Big Data is the Answer, But What is the Question?

Fabien Girardin Visión y Valores

This year, the knowledge we derive from financial data directly reached the hands of customers. Our work helps transform a bank into a data-driven business. We are always thrilled to share our experience with data providers, data technology providers, researchers and other actors in the data economy. In a recent Big Data Value Association Summit in Valencia the organizers asked us to describe our success story. They particularly wanted to learn from the biggest challenges that are limiting applications of data in the retail banking industry. Here is an a summary of my point of view:

The challenge is not about technology, but mainly about culture change. Let me explain. Our capacity to derive knowledge from financial data (e.g. customer knowledge, customer advisory, fraud detection, contextual business knowledge) emerged from connecting the right datasets with the right talents to ask the right questions. In an industry that has suffered from marketing myopia, retail banks need to adopt a digital culture to understand what is feasible with big data technologies and what is desirable to match the new needs of customers. Today, banks have been convinced that big data is an answer to their future success, but they struggle to articulate the critical questions. Beyond the proper use of technologies and techniques to creating value from big data, our approach has been to provoke a culture change. A couple of keys to our success have been to:

  • Prove that data is one of the bank’s main asset, but the real value is in the talent and domain knowledge of the data science team.
  • Develop a community of practice that actively educates new talents to shape and strengthen a data-driven organization.
  • Communicate the data science practice dismantling the myths on the data-driven bank, sharing practical results and engaging the organization with visions.

These efforts — among others — concretely helped us align objectives, coordinate efforts and drive BBVA in the successful application of data and analytics.

Thanks to the Big Data Value Association Summit organizers and our friends at Instituto Tecnológico de Informática in Valencia for their invitation!


Also, you can see below the post-produced video from BDVA Summit where all the interviews are included: