It is an acknowledged trend that consumer focused web applications are driving innovation and expectations for enterprise software. Web-based, created using recent technologies and devoid of legacy entanglements — firms like Facebook create expectations that are challenging for banks to meet.
In Facebook, Timeline creates a profile that displays the pertinent information about a person but also links useful information and events from that person’s life. A map, some friends, a birthday, a new car: all providing a much more complete and human view and well beyond the typical “tombstone” data (name, DOB, location) and displayed in a well-organized and usable way.
In a Bank, the equivalent timeline could pull data and information from various systems to form an aggregated view of that person in the context of the bank: the key is not the data, but visualizing the data. This is what Facebook has done really well with the Timeline product and data visualization could help banks sift through the noise and display relevant and useful information about customers to help understand who people are and how to best serve them.
Open Graph is a way to view a person in the context of their likes, friends, and services. More than just a way to display relationships — this is a way to view a person in context. The result is a pretty clear view of how that person interacts on Facebook and what they are all about on that platform.
Banking relationship management involves knowing people, and this is a way of visualizing data such that large amounts of complex information are quickly and efficiently understood. Showing a person in the context of their relationships, products, offers rejected and accepted, and other available relevant information enables an instant view of who the person is to the organization. This is CRM 2.0 and I believe that data visualization approaches are reasonably simple to layer on top of existing investments.
Most importantly these will be the features that drive the expectations for future banking applications. Data visualization is here, it’s going to help put a user interface on top of big data, CRM, and BI investments, and I am looking forward to seeing that.