The data is there, but you can’t get your arms around it.

Oh, data. You are so big. So bright. So beautiful. But like a perfectly curated Instagram post that is filtered to perfection, you often feel unattainable.

As with content, starting to develop a strategic approach to data mining, transformation, and analysis requires support across the organization and commitment to the activity over the long run. Also as with content, there are ways to earn “quick wins” — in this case, connecting a few systems as you expand your data aggregation to include more and more information over time.

Demographic data is often the first step. Ensuring you have an accurate understanding of the basic traits of your customers is baseline. This often comes from your core system, but can also be augmented by other platforms like online/mobile banking and rewards or loyalty platforms. Behavioral data is the hardest to build, but the most powerful by far. This data comes to life by combining email automation systems, website analytics, social media metrics, mobile and online banking behaviors, and transactional data.

The key? Start small. One system connected to another. One focused insight tested.

Discover who has used your mobile app in the past 45 days. Those are your true mobile customers. Determine the top three channels customers use (or doesn’t use) and inform them of alternatives. Uncover a customer’s best email by assigning a scoring system based on engagement with their multiple emails that often live across different systems within your bank.

It’s a long road. A commitment. But the insights you glean will inform your marketing, product decisions, and investments in customer experience for years to come.

Intimidated by all that data? Work with an agency that has experience marrying multiple data streams into one actionable strategy.