and governance is maintained. 

This goes beyond simple alerting tools: systems with embedded analytics built in allow users to see visualisations and to drill down into live data. Some tools even allow you to include graphs and data that can be automatically updated and personalised to include your own annotations and scheduled to the minute - giving non-technical users the ability to engage with data. 

It gives hundreds of people access to data, opposed to five or six analysts in the business who then produce reports for the rest of the business. 


Wrap up

The fintech industry reached great heights since the arrival of dynamic apps and online services. Disruptive technologies were the need of the hour and that’s exactly where BI and data analytics came into the picture.

Companies that know the importance of business intelligence have already started to harness its benefits. For example, Amazon’s popularity, growth, and revenues are results of the user experience it provides to consumers - it’s clear to see it considered BI integration long ago.

Leveraging data and BI from the start will help you stay ahead of the growth curve thus accelerating your bottom line.


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Zandra Moore

Zandra Moore

Chief Executive Officer


Member since

12 Jul 2018



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