Only 23% of European banks can easily access information on their customers' transactions according to a survey by the European Financial Management and Marketing Association and the University of Mannheim.
The survey of 125 retail banks in Europe and the Middle East revealed how much banks still have to do in order to utilise meaningful and timely business intelligence.
It also highlighted how little progress has been made in unravelling and updating complex legacy infrastructures, the report's authors said.
Another key finding was that just 11% of respondents had a regular and consistent data mining process in place. However, the vast majority were aware of the competitive advantage such processes could bring, and 88% of them wanted to develop this capability in the next three years.
The report suggested that banks' historic reliance on developing systems in-house should be seen less as a competitive differentiator and more of a potential disadvantage resulting in less flexibility and higher maintenance costs.
Most banks run a mixed environment consisting mostly of in-house systems and some off-the-shelf software, but as the benefits of standardisation become more widely accepted, the balance is expected to shift, to the extent that within three years 40% plan to be using predominantly standard software, and 9% expect to rely on it exclusively.