With more than 150 organizations signed up
for it, nCino is becoming a strategic platform to help drive digital
transformation in banking.
Successful implementation requires understanding
data and organizational dependencies in three key areas.
1. Architecting the integration fabric
The integration fabric is a combination of real-time enterprise services and a batch framework that connects nCino to the
rest of the organization, based on upstream and downstream dependencies.
Getting the integration fabric right is
critical to a successful digital transformation in the business. The underlying
challenge is in making the right data choices and thinking through their
Make your nCino implementation go more
smoothly by addressing these top integration fabric challenges:
- Design reusability
into the architecture through a canonical data model, which views data and
processes in the simplest possible form.
- Use known
industry standards for architecture acceleration and governance.
- Create a
decoupled architecture so you can more easily make future changes.
- The Interactive
Financial eXchange schema standard and the Banking Industry Architecture Network’s
categorization of service names provide a system-agnostic blueprint that helps
with all three challenges for designing real-time services with a robust
- For clearer governance
in arriving at a canonical view of data – whether for batch integration or
implementing applications – join forces with other work streams to create
harmonious orchestration and data flows.
- To create a
decoupled architecture, use an operational data store or an integration hub to
consolidate and standardize data used for services.
Designing for batch integration
- Identify the
system of record for critical data elements.
- Normalize household
and exposure debt calculations used in determining loan limits.
- Resolve unique
integration keys for records including Customer, Loans, and Collateral.
- For each of the three
pillars (Customer, Loans, and Collateral) the integration team must work
through the implications of choosing one system of record over another. This is
difficult when the requirements team isn’t done with all the use cases,
especially in an agile implementation environment. This is where prior
integration experience comes in, and data governance also plays a role.
- Deciding on the
right way to roll up household and exposure calculations has a wider impact on
the organization. A typical bank has 12 - 17 ways of doing these roll-ups, and
business teams can find it daunting to pick one. They need help from a domain
expert in determining the downstream impact of the roll-up method chosen.
- Surrogate integration
keys that identify individual records are rarely identifiers of the logical
entity of interest. The team should use a combination of approaches – consulting
with the business, understanding use cases, and basic profiling and validation
– to make the right decisions.
2. The role of enterprise data governance
data governance organization, or enterprise data office, can guide and broker
data decisions for the nCino implementation team, by consulting with other
business stakeholders across the organization.
integration team provides the
necessary profiling research to help support recommendations. The data governance council then evaluates
what domino effects this could have in the rest of the organization and approves
the appropriate recommendation.
The myriad of data quality issues faced by
the nCino implementation team requires bringing in data governance or the data
office. nCino is set up to enforce data quality rules for it to function
properly, but don’t assume the systems of record feeding it with master data
are set up for this.
One piece of the solution is to set up data
quality monitoring and data visualizations as an ongoing exercise, in agile sprint
mode. Synchronize those exercises with nCino releases and identify thresholds
for quality (and data cleanup).
As a best practice, update the enterprise
metadata repository with any impacted data elements, their mappings to source
systems, and the decisions made, and synchronize the mapping documents at the
end of each release.
3. Making your
data decisions count
Beyond integration, data decisions also can impact application design. Consider
these three potential gotchas:
- Finding the right level of customization.
Many Salesforce (SFDC) experts, especially developers, are experts at
coding on the SFDC platform and can write custom code. However, this can be a
challenge when, instead of finding customer information in the designated
object model, you must navigate through custom fields and account for spaghetti
When adding custom fields for
critical attributes, especially those describing the customer, run these
through a governance process, capturing the reason why they can’t be
accommodated in the standard model.
- Dealing with credit actions on legacy products.
Some legacy portfolios may be hit by unexpected credit actions, such as a
client who asks to renegotiate terms on an old loan. This could require a redo
of risk analysis and credit assessments, which means sending it back through
some of the loan origination workflows.The choice is either to treat
these as exceptions and channeled through a manual route, or factor in credit
actions on legacy products in the new workflows. The data team can provide
insights into how many of these to expect based on historical profiling.
- Jump-starting requirements definition. An expert data
integration team will perform data profiling work to familiarize themselves
with source systems. As a result, they can help jump-start functional workshops
based on their findings. This is a valuable source for identifying all the
variations in workflows and loan profiles, based on historical analysis.Some interactive visualizations, perhaps
in Tableau, can go a long way in making joint application design sessions
productive, using the data to drive important scenarios, validating edge cases,
and avoiding offline research. Use nCino adoption as the jump-starter to get your enterprise data
organization in order, and leverage the team you’ve created to drive similar
transformations not just in loan origination, but across your business.
ICC can help your bank achieve an advantage with innovation and data. Feel free
to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions.
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& Finance Solutions.