By Jude Sheeran, EMEA managing director at DataStax\n\nWhen making financial decisions, businesses and consumers benefit from access to accurate, timely, and complete information. With the power of real-time data and artificial intelligence (AI), new online tools accelerate, simplify, and enrich insights for better decision-making.\n\nFor banks, data-driven decisions based on rich customer insight can drive personalized and engaging experiences and provide opportunities to find efficiencies and reduce costs. Bud Financial helps financial institutions deliver that context to their customers, empowering them to get the most out of their finances by unlocking rich insights from transactional data with AI.\n\nI recently spoke with Michael Cullum, Bud\u2019s vice president of engineering and data, who shared valuable lessons on extracting valuable insights from financial data and delivering them effectively to clients.\n\nHere are the top six key takeaways from Bud\u2019s overall approach:\n\n1. Embrace scalability\n\nOne of the most critical lessons from Bud's journey is the importance of scalability. In today's business landscape, data volumes can explode rapidly. Organizations must ensure their technology stack can handle immense data flow. For Bud, the highly scalable, highly reliable DataStax Astra DB is the backbone, allowing them to process hundreds of thousands of banking transactions a second.\n\n2. Opt for orchestration and global reach\n\nLeveraging orchestration tools like Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE), a Google-managed Kubernetes open-source container orchestration platform implementation, ensures smooth global operations. GKE empowers organizations to distribute applications effectively across multiple regions, maintaining performance and availability standards.\n\n3. Analytics mastery: Use data efficiently\n\nEfficient analytics is a key driver for decision-making, and prioritizing the development of robust analytics capabilities to enhance consumers\u2019 and financial institutions\u2019 ability to make informed decisions and stay competitive is critical. BigQuery has been instrumental for Bud in extracting meaningful insights from their data.\n\n4. Foster a data-driven culture\n\nBud's commitment to a data-driven culture is an important lesson for organizations to encourage their teams to embrace data as a valuable resource for improving efficiency and effectiveness. Cultivating a culture where every team member actively uses data and analytics tools (Looker is a great example) is essential.\n\n5. Embrace AI-driven innovation\n\nInnovation is at the heart of Bud's operations. AI can supercharge an organization's ability to deliver insights. Staying ahead of the curve and addressing concrete customer problems is paramount.\n\n6. Choose trusted partners\n\nBud's collaboration with DataStax and Google Cloud highlights the significance of choosing reliable partners. Organizations must invest in due diligence to ensure their partners align with their organization's trust and security requirements.\n\nMichael's insights into Bud's journey offer a valuable roadmap for organizations seeking to lead their organizations to success. The lessons from Bud's experience\u2014 scalability, trusted cloud partnerships, orchestration, analytics, fostering a data-driven culture, and embracing AI-driven innovation\u2014aren\u2019t unique to financial services. They can be applied in any industry.\n\nLearn more about how Bud unlocks AI-driven insights for financial institutions.\n\nAbout Jude Sheeran:\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\nJude Sheeran serves as Managing Director (EMEA) at DataStax. Prior to joining DataStax, Jude had a variety of leadership positions at Amazon Web Services, Eduserv, and New York University. Most of his international career has focused on digital technology and innovation, higher education and research.