As you build out your data strategy, one of the most exciting parts is planning the future state of analytics at your organization. While this can be a little overwhelming at first, it can also be a lot of fun to daydream about the impacts of data throughout your financial institution.

While everyone’s data strategy will be unique, there are some key steps to consider when planning for your future.

  1. Gather Business Requirements. In the first stage of your data strategy, you defined your stakeholders. Then in the second stage, you spent some time getting to know how they are leveraging data today. Now, you will want to connect with those stakeholders again to understand their vision for data in the future. Reflecting on their current usage, you can ask about their challenges and pain points. Encourage them to think beyond incremental improvements to their current processes. Once you have an idea of their desires, both big and small, you will be better prepared for the next steps.
  1. Research Technology Options. There is no shortage of data warehouse, analytics, and business intelligence tools in the market. It’s important to identify the one that will best serve your needs. Are you simply looking for technology that you can manage on your own? Or do you need a partner that can offer technical and strategic support? Knowing the type of relationship you are looking for will help you narrow your search down and ensure you are selecting the best partner for your organization.
  1. Establish a Data Integration Plan. In your Current State Assessment, you identified the data sources available at your financial institution. Now it’s time to determine which ones will be integrated and in what priority. Think about what types of data will provide the most value. For example, your Core Processor will likely be your first integration. After that, you may consider adding your General Ledger or Loan Origination System. Thinking about ways you will use the data will help you project an ROI that can be used to prioritize the integrations. Consider leaning on your technology partner to help with these projections if you have chosen one.
  1. Discuss Timelines and Phases. While there will be many anxious stakeholders, be sure to give yourself realistic timelines. Phasing your analytics project will help you build and sustain momentum as you are able to roll out solutions over a period of time rather than waiting until everything is perfect before providing access to the system.

The most important part of planning your Future State is simply to get started. As we like to say, don’t let “perfect” get in the way of “good.” Remember that this is a marathon—not a sprint. In fact, there is really no finish line at all when it comes to your analytics journey. A successful analytics journey is constantly being assessed and evolving.


The Lodestar team has decades of experience in supporting financial institutions on their analytics journey, and we would love to help you plan for your Future State. Contact us to discuss how we can support your organization!