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Business Intelligence Is a Big Win for Kleberg Bank

By: Brad Womack

The bank monitors and retains key Reg E revenue, improves staff accountability and decisionmaking, and increases topline revenue using business intelligence technology.

As a community bank, we at Kleberg Bank of Kingsville, Texas, believe that investing in the best talent and technology is a key strategy for delivering superior, consistent customer service. Despite the potential business intelligence held for us, we struggled with the expense and complexity associated with typical BI implementations. We were also concerned about issues related to connecting the technology with our existing banking data systems.

Fortunately, the solution we selected was quick to deploy and integrate with our existing systems, easily paying for itself within 12 months and becoming a launching point for making decisions at Kleberg Bank. Its data integrity and timeliness are outstanding, and we are confident that the data reconciles with our Jack Henry system at any time. The result? Our executives trust the numbers, and our banking staff makes better, more proactive decisions.

How did we do it?

Like many banks, we were using a cumbersome combination of Microsoft Excel and other software applications, such as IBM/Cognos, for reporting and analysis. Despite the excessive amount of time spent compiling and fine-tuning, the output often was aesthetically displeasing, with static, rigid reports that were incomplete or inaccurate. Reconciling information from different bank systems was difficult or impossible, so management held little trust in the numbers and was reluctant to drive decisions based on the data.

To build confidence in trusted information and to improve performance, we needed an easier, automated, accurate method to pull secure, integrated data that could be quickly understood and leveraged by anyone in the bank. After evaluating several solutions, we selected the SwiftKnowledge for Banking BI application because of its ease-of-use, fast rollout, out-of-the-box core system integrations, pre-built bank reports and dashboards, and data drill-down. Relevant banking data is seamlessly combined and available for analysis without sacrificing data integrity.

Before, retrieving basic income statement, balance sheet and general ledger report information was difficult because of the massive amount of spreadsheet data, the confusing outputs and the looming risk of human error. Now, we quickly and accurately see daily trends in income/expenses whenever needed, rather than manually maintaining multiple spreadsheets on only a monthly basis.

Our banking BI software also plays a key role in how we monitor key revenue such as overdraft fees. The Reg E changes requiring opt-in approval from customers for overdrafts were easily tracked, so we use our BI solution to find out in minutes — rather than days — Reg E’s impact on this important revenue stream.

We can compare non-sufficient funds and overdraft protection income fee trends during any time interval, both before and after the implementation of Reg E, to measure the regulation’s impact on our results, compare results over time and attempt to identify catalysts for shifts. Without BI, we would have had to systematically review and pull into Excel daily transactions — a manual effort requiring many man hours. Instead, we complete this analysis in minutes and easily spot changes in overdraft income.

With this software, we now enjoy a new level of account retention transparency; we can easily review new/closed accounts and customer balance activity by banking center on a daily and monthly basis, rather than compiling the information by hand only once per month, on a center-by-center basis. Using BI, our management team monitors each banking center’s daily customer account performance and is able to intercede into problems before it is too late.

A bonus of this new account retention transparency is that our staff now receives real-time performance recognition, creating a healthy environment of competition among the banking centers; they monitor metrics on a daily basis and compete to be in the top spot. In addition, managers spend less time manually analyzing data, so they have more time to reward high performers, manage under-performing centers and coach under-performing employees.

In the past, we found it difficult to retrieve individual loan portfolio information because the core system lacked drill-down capability and required manual effort to format reports. Using the technology, we set up portfolio trackers so larger commercial banking and private banking staff can review portfolios as often as required and see growth trends over time. This data is now readily available daily and reviewed every month, and when necessary, followed up on daily, creating a new expectation of accountability for lending and account opening staff.

Our BI technology also powers our community banking model, where regional managers and local supervisors access updated results every day to quickly compare and contrast performance between the 11 banking centers. Consequently, centers can accurately track results against those of their sister centers, while upper management can better manage Kleberg’s overall performance.

The trusted information has dramatically and positively impacted our bank culture. We grasped how to use the system pretty quickly and recognized its benefits. SwiftKnowledge for Banking has quickly become an important tool used by our executive management team and bankers on a daily basis. It helps us to effectively provide the exemplary, personalized customer service on which Kleberg Bank was built.

Brad Womack is vice president and controller at Kleberg Bank, www.klebergbank.com.

Copyright © August 2011 BankNews Media


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