“Where Is Customer Data?”

Financial Services firms struggle to aggregate, locate data.

Mortgage companies can reap serious insights by accessing and analyzing their customer data. Such insights can help firms make the best possible decisions on behalf of their organization and their customers. In order to do this, they must be able to answer one simple question: “Where is customer data?”

“Mortgage companies use lots of different servers and systems,” said Michael Martin, Vice President of Saxony Partners’ Financial Services practice. “That means some data is known, and some is unknown.” 

Tracking down all of your customer data can be a daunting task. But there are a few surefire places you can usually find it.

Where is customer data?

  • Loan Origination System (LOS) – The single most important digital tool at any mortgage company, this is where the bulk of mortgage data is stored.
  • Executive, Managerial, or Loan Officer Spreadsheets – At each level of a mortgage company, everybody tends to have their own spreadsheets and reports containing data. 
  • Lead Systems 
  • Point-of-Sale Systems

Benefits of a Single Source of Truth

Knowing where your data resides is good, but if it is spread across multiple locations, finding and accessing the specific bit of data you want could still be a challenge. The next step is aggregating and storing data from these sources securely within a single source of truth like an enterprise data warehouse (EDW).

“In an ideal world, you want your data to reside in a central place so that you have more control over security and analytics,” Martin said. “It’s better for reporting and reliability.”

“That’s the goal for most companies: to access all of their available data in one location. When you use an enterprise data warehouse, you know your data from all of these different systems is being pulled and aggregated there.”

When your data is stored in an EDW, it will be both more accessible and more accurate – if done correctly . This dramatically reduces both reputational and operational risks for your company by boosting data integrity and ensuring your processes meet compliance standards.

Regulatory Compliance for Customer Data

Staying within regulatory compliance means safeguarding your data against potential cybersecurity threats and documenting your loan origination processes. 

“Customer data is very important from a compliance standpoint,” Martin said. “When your company is audited by a regulator, they will look into loan documents and applications to ensure no laws are broken within your origination system. Having access to reliable data is crucial in this situation.”

“If you have your data stored in an EDW, you can proactively do internal audits and make sure your company stays compliant before regulators take a look. If you don’t have control of that data, you can’t pull it and review it. You won’t know what’s going on within your organization.”

The Power of Data Analytics

Once you are confident that your customer data lives in a single source of truth, the possibilities for utilizing your data are endless. 

“Using business intelligence tools like Power BI, Qlik, or Tableau you can compare, contrast, and analyze different types of customer data from disparate systems,” Martin said. “The key is centralizing your data so that you can use one of those tools effectively with complete information.