Citi takes big data capability to new heights with Velocity Clarity dashboard


In June this year, Citibank announced the launch of a comprehensive platform for its global custody and fund division, leveraging the bank’s big data and analytics infrastructure to assist clients in analysing investment data. We learn a little bit more about what the platform offers to clients.

Called Citi Velocity Clarity, the all-in-one platform allows clients to effectively monitor and analyse portfolio performance across a multiplicity of investments, providing what it said is an intuitive and customisable dashboard interface that offers instant analysis, valuation, holdings, net asset value, counterparty risk, country exposures and trading flows.

What is more, because it was designed as a turnkey deployment, the system effectively negates the expense and time-frame typically required to implement a full data warehouse.

FST Media spoke with William Pryor, managing director, global product head data and analytics for the bank’s Custody and Funds Services, and Abhinav Jain, Citi’s senior vice president, global head of investor services client access technology, to discuss the technological foundation for Velocity Clarity, and how the platform will serve to not only increase working knowledge of clients, but also their productive potential.

FST Media: Walk me through the rollout of the Citi Velocity Clarity platform. What practical benefits does it deliver to end users?

Pryor/Jain: Citi Velocity Clarity represents a paradigm shift in the way our institutional clients, such as insurance companies, investment managers, retirement funds, and sovereign wealth funds, access and analyse data.

Instead of standard “canned” reports which take time for us to create and generate, our clients are empowered with tools to run their own queries (self-service model) on reliable and up-to-date data to generate customised dashboards and reports for faster and better decision-making. As a result, we expect the platform to drive significant efficiency gains and business value for our clients

FST Media: How will the platform serve to enhance the user experience?

Pryor/Jain: A lot of work has gone into optimising the user interface to make it as intuitive as possible. In fact, during the beta test with pilot clients, clients were able to become ‘power users’ very quickly, navigating and manipulating data to meet their customised requirements even though we provided them with access to the system without a user manual.

FST Media: What core technology sits behind the Clarity platform?

Pryor/Jain: Citi Velocity Clarity operates in Citi’s Private Cloud environment. It uses Hadoop, and a Java-based programming framework to support the storage and retrieval of large and complex data sets. The front end of Clarity leverages the industry’s best business intelligence design practices.

FST Media: Is this rollout part of a broader digital or analytics/big data strategy within Citi? What does the future hold for this analytics within the organisation?  

Pryor/Jain: We see many transformational rollouts presenting themselves across the organisation to increase operational efficiency, analyse and predict trends, and tap artificial intelligence using technologies like natural language processing, machine learning and rules-based processing.

FST Media: Will Citi Velocity be rolled out across Citi’s international network? How will you seek to expand upon it?

Pryor/Jain: The roll out of Citi Velocity Clarity is global. We already have clients located in Australia, Singapore and Hong Kong utilising the system.

With Citi Velocity Clarity and how it is constructed, the future possibilities are really endless. As we expand the content and core functionality, existing users will continue to benefit further with enhancements. 

FST Media: Do you see this platform having applicability across Citi’s other financial services offerings (e.g. banking)?  

Pryor/Jain: We started with Custody and Fund Services, but we believe that the platform has broader applicability across our other business lines.