How to automate financial reports with video
Read the blogpost to discover what is automated reporting and how to create an automated financial report thanks to Babelee’s platform
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As in many other industries, digital transformation is rapidly changing the business model in the financial sector. The gradual reduction of analog touchpoints, for example, the closure of physical branches, is imposing a new logic in the design of relationships between companies and their targets. In this context, digitizing and automating communication becomes even more strategically important, both because it reduces costs, making processes increasingly efficient and scalable, and because it helps to consolidate and develop relationships with customers and markets, providing them with the information they need in a more timely, articulate, and punctual manner.
New business models require new channels and new modes of interaction as well as innovative content formats. Among these, video has long carved out a position of absolute prominence. We aren’t simply referring to the restructuring of the technological infrastructure but rather to the change that has taken place in recent years in purchasing and consumption behavior, a change that even organizations operating in the financial sector can no longer underestimate.
Today, technological development offers companies and institutions with the most advanced digital tools, and thanks to them, the relationship with the individual customer becomes increasingly personalized, even in the case of structured communications that report quantitative data. While dealing with vast and diverse audiences, organizations now fully realize that they must readily recognize the specific needs of each individual. So, how can companies combine personalization and quality with speed, accuracy, and low cost in a difficult financial market? The answer is automated reporting.
What is automated reporting?
Before explaining what automated reporting consists of, let’s clarify what financial reporting is.
Typically, financial activities are recorded on several key statements, extremely useful summary documents that are used during audits. Financial reporting is thus the process that provides key information on financial performance and is crucial for all stakeholders (companies, investors, customers). Automated reporting activities make the sharing of this information immediate through the automated creation and management of content that can be directed both externally (to clients and investors) and internally (to all levels: employees, consultants, managers).
Videos for financial services are the most effective solution for making this type of financial and corporate communication immediate and engaging. This is because video allows for a clearer and more interesting display of the features, returns, and performance of different products, translating large amounts of data into an immediately understandable visual form.
Put another way: video not only facilitates the sharing of very complex data, it’s also able to contain and synthesize a wealth of information, while at the same time making it easy to interpret and use.
It is the superpower of data visualization that videos harness in order to turn financial reports into many opportunities for customer contact and interaction.
Data visualization and automated reporting: how video supports financial communication
Let’s start with a widely shared statement: a graphic visualization is always easier to understand than a text report or an oral narrative. Especially if the content to be told—or rather, explained—is as complex and rich in quantitative information as financial reports.
Financial disclosures actually convey an often considerable volume of data, which in its “raw” form is virtually incomprehensible to anyone without specialized skills. This data, before being published, must be mapped, analyzed, and interpreted. Only then can the day be distributed to recipients in a form that is “readable” and functional for their objectives (and simultaneously to the company’s business objectives).
Technological development has simplified this process, which when performed manually risks being highly time-consuming and costly. Today, streams of data from multiple sources are processed by automation systems (often augmented by artificial intelligence or machine learning applications). However, it is data visualization tools, including videos, that make it possible to tell and explain this data—previously “cleaned,” analyzed, organized—in the most concise, simple, and intuitive way possible.
Synergistically using data visualization and automated reporting produces two immediate positive effects:
- it facilitates the understanding of financial information—of which it offers a high degree of detail, among other things—and allows for shorter learning and memorization times;
- it significantly speeds up content production time compared to other “traditional” modes of presentation, resulting in significant resource savings.
By far, the most effective data visualization method, even in the case of financial reports, is definitely video, especially if the videos are produced through a video automation platform.
Video automation for financial reports: financial communication has never been more effective
How can video automation successfully support financial report communication? To answer this question, let’s first ask: what exactly does video automation do?
When we talk about video automation, we’re talking about automated content creation, solutions that enable a company to save time and money and make more efficient and intelligent use of the resources at its disposal.
Automation-created content offers a huge advantage because it takes over repetitive and mundane tasks and thus allows people to focus on more valuable activities. From this perspective, automated reporting frees up creative energies.
Video automation, especially, takes a quantum leap forward, making the process truly more efficient and competitive because it allows large quantities of video to be created while maintaining very high quality standards. It enables companies to move away from “traditional” production (slow, complex, expensive, and often frustrating) to a scalable, data-driven approach. In this way, by leveraging the knowledge gained from data analysis, financial communication reaches an expanded and simultaneously more qualified audience.
We could almost say that video automation gives rise to a small revolution: thanks to a video automation platform, a financial statement can be created on the profile of individual customers. In just a few steps, as many video reports are immediately available as there are recipients of the communication.
More advanced video creation platforms, such as the Babelee Video Platform, allow information about the target audience that is already in the company’s possession because it comes from a range of services to be integrated into the stories told on the screen: names, emails, information about preferences, interests, and consumption behavior. Not only that, the personalized and interactive videos created through Babelee technology:
- are able to return a concise and comprehensive overview of the individual customer’s financial situation;
- can remind the user of deadlines, offer insights on topics of interest, or recommend upgrading one or more solutions, again based on the user’s preferences and purchase history;
- provide an opportunity to build more authentic relationships.
Create an automated financial report in just a few steps
With Babelee’s platform, companies can automate a financial report, turning it into a personalized video, in just a few simple steps:
- Select a template or start from a new project (you can also import your preferred format from Adobe After Effects).
- Define the data sources you want to draw from.
- Insert all the elements you need: background, text, images, logo, calls to action.
- Map all fields and share through the API connector of your choice.
Video automation enabled by Babelee technologies has three dimensions that make it an indispensable approach for any organization active in financial markets: automation, personalization, and interactivity:
- Automation makes it possible to reduce costs and make the dissemination of the message and the customer approach more widespread and effective.
- Personalization makes communication more relevant and, therefore, more effective, because it succeeds in attracting the user’s attention.
- Interactivity makes the experience more agile and convenient for the user who can perform certain tasks by interacting directly with the content.
Some tips for automating financial reports
In this post, we have tried to demonstrate how video—a powerful expression of data visualization—represents the most suitable format for conveying the complex information of financial reports. We have also highlighted how, among automatic content creation approaches, video automation takes full advantage of the possibilities for personalization, allows companies to avoid an overly cold and neutral tone of voice, and is confirmed as the most suitable approach for the financial sector.
Now, to conclude, we will provide some tips on how to automate financial reports with videos:
- Provide some recurring parts, the same in all versions of the same video. While thanks to the variable elements (and changing depending on the recipient) video fits perfectly with the context and target audience for which it is designed; by virtue of the fixed components, the entire communication is still perceived by all as coherent and unified.
- Develop dynamic storytelling. Varying sequences according to the data can make very technical content that is not always easy to understand more engaging. Placing the data in a narrative structure helps the viewer better follow what is happening on screen, even the most complicated descriptions and explanations.
- Always insert personalized calls to action. In the opening of the video address the viewer directly, calling them by name. Even after that, use personalization whenever you can: refer to the account number or specific wording of a contract, point out an expiration date that is approaching, invite them to take a certain action. In this way, you can create a direct and personal relationship with those who are watching, eliminating the feeling of being in front of a standardized message.
- Aim for a multichannel experience. By ensuring that viewers have an experience that is as multichannel as possible (i.e., by designing the video to be distributed across different channels) we pander to trends in consumer behavior, which increasingly prefer brands and companies that are able to integrate different touchpoints smoothly and seamlessly. For example, if we want to take advantage of the smartphone touchpoint, we can send a renewal offer with an SMS where we invite users to click on the link and watch a personalized video.
Issues concerning a customer’s financial situation are very sensitive. Therefore, it’s essential that the communication is simple and clear, as well as convincing in order to overcome the natural distrust we usually feel about such sensitive issues. The financial world, by the way, is often perceived as complex, ambiguous, and dangerous.
Therefore, organizations must strive to make the way they manage resources and processes accessible, always with a view toward building a solid and lasting relationship of trust with their customers. In addition, keeping a channel of communication open with your customers allows you to reach them at the most critical moments in their customer journey: at renewals, contract signings, with payment balances. With personalized videos, automated reporting can be perceived as a more comfortable, immediate, and convenient process.
For companies, they need to identify efficient business solutions that enable communication and customer management while reducing costs, without losing anything in terms of quality and effectiveness. While using only one media, namely automated video, organizations are able to diversify financial communication, and in particular automated reporting, by distinguishing according to target, situation, and object of interest, and by making the most of the resources and facilities they already have.
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