What a difference a day makes! SAS Forum Singapore 2012 was packed full of insights and some truly inspiring case studies. One of my favourites was the story of DBS Bank’s analytics journey and their challenges and successes as they strive to become the “Asian Bank of choice for the new Asia”. David Gledhill, Managing Director and Head of Group Technology at DBS talked about the early days of this transformation which revolved around the central “bright” idea that building a data warehouse would solve all their problems. In fact it did not, and this led to a complete rethink of the project, starting with aligning the IT strategy to the vision and embed a culture of analytics within DBS.
I want to focus on the enabler priorities David discussed, specifically analytical culture and customer centricity. These are often part of a company’s motherhood statements and left languishing in the corporate vision. Not at DBS, where the priority is to “place the customer at the heart of the banking experience”. The journey we were taken on with David showed they are more than paying lip service, this is an internal commitment that starts at the bottom AND the top, and in turn impacts outwards on the customer.
For DBS, the transformation project needed more than just CEO buy in. I found myself nodding as David described the typical scenario where a project leader thinks that if they secure CEO support: “This is so important it’s a CEO Program” and therefore success is a done deal. Not true. Developing an analytical culture is about changing that mindset and bringing the team on the journey – empowering them to innovate and impact the bottom line, in this case, the objective of becoming the Asian bank of choice. Identifying the right executive to give that support is key – it’s critical to connect the project to the right part of the business to ensure the drive is there, and the KPIs are behind it.
Aligning strategy with the customers was then broken down into three areas:
- Know your customer well – drove the agenda of customer and credit analytics
- Serve your customer well – operational analytics, process improvement – become an organisation that is run on actual intelligence
- Hear your customers well – big data and analytics – how much are we using to drive the organisation.
Breaking the project down into manageable steps, DBS established a Business Intelligence Competency Centre (BICC) is at the core of the project , owning, driving and evolving DBS’ Business Analytics Master Plan. Here’s a great example of where DBS partnered with some of SAS’s brightest developers to implement an innovative analytics project.
David told us that with some of the busiest ATMs “on the planet”, DBS was receiving complaints about ATMs being out of action because they were being refilled at the most inconvenient time for customers. Analysing the data meant the refill schedule has now been optimised for time of day. As David put it “when you see our ATMs being refilled it’s happening then because that’s the best time for our customers”.
We also talked to Jurgen Meerschaege, VP Business Analytics & Decision Support at DBS who told us more about the evolution of analytics at DBS Bank and the catalyst for change that is driving internal change.
This is an operational example where DBS listened to the customers and used this knowledge to optimise the customer experience.
Question: What are your customers telling you?