Big data yet to deliver on promises


Though much has been said on the hot topic of big data, analytics and business intelligence in the financial services industry across Asia, one top banking executive admits he has yet to see anyone accomplish its promised success.

Michael Foong, Group Chief Strategy Officer at Maybank in Malaysia, told FST Media that although he has yet to see it happen. “Done right, analytics has the potential to change the retail banking game, but we need to connect the dots between the plethora of software solutions on offer with the kinds of business problems that are faced by financial services players,” said Foong.

Meanwhile, Singapore’s DBS bank is betting on IBM Watson, an artificial intelligence ‘super computer’ to help the bank analyse large volumes of both structured and unstructured data.

David Gledhill, Managing Director, Group Executive and Head of Group Technology and Operations at DBS said Asia is creating wealth faster than anywhere else in the world. “Coupled with increasingly sophisticated and digitally-savvy customers, banking relationship managers need to be empowered with sophisticated and intuitive tools to respond more speedily with insightful and tailored solutions,” he said.

He pointed to customer needs as the end-game at the centre of the big data equation, “DBS’ collaboration with IBM is among our initiatives to harness big data to deliver a better customer experience – providing more precise, customised and quality actionable insights that meet our customers’ needs.”

Gilbert Chuah, Head of internet Channels at Singapore’s UOB agreed, saying: “customers today expect their bank to involve them actively in developing tailored solutions that meet their individual needs. Banks must have the capability to collect and analyse data from multiple channels to provide relevant financial solutions.”

However, Michael Leung, Chief Information and Operations Officer, China CITIC International Ltd warned that the success of implementing insights gathered by collecting and analysing information is tied to creating the seamless customer experience.

“Discussions abound in the banking industry around big data, analytics and business intelligence, and they are about not just one contact channel, but all the customer contact channels, branches, ATMs, phone banking, internet and mobile banking,” he said.