BI Team Leader, Banca Intesa
Interview with Vladimir Marković, BI Team Leader, Banca Intesa
Key to successfully applying analytics from IT perspective
While many companies struggle to align IT and lines of businesses in the era of Big Data, Banca Intesa and its IT Department have embraced a new role of IT.
In one sentence, they listen carefully to our needs and generously share their knowledge and expertise with us.
Can you please provide us with a brief overview of Banca Intesa in your market?
Banca Intesa, a member of international banking group Intesa Sanpaolo, is the leading bank in Serbia by all key performance indicators – total loans, deposits, assets and capital. Combining the latest global practices with local professional skills, the bank is committed to finding the best solutions to meet the needs of its clients in all segments - individuals, entrepreneurs, small and medium sized enterprises, large companies and local governments, while at the same time striving to constantly raise the bar of innovation, improve the level of product quality and provide active contribution to community.
What is the role of IT department in implementation of software solutions?
Keeping up with the pace of changes in business models, the IT Department at Banca Intesa is transforming significantly, taking a more important role not only in implementation but also in strategy definition. The BI office, operating as part of the IT Department, is now pursuing an active approach to understanding business needs and helping its colleagues get more from available data, while at the same time improving the decision making and customer insight processes. Hence, at Banca Intesa, the IT Department is not a mere observer, but rather an active participant and initiator of BI solutions use, acting as a bridge between lines of business and vendor.
Which were your main business issues prior to implementing SAS solutions?
Prior to implementing SAS seven years ago we were encountering certain challenges, but we decided to address them step by step, believing that a “big bang” cannot resolve all issues. In the early years, we were focused on data integration and ad-hoc reporting to fulfill tactical needs and satisfy huge thirst for data and information, especially in data mining, but SAS has given us additional time to focus on separate streams: executive summaries, dashboard, KPI’s and reporting for top and middle management; education and promotion of new data analysts; enrichment of data structures for data mining and advanced analysis.
What the reasons for choosing SAS?
We originally initiated a contact with SAS while working on the Basel II standard approach project. After several workshops that enabled us to gain a valuable insight into SAS capabilities, the bank decided to engage with SAS as a strategic partner for data mining and advanced analytics. The cooperation was further bolstered during the implementation and development process, where SAS Adriatic Region team demonstrated a high level of dedication and professionalism. In one sentence, they listen carefully to our needs and generously share their knowledge and expertise with us.
Can you better explain the key role of the IT department in running the project within the company?
At the beginning, IT provided support, through mapping, resolving data quality issues and performing data cleansing. In parallel with the introduction of SAS, we have developed our in-house DWH and many data marts specialized to cover different kinds of needs. Today, our role had changed from providing support to being the key initiator, an organizational unit that provides best practice in using data. This will be further enhanced with implementation of SAS Visual Analytics and Statistics.
Who are the main users?
SAS tools are primarily used by CRM, credit risk, retail sales, product development and retail network. Some of them are only consumers of reports, while others prepare ad-hoc analysis, what-if analysis, stress tests and data mining. Depending on their business needs and level of knowledge, we have a different approach and education path.
Can you please summarize the key benefits?
The key benefit is certainly moving ad-hoc and advanced analysis to business users whose continuous need for information was a great challenge for IT resources. Today, Banca Intesa’s IT is fully dedicated to generating new business value and providing support to business in the right manner.
What are the benefits gained from SAS? May you share some examples?
First of all, it is the empowerment of business users to perform ad-hoc reporting and analysis, which is giving IT additional time to work on strategic initiatives, while maintaining control over infrastructure and data. I would also say it is the skill to listen and conduct interview with business users to understand their needs. I have participated in many SAS workshops, listened carefully and adopt their skills, expertise and approach. This is why now I encourage my colleagues to avoid asking WHAT and instead try to find out WHY, which enables us to define common goals with business lines and set the project in the right direction.
Focus on data integration and ad-hoc reporting to fulfill tactical needs and satisfy huge thirst for data and information, especially in data mining.
The empowerment of business users to perform ad-hoc reporting and analysis, which is giving IT additional time to work on strategic initiatives, while maintaining control over infrastructure and data.