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Community banks need reliable data management to compete, attract customers

Rachel Wheeler Archive

At this point, it shouldn't come as a surprise that big data is sweeping the world. If an industry hasn't yet picked up on the trend and figured out the best ways to leverage massive stockpiles of digital content and check it for data quality, they face fears of missing out on insight that's being discovered among the 2.5 exabytes of information generated on a daily basis. 

Data growing every day
On Facebook alone, users post 3.7 billion likes every day and contribute 300 million pictures, according to Wired Magazine. The 500 trillion terrabytes of data that are processed by the biggest social networking site on a daily basis might be laden with information that can help a company pick the best marketing plans, learn more about their valuable customers and predict market trends. 

Banks have embraced this method of business intelligence, and while the largest financial institutions might have a head start when compared with community banks, their smaller counterparts can also leverage information to deliver superior service. 

Community banks can use data to compete
The economy is recovering and consumers are gaining more confidence in the banking industry, according to The Bradenton Herald. Nationwide bank chains like Wells Fargo, Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase are creating jobs, closing bank branches and condensing into larger organizations. 

"The banking industry continues to consolidate," Greg McBride, a senior financial analyst with, told the source. "With new regulations and compliance costs, bank margins have been squeezed. The anecdote is merging and downsizing."

This trend does not take away from the thriving community banking sectors that have cropped up in certain regions. According to a study by Nerd Wallet, community banks that have been described as a lifeline for small businesses are most prevalent in the following ten metro areas: Sioux City, Iowa; St. Joseph, Missouri-Kansas; Manhattan, Kansas; Mankato-North Mankato, Minnesota; Jonesboro, Arkansas; Vineland-Millville-Bridgeton, New Jersey; Springfield, Illinois; Alexandria, Louisiana and Elizabethtown, Kentucky. 

Community banks in other areas may find that it's easier to compete with nationwide chains when they're able to offer customers the same conveniences, such as online account management and virtual customer service. The big banks are refocusing and putting more attention on their remote offerings rather than local branches. 

With powerful digital platforms, community bank branches can conveniently and securely process their customers' information quickly in order to offer the same types of experiences. Data management platforms ensure that financial information is accurate and complete for fast retrieval and analysis when companies are looking up customers' accounts.