To Compete, Companies Need To Use Data Better

Corporations have to decide what they want to be when they grow up, said Oliver Ratzesberger, EVP and chief product officer of Teradata. They need to learn how to incorporate data in their corporate strategy and decision-making, added Ratzesberger, co-author with Northwestern University professor Dr. Mohan Sawhney of a new book, “The Sentient Enterprise”,

The Sentient Enterprisewhich looks at how leading companies are doing just that. Their examples include Wells Fargo, Verizon, Dell, Siemens and General Motors.

“We wanted to put concepts of data agility in the hands not just of top executives, but any business user who interacts with data and wants to improve that interaction,” Ratzesberger wrote in a blog post.

Ratzesberger, who was a leader in eBay’s pioneering use of Teradata, said that incorporating data into the core of a corporation’s takes time and C-suite commitment

“Mohan and I are trying to advance an idea where data and analytics can do more than just act as a bean counter of what’s happening within a company . The sentient enterprise actually does some of the understanding itself and takes on aspects of operational decision-making, freeing the human mind to focus on high-level strategic analysis and creativity,” he wrote on Teradata’s Forbes page recently.

Disruptive technology won’t succeed if executive protect their profitable business from the potential change said Ratzesberger.

“Too many executives are telling teams not to cannibalize their high margin business,” he said during at interview at the Teradata Partners conference. “That leaves a company open to disruption from the outside.”

He likes P&G as an example of a company that is using technology to get closer to customers, although the only example he cited was an electric toothbrush that links to a mobile phone and can show a user which parts of his mouth he is neglecting. Apps and links to phones can help even a company that sells through retailers to connect directly to customers more effectively than trying to track them with coupons. A big wholesaler like P&G didn’t have direct customer data for analytics 10 years ago and has recently faced startling competition from such innovators as online razor blade sellers.

Oliver sees an organizational issue here…a company has to pay attention to its culture, its people, and process change and learn to become agile at scale, with governance built in. They also need to think long-term — 5 to 10 years out — to build sustainable change.

The Wild West works — for 30 to 90 days — and then crashes down like a house of cards, he added. “We talk to C-level executives and ask how they are thinking about their roadmap and disruption in their companies.”

He said they need “faster collaboration, learn to build at scale and get algorithms which will change business processes such as supply chain.”

When companies are faced with exabytes of data, they need to to something smart.

“At eBay, where the company had 800 analysts there was still too much data and we would miss changes in the market.”

Fortunately new capabilities are coming together, he added.

“Most corporations aren’t ready for data — they have silos and data drift. They often argue and can’t agree on even basic data such as their number of customers.”

Leading companies have learned what can be done with data such as Kaizen, Six Sigma and Lean to predict certain outcomes.

“We’ve learned in the last decades…that a you can predict certain outcomes very well.”

For Maersk, the huge global shipping company, when engines break at sea it is a big problem.

“With enough sensors you can predict failures and change pistons while the ship is in port.”

Artificial intelligence (AI) is a popular term these days, but Ratzesberger warned that the intelligence is only as good as the data, citing that old warning: Garbage in, garbage out.”

Chief Data Officers

In a corporation, “Chief Anything” doesn’t amount to much, Ratzesberger said.

“You see Chief Data Offices everywhere; the big new title is Chief AI officer. But
Chief whatevers are powerless offices; they are not Level 1. They are below the CIO or CFO. Many companies lie to themselves when they have a CDO who can’t change anything — it just turned into a blame game…they’ll just blame the CDO. The CEO needs a person who works directly for him and can make decisions [based on data] that may be disruptive. Boards around the world need to challenge the CEO on what they are doing with data, it is often just a check-the-box exercise.”

For company, becoming data-driven is a journey, he added.

“GE is getting it, Siemens knows they have to disrupt themselves. There are new kinds of companies that are based on this — banking, telecom, retailers — are starting to wake up. Technology is pushed by Walmart, they know they need to do things differently, often their tech leadership sits in Silicon Valley. I think most companies get a B- at best. eBay was great; now it is a legacy company. “

“Using data well is a board-level topic — how to build the next generation platform that leverages data at its core.”

Not everything can be based purely on data, he added. People can mis-interpret that data and confuse correlation with causation.

“Companies need to define their strategy and leverage data whenever possible. Data alone won’t make a strategy.”

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Teradata Focuses On Top 500 To Leverage Scarce Resources — Data Scientists, Analysts

Teradata faces a challenge – how to grow a company when a key resource — data scientists and top data analysts — is limited.

Victor Lund, who was named president and CEO of Teradata a year and a half ago, said the company is focused on the top 500 corporations around the world.

“We limit ourselves to 500 companies because we can only deploy X number of people,” explained Lund. Focusing on the largest companies makes sense with Teradata’s capabilities. “We scale better than anyone else, and in real-time analytics that matters. We look at long-term relationships with our customers.”

The company is training its sales force in how to interact with the business users without threatening the IT buyers who have been the company’s usual point of contact. As data, organizing it and making use of it become a topic for the CEO and in many cases the board, the Teradata sales force has to adapt.

“We need to understand how to interface with the business but avoid threatening IT so they don’t think we are driving over them.”

At the company’s annual Partners conference, senior executives briefed reporters and analysts on the company and the growing understanding of the importance of data and analytics.

Data can be used for asset optimization, they said, and this refers to physical assets, not financial. As an example they pointed to Maersk, the shipping company, which has millions of containers. Sensors can show where the containers are, monitor them for changes in temperature or air pressure, and feed a database with all the information — real-world example of the internet of things (IoT). With Teradata firms can analyze anything, display anywhere, buy any way, including pay as you go, and move the data anytime from in-house to cloud at no cost.

Teradata is the only company to use the same code across all deployments, whether AWS, Azure, or on-premise hardware.

The company said its solution is faster and cheaper than a leading competitor’s. One million queries on the competition costs $605,000 and takes nine months, while on Teradata it can run in 10 minutes for $60.

Companies still have a way to go in their use of data, said Rick Farnell, senior vice president at Think Big Analytics, which Teradata acquired in 2014. Fifty-two percent of firms in a survey said they are at a basic level of analytics maturity and 41% of CIOs said data scientists, business intelligence and analytics are among their top skills gaps. Nonetheless, 80 percent are investing in artificial intelligence even though 34% said they don’t have the right in-house skills.

To help companies fill the gap in skills, and to leverage the people skills at Teradata, the company is building accelerators composed of best practices, code, IP, and proven design patterns to help accelerate deployment of AI solutions and ensure quick ROI. They include AnalyticOps Accelerator, which provides an end-to-end framework to facilitate the generation, validation, deployment, and management of deep learning models at scale. This accelerator is available now.

The Financial Crimes Accelerator uses deep learning to detect patterns across retail banking products and channels such as credit card, debit card, online, branch banking, ATM, wire transfer, and call centers. It continuously monitors and thwarts fraudulent schemes used by criminal actors to exploit the system. This accelerator is being deployed in Q4, and will be available more broadly in the first quarter of 2018.

“We’re building capabilities into the product,” said Oliver Ratzesberger, EVP and chief product officer of Teradata.

A recurrent theme at Teradata is around analytics at enterprise scale, not in a lab or running as a proof of concept.

“Companies need to embrace analytics at scale,” said Ratzesberger. “Prepare to disrupt, put outcomes into production at scale. Companies struggle to derive the outcomes they aim for.”

Part of the trouble is finding clean data.

“It comes down to a single source of the truth,” said Rick Farnell, senior vice president, Think Big Analytics. “That’s difficult if you have multiple organizations [with their own data silos] out there. You need to base everything off the right data.”

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Fidor Packs In The Clichés

The product, called Fidor FinanceBay, is an online marketplace which connects curated Fintech, InsurTech and TradeTech offerings from the wider ecosystem, to consumers, all with the aim of bringing both much closer together in an easy and value adding way. With Fidor FinanceBay, customers can easily browse financial and insurance products, as well as convenient tools, all in one place.

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Monocle’s Best 25 Cities — Metro Population and Murders Per Year

A sampling — not all the cities had murder rates listed. The ratings often included new homes built, number of museums and galleries and number of independent bookshops and miles of bike trails.

Tokyo 9.4 million people/75 murders
Vienna 1.8 million/16
Berlin 3.5 million/37
Munich 1.5 million/58
Melbourne 140,000/37
Copenhagen 600,000/5
Sydney 210,000/42
Zurich 380,000/10
Hamburg 1.8 million/15
Madrid 3.3 million/38
Kyoto 1.5 million/9
Hong Kong 7.4 million/28
Vancouver 630,000/11
Amsterdam 853,000/22

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Can Amazon And Whole Foods Solve Urban Delivery?

Amazon boxes NYC 564The scene on upper Madison Avenue, just below the Whitney earlier this summer…Stacks of Amazon boxes and padded envelopes sprawling across the sidewalk as delivery people sort through what appeared to be the contents to two trucks.

How do you deliver to apartments when no one is home, where can packages be stored at buildings with doormen? Where do you sort packages when it is raining?

Whole Foods has a contract with Instacart for home delivery in at least some cities. The NY Times recently did a story on Sinclair Browne who does deliveries in New York for the grocery store, Peapod.Amazon is experimenting with same-day or same-hour deliveries of orders.

Could it develop a database of every customer and the hours they are typically at home, coupled with current orders from Whole Foods, Amazon, Amazon Prime Pantry and perhaps dry cleaning ready for delivery?

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Israel’s Bank Leumi Launches No-Fee Mobile Account

The Leumi Group has launched a new digital platform, named Pepper, that allows customers to manage all of their banking activities entirely via mobile and with no account fees: from on-boarding to performing common banking transactions, including ordering credit cards and checks, transferring money, taking out loans, managing savings deposits, and more.
Pepper is based on artificial intelligence technology that helps customers better manage their finances and make the most of their money. The technology allows Pepper to get to know its users, customize relevant content, and offer a personalized banking experience that differs from person to person.
Its user experience provides customized content that includes personal consumer tips and insights, real-time updates on expenses, summary and analysis of expenses on a daily/weekly/monthly basis, comparisons with peers, instant alerts for duplicate charges, relevant news articles and live updates all in a simple, friendly interface. The app also offers live customer service by professional bankers available around the clock (24/7) via video chat, online messaging, or phone.
Pepper’s online on-boarding process takes only eight minutes and can be done from anywhere and at any time convenient to the customer. Following this brief process, customers will receive an update on their account and credit facilities directly to their mobile phone. Once registered, customers can order a credit card and check books free of charge.
Pepper is currently available to domestic customers in Israel. It joins the free mobile payment app “Pepper Pay” which was released to app stores several months ago. Pepper Pay allows customers of all Israeli banks to transfer money to any beneficiary from their mobile phone contact list, in a quick and friendly manner – with no fees.
Towards the end of 2017, Leumi will also launch the “Pepper Invest” mobile app, which will enable trading in securities.
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Yes, Virginia, There Are Women Leaders In Fintech

BNY Mellon, has appointed Bridget E. Engle as senior executive vice president and chief information officer reporting directly to CEO Gerald Hassell.

In this position, Engle will lead the company’s Client Technology Solutions group, which provides critical technology platforms and applications. She will be responsible for setting the strategic direction and execution of the firm’s technology agenda. This includes advancing the firm’s NEXEN digital investment platform, investing in and integrating the bank’s applications, accelerating its digital and agile development efforts, and attracting and developing top IT talent.

Engle has more than 30 years of experience at AT&T, Lehman Brothers, Barclays Capital, DTCC and Bank of America.

Engle’s prior roles at Bank of America include the consumer bank’s chief technology officer, chief information officer of consumer technology and operations, and, most recently, chief information officer of Bank of America’s Global Banking and Markets businesses.

She was listed in Crain’s 100 Most Influential Women in New York and named one of Forbes technology Top Power Women

Pendo Systems has announced that Ruth Wandhöfer, global head of regulatory and market strategy at Citi, has joined its board. Wandhöfer is a banking regulatory expert and one of the foremost authorities on transaction banking regulatory matters, said Pamela Pecs Cytron, CEO of Pendo.

“Her reputation has been built around her ability to drive regulatory and industry dialogue while developing product and market strategies that integrate with an evolving regulatory and innovation landscape.”

“Pendo first came to my attention when I attended [SWIFT’s] Innotribe in 2015. Back then, I was impressed with both their approach to the market, as well as their innovative technology platform. I’m even more impressed that in two short years they’ve grown in leaps and bounds and have now been adopted by 25% of the systemically important financial institutions (SIFI’s),”Wandhöfer said.

Wandhöfer is active in several European regulatory bodies. She chairs the European Banking Federation Payments Regulatory Expert Group, the European Payments Council Payment Security Group and the Global Public Policy and Regulatory Affairs Committee of BAFT. She is also a board member of the EPC and the EBA Association, a member of the European Commission Payment Systems Market Expert Group (PSMEG), a member of the European Biometrics Advisory Council and of the UK Payment Systems Regulator Strategy Forum.

In her spare time, she mentors FinTech start-ups in London and the U.S., while pursuing a Ph.D. in blockchain/distributed ledger technology in relation to financial market infrastructures. She is also a founding member of the Global Blockchain Business Alliance and a Fintech Fellow of the Centre for Global Finance and Technology at the Imperial College Business School London and a fellow lecturer at Queen Mary London School of Law.

She was named as one of 2010’s Rising Stars by Financial News and named in Management Today’s 2011 35 Women under 35 list of women to watch.

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Buy Now, Pay Later Comes To Online Purchases With Klarna

Attribute it to Swedish mistrust of credit cards and internet commerce, combined with the Nordics’ rapid adoption of mobile whose small screens do not make entering credit card details easy.

Swedish shoppers didn’t like using their credit cards online, and they wanted to see that a store sent the right color and proper size before they paid. So Klarna let them buy and choose to pay in 14 days; all they need to do is enter their name, birthday and address. Of course it helped that in Sweden that was enough information to get a person’s income and so Klarna could run risk assessment. The company pays the merchant immediately, regardless of how the sale goes, and then collects from the buyer. The buyer can decide to pay with a credit card, direct bank transfer or use credit from Klarna. which lets buyers pay over 6 to 12 months.

Now it is expanding into the U.S.

“Klarna increases the average order value by 30% to 60%, said Stefan Weitz, Chief Product and Strategy Officer at Radial which provides its own payment guarantees and also offers comprehensive warehouse and shipping services for internet commerce.

“Consumers will buy more if they can pay over time.”

Small and mid-size merchants and let Klarna handle their whole checkout experience, something attractive to apparel and shoe sellers who are getting hit with chargebacks For a large enterprise which wants a fully customized site and has chargebacks under control Klarna can offer its delayed payments service — Try before you Buy, said Brian Billingsley, Klarna’s CEO for North America.

“We let consumers, after they have entered their shipping details, buy and have it shipped before they have to give any payment credentials.” That has great attraction for fashion, shoes and apparel where shoppers often buy more than one of an item, try it on and send back what they don’t want. It’s also popular with debit card users because the money doesn’t come out of their account until they decide what to buy; they don’t have to wait days for a refund after they return some items.

The company uses behavioral tools, geolocation, data, time of day and even keystrokes to decide what to offer buyers while making it as simple as possible for them.

With the user’s email and zip code it can quickly determine if it has seen the buyer on another shopping site and pre-fill her information and show what options are available. Entries that are typed in all letters raise or are entered at 3 a.m. may indicated higher risk, said Klarna co-founder Niklas Adalberth in an interview printed in Chris Skinner’s recent book Value Web. Someone ordering Champagne is a better risk than someone buying beer, he added.

Billingsley said Klarna has kept U.S. losses lower than the company’s plan as it builds up customer data and its risk experience.

“In Sweden or Germany we leverage our own credit bureaus. In the Nordics we have seen almost every consumer of legal age, so we are quite confident in our own data sets. In Sweden we see about 70% of the people who shop online we can identify so they don’t have to enter bill, ship-to or payment data. We make it almost Amazon [at any store].”

Credit data is very specific by market, he added, and the company collects SKU level data on every transaction.

“An iPad will be high risk in any market; some shoe brands are higher risk than others.”

Each market has its own rules on data, data privacy, know your customer (KYC) and in the U.S. on multiple types of discrimination.

“Merchants come to us and we can issue credit in nine markets; no one else can do that,” he explained. “We comply with each market. Our merchants who leverage that most are global merchants, where U.S. companies are selling to Europe or Asia, or Asians selling to the U.S., they can take advantage of us and use credit or local payment methods.”

It used to be that merchants had to achieve a certain size before they tackled cross-border sales, but no longer.

“Now they expect that as soon as they get a web site they should be able to sell to the world. No  merchant in the UK that doesn’t sell to surrounding countries.. In ecommerce, you have to sell globally to be competitive. Only a few things are holding small firms back — customs, tax and shipping, and there are companies that can help with those.

Klarna has seen merchants sharply increase their percentage of completed sales, rather than abandoned shopping baskets, he said. The desktop payment experience is not a good fit for mobile.

“You have to type so many fields with your thumbs.”

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Finance Execs Avoid Risky Deals

Finance executives are taking risk personally, and they are turning away from some business opportunities they think are too risky, according to Thomson Reuters Regulatory Intelligence’s fourth annual global Conduct Risk survey.

It found that nearly a third (29%) of financial executives say their firms have declined potentially profitable business opportunities due to culture and/or conduct risk concerns, compared with 37% of respondents at global systemically important financial institutions (G-SIFIs).  The G-SIFIs are ahead in most culture/conduct categories because they have been working at it longer, the report suggests.

Concern by financial executives about the risks of personal liability appears to be affecting the strategic business decisions they make, concluded the Thomson Reuters survey report. It suggested that increased actions by regulators worldwide are beginning to change behaviors of decision makers at banks, brokerage and asset management firms and insurance companies.

“The frank concerns and views shared by participants reinforce challenges their peers face in all financial services sectors,” said Stacey English, head of regulatory intelligence at Thomson Reuters and a co-author of the report. “Neither culture nor conduct risk are new concepts but this year’s survey emphasizes how both remain at the top of firms’ and regulator priorities, directly impacting strategy as they face greater prospects of personal liability.”

The biggest firms have been working on conduct and culture for a long time, said English. Progress appears mixed in the survey partly because cultural conduct is difficult to define and implement — it is very qualitative.

“Regulators have never defined it and they won’t define it,” she said.

The report said that: “There seems to be a widespread regulatory recognition that, while cultural change is the overriding objective of financial regulation, it cannot be changed by regulatory fiat…Regulators have chosen not to define the term ‘conduct risk’, preferring instead that firms should do so in a way that is meaningful to their businesses.”

Most executives (87%) at G-SIFIs agreed that continued focus on culture and conduct risk will increase personal liability, compared with 73% at other firms. The disparity is potentially the result of a lack of consistent definition for culture and conduct risk.

Once again, respondents ranked culture, ethics and integrity (59%) as their top three concerns of conduct risk, followed by corporate governance and tone from the top (52%), and conflicts of interest (49%).

The biggest challenge for financial institutions, English added, is the pace of regulatory change — a four-fold increase in the last four years, plus political uncertainty with Brexit and the election of President Donald Trump.

Financial institutions need compliance monitoring, internal monitoring, complaints analysis and awareness of what their customers and staff are saying. In a field as difficult to define as conduct and culture, it’s probably inevitable that a report based on a survey will seem a bit nebulous.

For example, the report includes selections from some annual reports.

Wells Fargo, 2015: “Our risk culture also seeks to foster an environment that encourages and promotes robust communication and cooperation among the Company’s three lines of defense.”

Statements of values are not enough

Wells Fargo 459

John Stumpf, chairman and CEO at Wells, resigned in October over a long-running bank practice of opening accounts for people without their permission. The board required him to forfeit $41 million in unvested equity. Oh well, so much for risk culture.

Barclays, 2015: Conduct risk: Detriment through inappropriate judgment in execution of business activities. Its CEO, Jes Staley, is facing disciplinary action for trying to discover the identity of a whistleblower, twice.

The survey said that responsibility for compliance has shifted from the board to compliance teams at many firms. The compliance teams own the policy and implementation, but at the same time responsibility has to be at the very top, the report concludes.

“Culture in particular has become the holy grail this year as regulators recognize that all good things, in behavioral terms, flow from getting culture right,” according to the report.

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ING Launches Finance Aggregation App

ING, the Dutch bank that had to withdraw from retail banking in several foreign markets during the financial crisis, is re-entering the UK retail market with an app called Yolt which lets users  manage their finances with different banks for different financial services in one place.

The app integrates the users’ bank accounts (including savings and credit card accounts) in one mobile dashboard. It also lets them know how many days are left until pay day, predicts their bank balance based on their direct debits and points out any significant changes in their spending patterns. The functionality is similar to what Simple and Moven offer, although they provide the service for a single bank account.

The app was developed in-house by ING’s Innovation Office in Amsterdam.

“We built the aggregator in the way that people think about money; how long is it before their pay date; how much are they spending and what is the risk of their going overdrawn,” said Ignacio Vilar, ING’s chief innovation officer.

Since January, the team has tested, designed and validated the proposition with UK consumers and a large group of wholesale banking colleagues. The official launch is expected next year under a separate brand ‘Yolt’, endorsed by ING. It will become available on iOS and Android in the coming months.

“We believe we have to reinvent the way we are providing customer service; this is where becoming a platform and the place to go is core to our strategy,” said Vilar.

In last week’s strategy update to analysts and investors, CEO Ralph Hamers stressed the Banks’ ambition to continue to be a leader in digital banking, offering a better customer experience by moving to open platforms and new ecosystems.

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