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Journey Technology Solutions: Innovative Analytics Solutions for Community Banks

CIO VendorArden Sustad, Partner
Community banks play a significant role in the U.S. economy, serving as the driving force behind the rise and prosperity of small to mid-sized businesses, from major cities to rural outposts. However, like every other financial institution, banks also experience certain challenges which include increased regulatory pressures, capital demands and technology resource challenges which limit the ability to understand/analyze silos of data. Established in 2012 with a passion to support and help community banks navigate through data challenges, Journey Technology Solutions provides cutting-edge service-based analytics solutions for behavioral analysis, board and management reporting and data aggregation. “We saw community banks struggling to grasp the analytics behind interpreting data, and hence wanted to be their key analytics solution provider,” says Mark Blankespoor, partner at Journey Technology Solutions. One of the factors that truly distinguish Journey from others in the market is its core-agnostic nature. “Be it Fiserv, Jack Henry, or FIS, if a customer changes the core system, Journey analytics moves with them to the new system. That is a pretty big advantage that we have over others,” adds Blankespoor.

Founded by four partners with the same passion—to see community banks succeed—Journey leverages its core bank technology experience and expertise, linking business strategies and data analytics to level the competitive playing field. Journey’s portfolio of solutions enables users to view data trended over time, gaining a better understanding of their customers, products, and channels. Journey supplies daily management reporting and monthly board reporting, eliminating manual processes associated with time-consuming spreadsheets. Analytics is extended with aggregation of other data sources (i.e., wealth management, insurance, mortgages). Service access is secured with a Tier 4 data center, MFA and other security measures.
Mark Blankespoor, Partner
Additional unique aspects of Journey analytics are the embedded profitability and attrition analytics capabilities. “Banks are challenged when it comes to understanding their product costs,” says Arden Sustad, partner at Journey. “Profitability is essential for analytics, customized for each institution and span core and ancillary databases. The profitability number must balance to the bank’s general ledger.” This will allow Journey’s customers the ability to see their “widget costs” for various products/processes which improves modeling and product decisions.

Along with understanding banking and bank technology, we know what works and what doesn’t work. Our service models are developed accordingly to suit our customers’ needs and requirements


Journey’s service model emphasizes high touch. With each client, Journey becomes an extension of the client in a data scientist role. In practice, clients ask Journey business questions about their data, Journey then interrogates the data, builds dashboards and reports providing answers to these questions. In the process Journey makes the client aware of quantified opportunities and also indicates risk points in the institution. “Along with understanding banking and bank technology, we know what works and what doesn’t work. Our service models are developed accordingly to suit our clients’ needs and requirements,” affirms Sustad. Journey partners with innovative technology companies, like Progress Corporation to develop and offer cutting-edge databases and software tools. The Journey solution continues to grow daily with client ideas/challenges. To that end, Journey places no limit on the number of dashboards and best practices offered to clients. “The Journey name was carefully chosen, as our goal is to provide continual insights for clients and give them an advantage unparalleled in the industry,” infers Sustad.