Many financial service providers face a major challenge. They collect a massive amount of financial and operational data, but aren’t sure how to present this data most effectively. Visualization software makes it possible. The tool filters and organizes data into a clear graphic form that anyone can understand.
However, there are two different types of visualization software systems that financial institutions must choose from: standard and custom. Both have their pros and cons. This guide will help you decide whether you should stick with the off-the-shelf software or go for a fully-customized experience.
Standard vs. Custom Visualization Software
There’s a huge difference between standard and custom visualization software.
Standard software provides a list of visual aids and basic templates that financial institutions can use to display data and generate reports. Microsoft’s Power BI, Sisense, and Tableau are examples of standard visualization software. Each software includes different visual aids, tools, and templates. Some standard visuals are very complex, while others are simpler and designed to be easily understood at a glance.
However, standard visualization software is limited by what the developers build into the system. If you can’t find what you need in the standard templates or software add-ons, then you’ll have to make do with the options you have.
Custom visualization software gives you far more flexibility. A custom system often includes all of the visuals and templates that you get in standard visualization software, but it also provides in-depth visual aids that are tailored specifically to your institution. Rather than buying a single software license and making your own visuals, you can hire a custom visualization software provider to take care of the process for you.
Which option is best for your business, a standard software license or custom visualization software? It depends on your current needs and business strategy. While some institutions are satisfied with the standard visualization options, others require much more detailed options.
Should You Go Custom?
Financial institutions really benefit from custom visualization software. That’s because financial services are heavily data-driven. Banks must assess loan risk, track payments, analyze loan officer performance, and flag delinquent loans—and perform many, many more types of monitoring and analysis.
While some standard visualization software tools have templates for these types of calculations, it’s often difficult to put together a full picture in one detailed report. You have to find the visual tools you need, upload the data, and adjust the look of the visual to make your findings as clear as possible. Then you have to display multiple visuals in one place without crowding the page or confusing your audience. You may also need different visuals and reports to interact with each other.
All of these steps are much easier with a custom visualization dashboard. You simply tell the provider what you want and their team of developers will create all of the visual tools and dashboard options you need.
You can tell the provider that you want to analyze how well your mortgage loan officers are performing so far this year. They will make a detailed business intelligence report that displays everything from a map showing total loan amounts by county to line graphs showing whether individual loan officers are meeting their quotas. They can also make the report interactive. With the click of a button, you can filter all of this information by individual loan officers or counties.
Some of the main benefits of going custom are:
- More detailed and accurate visuals: Data scientists and visualization experts know which visual aids best express certain patterns in data sets. They’ll choose the right one for what you need to show.
- Scalability: You can add new features to the dashboard quickly. You can also eliminate visuals that are too confusing or that your stakeholders don’t find very useful.
- Cost: You only pay for what you actually use. The custom visualization software provider charges you a monthly fee and in return you get all of the features you requested on a user-friendly dashboard.
- Ease of use: The dashboards are intuitive and designed around your staff’s workflows. There’s no training required and you don’t need any background knowledge in data science or visuals.
- It’s made for the financial industry: Unlike standard tools that are designed to address a wide range of user needs, a custom dashboard focuses only on the best visual aids for financial reporting. Custom providers truly understand the industry, including the need for tight security and data governance.
- It’s made for your business: The best custom software providers include special details like dashboards that match your business’ official color scheme or logo. This makes your reports look more professional.
If you want to generate the most accurate, detailed, and sleek-looking reports, then hiring a custom visualizations software provider is the best option.
How to Get Custom Visualization Software
Once you’ve decided to go custom, you’ll need to select a provider that offers the most comprehensive services.
First, research providers that have previous experience designing visual aids for financial institutions. Banks, credit unions, and lenders require in-depth data analysis and visualizations, so the service provider must be capable and familiar with the industry’s best practices.
Next, look at a few samples of dashboards and reports that the provider offers. For example, Tek Leaders has custom visualizations for:
- Top N loans
- Mortgage production reports
- Loan exception reports by officer
- New loans and renewals
- Loan breakdown by demographic and location
- Delinquent commercial loans
- Commercial loan reports
- And more
After confirming that the provider has experience making the custom visualization software and tools you need, start a conversation with the provider about your next steps. They will assess exactly what your visualization requirements are and come up with a detailed plan to meet your expectations. With their help, you’ll begin generating the most stunning and detailed visualizations possible.