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Former Barclays VP Vishal Morde on the Bank’s Digital Transformation

Former Barclays VP of Data Science and Advanced Analytics Vishal Morde outlines two key phases of the bank’s digital transformation journey

Vishal Morde, Barclays’ former Barclays VP of Data Science and Advanced Analytics, outlined the first two phases of the bank’s digital transformation strategy at Corinium’s 2018 Chief Analytics Officer Spring conference.

Speaking to Jeff Frick, Host of tech interview show theCUBE, he outlined how Barclays has moved beyond using data for risk modeling and financial planning. It’s now setting its sights on customer experience (CX) and marketing optimization.

“Banks to know everything about you,” he remarked. “But what we quickly found out is, we didn’t have a strategy to use that data to improve the profits of our business and to make the customer experience better.”

Barclays decided to tackle approach this objective in two phases. First, it would lay the foundations for data-driven initiatives. Then, it would establish an efficient process for incubating and validating models and putting them into production.

“Step one was developing a comprehensive data strategy,” Morde explained. “That was all about organizing, democratizing and monetizing our data assets.”

“Step two was that we went about the monetization part in a very transparent way,” he added. “We built a data science lab where we can quickly do a lot of rapid prototyping and look at any idea in machine learning and data science.”

Digital Transformation Starts with Data Governance

Morde said that putting a solid data governance processes in place was essential for the success of the bank’s transformation strategy. Strong data governance is essential when combining data from multiple internal and external sources.

“The biggest challenge was the data came from different sources,” he said. “We have branded businesses where we work with partners like Uber. Imagine the data we get from them.”

For Barclays, this began with forming a Chief Data Office and to establish a forum to help people across the organization understand the value of data. The bank’s CDO reported directly to the CEO to ensure they received broad organizational support. Then, they received a budget to establish data governance processes.

With these key business structures in place, Morde said establishing data ownership was the next piece of the puzzle. This helped staff to change their mindsets and start treating data as an asset that needs to be looked after.

“The key was to get data ownership going,” he concluded. “Once you know who actually owns this data, then we can establish a data governance framework.”