Data science in financial services is a sector that helps professionals analyze market trends to increase profitability. Because of the boom in information about consumers, financial institutions can make seasoned predictions on spending, investments, and business growth. As a result, these institutions can offer enhanced services to their clients. Professionals who specialize in this important analysis are known as data scientists. They are trained to assess a large amount of data and offer reports on how this data can best serve their clients’ needs. A look at the most important roles of data science in financial services can provide insight on how this field impacts the monetary world.
Sentiment analysis plays one of the most cutting-edge roles in data science in financial services. This methodology uses analytics to assess how consumers feel about products, services, or trends. Because this analysis uses broad data to provide a complete picture of how individuals feel, sentiment analysis is also called “opinion mining.” Sentiment analysis uses language processing and behavioral analysis to report on consumer opinions about a brand’s products and reputation. For example, a data scientist may create an algorithm that tracks and reports on a group’s social media behavior. Companies can then use this data to decide what types of products will go viral. Data scientists can also deconstruct a company’s email or phone communication to determine what type of messages can create repeat customers and improve conversion rate.
Using sentiment analysis in financial services can help companies succeed in a rapidly changing financial landscape. According to Forbes, sentiment analysis provides marketing and sales data that can help a company stay ahead of its competitors. For example, opinion mining research can provide bulk data on what inspires baby boomers and millennials to spend money. In turn, companies can decide which age group may deliver the greatest return on investment.
Data science plays a critical role in financial risk analysis. For a banker or lender, an accurate assessment of risk is one of the main factors in deciding whether to approve or deny a loan. Determining risk can also help investors decide if a monetary or time investment is worth it. Because numerous factors can affect loan or investment eligibility, using data science is crucial for successful risk assessment. Skilled data scientists can create algorithms to amalgamate borrower records and determine creditworthiness. These data algorithms can also compile the institution’s own transactions to decide if there is room for the risk.
Because excessive risk can harm an institution in the long run, more companies now hire specialists who use data science in financial services. These specialists often use innovative methods to monitor borrowers’ credit habits and behavior, including social media data and spending trends. Due to their expertise, data scientists also help ensure that companies remain compliant with the latest transaction and financial regulations.
Real-Time Financial Data
With increased innovation in data science in financial services, bankers and lenders can now enjoy real-time financial data. In the past, financial institutions often relied on print versions of historical data to make predictions or to fulfill clients needs. Even when companies requested more recent reports, a lag time often decreased the relevance and usefulness of such reports. With data science, financial institutions can now use advanced computer applications to store big data. These applications compile historical data and record real-time reports at the same time. This convergence of information increases the efficiency of financial services and can help companies better serve their customers.
In addition to greater efficiency, real-time financial data has numerous practical applications. For example, real-time data tracking can help detect suspicious behavior quickly. In these cases, financial institutions can place a hold on the account to protect themselves and their customers. For traders, real-time data can provide a snapshot of market conditions and help these professionals make an informed investment decision. Retailers can use real-time analytics to monitor shopping habits and create promotions accordingly. The data can also help these companies calculate the best pricing and update prices quickly. Banks and lenders can use real-time data to produce accurate credit reports on individuals or businesses.
Consumer segmentation represents one of the most practical uses for data science in financial services. Because financial institutions are businesses that sell a service, they often adjust services to meet the needs of a specific target market. For example, millennials entering the job market have different banking needs than baby boomers managing retirement. Similarly, college graduates negotiating new salaries have different investment needs compared to seasoned professionals with 401k portfolios. Dividing customers into appropriate segments can help finance companies capitalize on the buying power of each specific group.
In addition to service and marketing, consumer segmentation can create a prototype of the ideal customer within any given group. Using data science algorithms, consumer segmentation can calculate averages, medians, and frequencies within a market class. For example, a large number of baby boomers may purchase a specific food product or maintain the same average credit score. With this information, financial institutions can create products that benefit the maximum number of baby boomers. Data science can also help companies re-group individuals based on desired criteria such as income, location, home ownership status, or educational background. This re-grouping can help increase profitability through cross-marketing and consolidation of services.
Service automation represents one of the most promising opportunities for data science in financial services. Using advanced coding skills, data scientists write programs that can deliver necessary financial services more quickly and accurately. These new computer programs include precise loan underwriting tools for lenders and trading software for investors. There are also opportunities for software development of financial ledgers that reduce the chances of human error. In the past, employees who handled these operational issues often dealt with repetitive tasks. However, the new technology enables machines to check for accuracy so that service employees can focus on building relationships with potential customers. This level of freedom can prove invaluable for financial institutions seeking business leads. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, demand for data scientists is expected to grow faster than average as companies seek to take advantage of the improved computer technology.
Additionally, automation technology can result in streaming services within the financial industry. In the past, transactions between banks and investment firms often took days to process. With automation software tools, financial institutions can speed up the process and even view transactions in live streaming. This streaming technology also enables executives to have live conferences regarding the exchange if necessary. In this way, service automation can save time for customers and business-to-business interaction.
Informed prediction represents one of the most desirable aspects of data science in financial services. Since financial institutions operate with a degree of risk, the ability to predict consumer behavior can help these firms save money in the long run. Data scientists work in predictive analytics by creating algorithms that analyze the characteristics of individuals or businesses. These algorithms may gather information about demographics, income, and previous credit behavior. The resulting models can help companies make predictions about the likelihood of a client paying bills and whether or not an investment is worth it.
This type of prediction also plays an important role in forecasting financial market conditions. Due to the volatile nature of financial sectors such as trading and the stock market, prediction is a valuable tool for companies deciding whether to buy or sell. These predictions can also help finance firms determine whether they should expand their customer base or focus on keeping existing customers stable in the current market. Prediction can also help companies learn which characteristics lead to fraud or threats to cyber security.
Fraud detection is one of the top benefits of incorporating data science in financial services. In the past, many companies relied on sheer manpower to detect crimes in banking or investing. With advances in data science technology, however, companies can now monitor activity more effectively. Data scientists develop software that monitors transactions and reports suspicious activity. In this way, companies can protect their clients and reduce their own chances of liability.
Data science in fraud analysis can also help authorities who investigate cyber crime. With the rise of crime organizations pursuing money laundering and insider training, traditional forms of investigation may not catch the most advanced criminal networks. Data scientists develop intuitive software that tracks fraud patterns and suspicious behavior. This software can automatically notify companies and authorities to take immediate action before crime becomes widespread.
Data science represents a rapidly expanding field ripe for innovation in financial services. As companies seek to compete in the future market, trained data scientists play a critical role in giving companies the tools needed to keep their businesses updated and successful. Because better innovation gives finance companies a competitive edge, industry insiders should expect to see the prominence of data science in financial services for years to come.