Mortgage Software Solutions Blog

4 Reasons to Implement a Mortgage Business Intelligence Strategy

bim.jpgBI visuals help employees in the company get on the same page.

Business Intelligence (BI) has come a long way since its first implementation.

At its most basic, BI has always involved analyzing reports and performance information to allow companies to make decisions based on past activity.

At the complex level of present-day information gathering, BI handles large amounts of unstructured, seeming unrelated data and then makes utilitarian connections between data points.

Using modern BI, a company can turn information sets into successful business strategies that give them the edge on the market and long-term stability over their competitors. Nowadays companies even have access to industry-specific BI tools.

Can you imagine why the mortgage industry should harness this ability? Here are 4 reasons to implement a Business Intelligence Strategy in your mortgage company.

  1. Integrated BI for Complete Data

By integrating business intelligence, a mortgage company has the ability to gather data on their activity via an existing mortgage enterprise management system (EMS) and then work with that data using the BI module.

With two or more applications communicating seamlessly, administrators have all the company information at their fingertips.

Integrating BI with existing tools like EMS and CRM platforms makes the data sets more ample and complete.

  1. Improved Strategic Awareness

Integrated Mortgage BI goes beyond just connecting platforms. It develops a rich business intelligence data warehouse (BIDW) that forms the basis for future decisions.

The BI module has the capacity of building data model visuals that are easy to understand. Using the full range of information available, this feature processes information to make it actionable. Pulling information from all sources means providing the company with rich prescriptive and predictive analytics output.

The strategy of information awareness and fact-based decisions produces a positive influence on the bottom line.

  1. BI Accessibility Breeds Positive Change

It used to be that companies needed IT analysts to interface with the data and come up with insight. It was a management level activity shared between tech folks and decision makers in the company.

With an industry-specific BI strategy in place, everyday users in a mortgage company can view easy-to-understand level-specific data related to their work. Placing BI in employee dashboards empowers them to make informed decisions. It goes beyond IT data and links up with HR, employee metrics, customized dashboards, and more to give the power of data to employees at every level of the company.

Smart decisions go from being seen as top-down directives to using real information as the basis for decisions company-wide. This change in company culture has the benefit of increasing employee job satisfaction and efficiency, which also affects the bottom line.

  1. Industry-Specific Bi is Affordable

There are plenty of BI applications on the market. From Tableau to Microsoft, the tech industry has developed a plethora of BI platforms with a range of executions.

There are also visionary platforms like Salesforce that are extremely flexible but require in-house IT customization. They come with bells and whistles that aren’t meant for the mortgage industry.

Mortgage companies without the resources to create their own fit have a better option. Industry-specific software with ample performance ability is the sweet spot. A mortgage-specific BI tool like this is the most affordable choice.

Mortgage companies who implement this type of “goldilocks” platform will be able to harness the power of BI quickly and easily.

Mortgage BI, developed by the same Northern California-based company that produces the data-sharing software MortgageExchange™, is a perfect example of this type of “goldilocks” platform.

ABT’s takes Microsoft’s Power BI software and their own MortgageExchange and combines them for a leading example of how companies can harness the big-brand power of BI without being oversized or overpriced. Not too expensive, no surplus of addons, and customized to be just right for the finance industry.

BI offers huge improvements to every modern mortgage company’s business strategy. The improved strategic awareness will save your company from financial missteps and BI-generated visual representations of performance data will put employees on the same page across the company.

With BI implementation, companies can efficiently put their data to work and move forward with clear direction.

Contact ABT directly to learn about Mortgage BI business analytics for your bank, credit union, or mortgage company.


Topics: Cloud Services information security for mortgage companies data interface solution data security mortgage software integration Business Intelligence Mortgage BI security productivity mortgage business mortgage regulations mobile technology mortgage industry

Lawmakers Crack Down on Consumer Data Breaches


New bill to increase cybersecurity oversight in the United States.

Guns are blazing in the US Congress.

In the wake of the major Equifax data breach that lasted from mid-May through July of 2017, US Senator Elizabeth Warren leads the charge in attempts to hold credit reporting agencies responsible for their own cybersecurity.

With a bill proposing to rope the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) into oversight and calling for investigation of the Equifax breach, Warren introduced the Data Breach Prevention and Compensation Act of 2018 to Congress on January 10, 2018.

What Prompted the Bill?

According to Equifax, hackers gained access to sensitive consumer data and maintained access over the course of two months in 2018.

The data that was compromised included names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses, and driver’s license numbers. Victims of the data theft are US citizens as well as people in the UK and Canada. The hackers also stole credit card numbers for 209,000 people.

Though the breach is a significant blunder for the credit reporting agency, Equifax responded by suggesting that the public find out if their information was exposed and allowing victims open enrollment in one year of free credit monitoring services.

Victims and consumer protection agencies alike saw the Equifax response as lackluster and tone deaf.

With identity theft and credit scores hanging in the balance, the public was outraged.

Calling Out the Big Guns

Senator Warren responded on behalf of consumers with a flurry of letters to potential oversight agencies, the United States Government Accountability Office (GAO), and to the three major credit reporting agencies themselves.

In the letter to the GAO, Senator Warren notes that consumers have no control over how their information is collected and used by companies like Equifax. Though credit reporting agencies hold unique power over the management of consumer data, nobody is sure who oversees their mishandling of this sensitive information. Even more shocking is that Equifax seemed to experience no official repercussions due to the hack.

In the letters and the resulting bill, Warren requests clarification of supervisory bodies and demands accountability for the credit agencies in order to protect consumers from future breaches.

In her letters, Senator Warren calls on the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to consider whether they have authority over credit agencies and could enforce stricter cybersecurity guidelines.

The bill also calls for a significant increase in oversight by the formation of a new oversight body in the FTC. An Office of Cybersecurity is proposed to establish standards for data security, supervise consumer information handling, enforce guidelines, and impose punishment against agencies that don’t comply.

At the heart of the legislation is the protection of data in an industry headed towards more computer- and web-based storage than ever before.

Real Penalties for Serious Breaches

Senator Warren is not alone. Senator Mark Warner from Virginia co-signed the resulting bill. The goal is that with official government oversight, future breaches would be avoided as a result of financial penalties.

Under the terms of the proposed bill, agencies would suffer a $100 fine for each consumer whose private information is compromised plus $50 for each secondary piece of information belonging to that person.

Equifax would have faced $1.5 billion in fines in this case.

In an industry where money talks, this kind of legislation should convince agencies who manage consumer data to get their act together preemptively before letting consumer data fall into the wrong hands.

Inadequate security and a response the equivalent of a company-wide shrug will no longer be tolerated.

Response by Financial Institutions

The push for legislation and further oversight by lawmakers means that banks, credit agencies, and other financial institutions will need to up their cybersecurity game.

To avoid getting hit with major fines and extensive media blowback, the finance industry will be forced to plan ahead and protect sensitive consumer data from hackers like the group that hit Equifax.

Has your banking institution taken steps towards increased security? Is your board of directors aware or concerned about this legislation? Is your company addressing cybersecurity weaknesses in your systems?

Reaching out to software security experts is the obvious ways to avoid getting hit with major fines or extensive media blowback. With help from tech folks, the finance industry can plan ahead and protect sensitive data from hackers like the group that hit Equifax.

 ABT’s cloud-based portal MortgageWorkSpace adds banking level security to email, servers, PC’s and mobile devices in the mortgage industry. Contact us to learn more.

Topics: cyber security financial data security multi-factor authentication Business Intelligence disaster recovery

This Is How Business Intelligence Could Revolutionize the Mortgage Industry

How Business Intelligence Could Revolutionize the Mortgage Industry .jpgHow many information systems does your mortgage company deal with on a daily or weekly basis? How many databases do you need to navigate in order to close a mortgage loan? Stop and consider how many more sources of data are feeding into your IT network than are evident at first glance. Wouldn’t you love to have the reporting and analysis tools to help you make the most of all this data? The right business intelligence system for mortgage companies can put an information revolution into your hands and drive your lending business to the top of the market.

The Business Intelligence Advantage for Data

Business intelligence systems gather all of the data that pours into your business operation into one entity. These Big Data tools enable your IT systems to provide business insights about new opportunities as well as to manage your normal operations at a higher level of efficiency, all from a dashboard that works on desktop, smartphone, and tablet devices. As a small business in the mortgage industry, you can now have a world-class IT system that delivers business intelligence—one that is smart, secure, and able to incorporate all of your resources into one comprehensive picture.

This business intelligence transformation is giving the competitive advantage to its enthusiasts in all industries. Companies that do not invest in updating their business intelligence tools will fall behind and likely perish. The mortgage industry is no different; your current competitors are considering new IT solutions, if not implementing them already. Soon, the market leader in mortgage lending will be the one that makes the best use of this versatile resource.

Database Solutions That Deliver Insights

The most advanced information systems will help you spend more time building your business and less time running your office. IT systems depend on databases, but simple databases have transformed into cloud-based data warehouses which hold vast arrays of structured and unstructured data, and which gather and process data in real time.

Cloud-based business intelligence solutions replace expensive capital investments in IT departments with efficient, scalable Software as a Service (SaaS) subscriptions. Now, you do not have to make the massive capital investment required for on-site assets or recruit large IT departments; you can work where you want and still have all of the business intelligence resources needed to deliver service and results. Finally, you can do this while keeping your data safe and your operation up to date with security compliance.

How to Revolutionize the Mortgage Industry With BI

The Big Data tools that deliver business intelligence help you to make better lending decisions and make the loan process much simpler, faster, and less expensive. With these tools you can analyze mountains of documents and accounts to determine the risk profiles in lending portfolios. You will also gain compliance and security tools to keep out unauthorized users and to reveal potential fraud.

The net impact is that when you have the business intelligence insights, you will make business decisions faster, control risk more accurately, and deliver a service experience that delights your customers. The revolution in business intelligence is giving small and medium-sized businesses resources that were recently only available to the largest enterprises, enabling them to understand markets and customers in real time, and allowing them to make lending decisions with greater confidence.

BI Solutions From Access Business Technologies

MortgageWorkSpace® from Access Business Technologies is a cloud-based mortgage technology platform that extracts business intelligence insights and delivers the reports and analytics that make the mortgage process easier for you and a better experience for your customers. The business intelligence solutions from ABT give you real-time and analytic dashboard tools to see the big picture while ensuring security and delivering content to authorized users only.

The result is a data management system that very quickly absorbs information and searches for patterns that indicate undiscovered opportunities. In the mortgage business, these insights might produce a unique best offer for a single client or they might reveal an underserved segment of the market. To find out how Access Business Technologies can help you take advantage of the business intelligence revolution, contact us today.

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Topics: MortgageWorkSpace Business Intelligence

The Evolution From Old-School Reporting to Modern Data Warehousing

data_warehousing.jpgData warehousing is an out-of-date concept for many people, commonly associated with SQL, batch reporting, and long wait times in order to get any of the data. But today’s data warehouses are vastly different, and as a mortgage company, you have to look at the evolution of data warehousing and realize that old-school reporting and data storage may be driving you towards noncompliance.

Problems with the Old- School Approach

Old-school data warehousing doesn’t offer the safety of a cloud backup. It likely doesn’t even involve the use of a server. Instead, all of the data is stored locally. Batch reporting is common, and SQL is used in order to access all of the data.

As you continue to expand your user base, the data can become larger and larger, which means that there are longer and longer wait times in order to get the data. There are no programs or functions that will provide flexibility, and it can be difficult to obtain all of the data that you need.

Old-school data warehousing is extremely rigid within its modeling, and the IT infrastructure is weak. Because of this lack of flexibility, structured data must be modeled in advance. You must identify which reports you want from the very beginning, and once the data is structured, you cannot change your reporting needs.

This leads to a significant number of inadequacies within your mortgage company. You may not be able to prepare the necessary queries, and you are not tapping into any kind of business intelligence. All of your data is on the premises, and this can make it difficult to obtain data when you are out in the field.

If you choose instead to store your data on your laptop so you always have access, it is important to realize that the average laptop is extremely easy to steal. According to the FBI, approximately 10% of all laptops are stolen within the first year of purchase. For every 100 mortgage employees, this could mean 10 stolen laptops, which is a significant problem. If all of your mortgage software and data are stored locally on your laptop, you risk experiencing a data breach, which can leave you with a regulated disclosure issue on your hands.

Cyber criminals will often target the companies still using old-school data warehousing because these companies are easy targets. Small and large businesses alike are experiencing data breaches, and it is estimated that approximately 43% of all companies will have some level of breach this year alone. You don’t want to put your customers at risk for fraud or identity theft.

How Warehousing is Changing

The reality is that you don’t want to reach a level of noncompliance as it pertains to information security and customer data. Many professionals believe that the mortgage industry is going to move towards the same level of information security and regulations as the banking industry; you want to make sure that you are not still following the old train of thought when it comes to data warehousing. Enter hosted SQL.

ABT has been working as a Microsoft partner to bring you Power BI, a suite of analytics tools designed to help you keep track of your business data at a glance from any device. Our cloud hosted services give you the security of non-localized data storage, ease of access wherever you are, and intelligent reporting tools that give you what you need, when you need it.

There is more technology and more innovation today than ever before. There are now analytical tools, predictive systems, and more. This means that mortgage companies can actually take advantage of machine learning, streaming analytics, and real-time notifications.

Data warehousing is no longer simply an IT problem. Learning how to store and access your data will help you to secure your mortgage company, provide you with more tools, and prepare you for the future.

To learn more about data warehousing, contact Access Business Technologies today.

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Topics: Business Intelligence Mortgage BI data warehousing

6 Reasons You Need MortgageWorkSpace® With Business Intelligence

MortgageWorkSpace_now_featuring_Business_Intelligence.jpgWith all the changes going on in the world of technology today, it's apparent to us that mortgage companies need more (and better) data to drive their business and security decisions. With MortgageWorkSpace® now featuring Business Intelligence, mortgage companies can easily obtain, organize, and act on that information from the cloud-based platform they know and love.

Business Intelligence gives you insights into your business, unlike any you’ve had before. Collecting huge amounts of data is a good thing, but it is only useful if you can interpret both structured and unstructured data. Understanding the data you collect allows you to analyze your business and use the insights from that analysis to create and take advantage of new business opportunities.

Here are six reasons why Business Intelligence is the perfect tool to help you maximize the advantages of Big Data.

1. Business Intelligence can create new business opportunities.

Business Intelligence can provide you with reports and process analytics that you mine from your online presence. It helps you manage how your business performs and make adjustments to your business strategies, such as product placement and pricing.

Predictive and prescriptive analytics are two of the common uses of Business Intelligence. These tools can help you increase your knowledge of your customer base, learning what types of incentives would help retain customers and who your strongest brand promoters may be.

2. You can gather Business Intelligence from data collected from sources outside and inside your business.

The most compelling Business Intelligence combines external data from your particular market segment with data mined from your own internal departments, like financial data and operations information. Combined Business Intelligence can suggest new markets, analyze how your services might appeal to certain market segments, and gauge the effectiveness of your current and proposed marketing plans.

3. Business Intelligence can provide relevant facts and figures.

Business Intelligence provides relevant facts and figures but in a meaningful and useful way. In addition, powerful software programs can present your Business Intelligence information to you in rich graphics, with features that allow you to organize the collected information in the way that makes the most sense to your business.

4. If you have been looking for Business Intelligence software, specifically designed for mortgage companies, you can relax.

MortgageWorkSpace® is the only software specifically designed for mortgage companies. And, in a very exciting development, software giant Microsoft partnered with MortgageWorkSpace® to feature their Power BI software inside the MortgageWorkSpace® portal.

5. MortgageWorkSpace® helps you use your Business Intelligence while you manage your mortgage business.

MortgageWorkSpace® is a portal that helps you manage your devices, your users, the software you use to run your mortgage business, and the data that your business collects. It allows you to do everything you need from one location. You can deploy and manage your loan origination software to all your branches and by department. And now, you can access Microsoft's best-in-class software, Power BI, from inside the portal.

6. Power BI is the tool set for a mortgage company.

PowerBI is Microsoft's suite of tools that helps you analyze data from finance, sales, operations, and other areas of your business and your market. Most significantly, Power BI is a cloud-based platform that includes powerful dashboards that now give you data in real-time. Through Access Business Technologies’ cloud hosting providers, you will have everything you need to interact with your customers anywhere.

Appropriately enough, Microsoft named them Real-Time Dashboards. The talk is that the Real-Time Dashboards are so powerful and fast that you will be able to receive customer perceptions while they are still in your office (or, presumably, online). Best of all, Power BI users do not need special technical expertise to create useful graphics that help them visualize their business's data. The new power of this Microsoft tool is taking MortgageWorkSpace® to a whole new level.

If you want to learn more about the latest changes to Microsoft's Power BI, read CMSWire’s article by David Roe from August 12, 2016, entitled "Microsoft Power BI Dashboards Deliver Real-Time Data."

If you are looking for a way to stop mortgage cyber-attackers and boost your vulnerability management solutions, we can help. To talk more about Power BI or the other tools available to your mortgage business, please contact us.

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Topics: ABT MortgageWorkSpace Business Intelligence