Inside the Macquarie Bank data transformation journey


As a growing digital bank, Macquarie Bank needed a strong database to enable it to be more agile to grow its business while meeting new regulatory requirements.

This foundation is now a key part of the bank’s digital transformation strategy, which was designed as early as 2013 to modernize all aspects of its infrastructure, environments and applications, which include a new core banking platform.

“Three key guiding principles underpinned this transformation strategy, including constant focus on customer and employee experience, rigorous risk management and simplification,” said Ashwin Sinha, group data director for banking and financial services. from Macquarie.

With data being a key part of Macquarie’s transformation efforts and a fundamental part of every decision and initiative of its business, the bank has invested heavily in moving all of its data and analytics to a cloud-based data architecture.

“All of our data is hosted in the cloud and is used for a variety of regulatory and analytical projects,” Sinha said. “Thanks to the efficiencies we have enabled, we have been able to reduce the cost of operating data platforms by 50% and we have applied machine learning to areas such as fraud prevention, customer service and fault management. “

As an analytics-driven, data-driven organization, Macquarie Bank is particular when it comes to delivering customer experiences and being proactive in managing risk, Sinha said.

“We achieve this data-driven culture through things like our data governance process for critical data elements, analytical dashboards for decision making, and the use of machine learning to solve problems. complex issues, ”he added.

In management meetings, for example, senior bank executives rely on Tableau dashboards to lead data-driven discussions revealing business performance, opportunities and risks to be addressed.

“Much of this has been achieved by continuously operating and delivering a variety of projects using an agile approach and a cross-functional team from different parts of the business,” Sinha added.

For now, he said the bank has no plans to monetize customer data – because the data belongs to the customers – and that its main goal, through the use of data, is to improve customer experience or to better manage different types of risks.

Leading the way in using the cloud, digital platforms and data, Macquarie Bank has been selective with talent – and it has been difficult to market talent in areas such as data science and engineering. Datas.

To overcome these challenges, Sinha said the bank has focused on prioritizing tasks, assessing the value of each feature it creates, and optimizing its continuous integration / continuous delivery (CI) processes. /CD).

Regarding the lessons the bank has learned from its data transformation journey, Sinha said that with constantly evolving data technology approaches and tools, it is important that data architectures are flexible and capable of adapt to changes while responding to customer demands.

He also urged organizations to consider whether certain data assets were needed and the types of decisions that data would support. “Otherwise, you could create a lot of unnecessary assets.”

Banks have been and will remain one of the most enthusiastic followers of big data analytics as they seek to capitalize on financial, transactional and customer data.

IDC research shows that spending on big data technology in banking and financial services in Asia-Pacific is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 15.6% from 2019 to 2024.


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