Machine learning and cloud
analytics lead to better banking
SAS helps ATB Financial better explore customer data to provide optimal services.
faster processing times
ATB Financial uses artificial intelligence and SAS® Viya® on Google Cloud to halve processing times and enhance the customer experience
As banks face rising pressure from disruptive fintechs and global tech giants dipping their toes in financial waters, some are using technology to stem the turning tide.
ATB Financial is boosting productivity and enhancing the customer experience with a cloud-based analytics platform from SAS. Once limited by fragmented technology, the bank has transformed into a digital powerhouse, providing a top-notch experience for more than 750,000 customers.
“We used to make decisions based on intuition,” says Kwame Asiedu, Director of Data Science. “Now we make accurate, data-driven decisions tailored to the problems we’re trying to solve.”
Ultimately, SAS has given us the ability to trust our results and take leaps, which allows us to be more creative in devising ways to enrich the customer experience. Kwame Asiedu Director of Data Science ATB Financial
SAS Viya cuts processing times in half
ATB Financial invested in SAS Viya on Google Cloud, a unified and agile end-to-end platform that helps quickly analyze big data to improve the customer experience and produce business value.
Central to the platform are machine learning models that enable personalization at scale. “As we shift from developing tools to providing services, we needed a platform that gives us access to open source and proprietary algorithms in machine learning,” Asiedu says. “SAS Viya on Google Cloud allows us to do just that. It empowers team members to use cutting-edge techniques to solve problems with advanced model management and allows us to scale up quickly to meet performance needs.”
With power comes speed. SAS Viya’s in-memory and in-database processing has cut processing time in half, and its deployment in Google Cloud – with Hadoop as a data store – has improved performance by 25 percent over the previous on-premises environment.
“Faster results mean faster decisions, which is key for a bank,” Asiedu says.
Number-crunching executives have taken notice and moved to embed analytics in more areas. To stay vigilant, the bank uses SAS Model Manager to provide governance around data science programs, and SAS Decision Manager to streamline the deployment of analytical models.
“Everyone is just amazed and happy with SAS Viya,” Asiedu says.
ATB Financial – Facts & Figures
Personalized services with artificial intelligence
With the SAS Platform in place and wide access across ATB Financial business teams, staff members can now focus on what they’re good at: applying artificial intelligence and machine learning to solve problems and make banking better for customers.
At the center of this is data. Getting customers to disclose personal details first requires earning their trust. “We don’t jeopardize privacy, and because of that, our customers are comfortable giving us their information and trusting us to be a dependable and reliable financial institution that caters to their needs,” Asiedu says.
The bank uses customer data to provide a wealth of useful services. From proactive alerts to fraud detection to personalized, real-time product recommendations, customers are the primary beneficiary of ATB Financial’s data science efforts. Subsequently, the bank benefits from increasing the lifetime value of each customer.
“SAS helps us think differently,” Asiedu says. “For an organization like us that wants to reimagine banking and challenge the status quo with artificial intelligence, SAS helps us disrupt our working environment and create happiness for our customers.”
Analytics for the masses
The bank is swift to democratize analytics. Rather than having distinct groups of experts in charge of applied technology, ATB Financial encourages team members across the organization to ideate and prototype solutions as citizen data scientists.
“Our goal is to enable every team member to apply analytical techniques to their daily work,” Asiedu says. “With SAS, our teams have the tools and training to leverage machine learning, advanced analytics and natural language processing.”
Prior to the new platform, the company had an emerging open source user population and no consistency in analytic outcomes. SAS Viya on Google Cloud enables all users regardless of their analytical prowess or coding language preference to visualize analytics.
“I really like the unified framework of SAS Viya,” Asiedu says. “Now we have one graphic user interface for all SAS applications, which is very handy for us.”
ATB Financial fosters analytics usage by creating a safe environment for innovation. Employees are encouraged to come up with new ideas and challenge the status quo. The best ideas are rewarded and recognized by top leaders, which, in turn, fuels more innovation.
“We empower our team members to be curious, open to new ideas and to think about new ways to better serve our customers,” Asiedu says. “This accelerates the innovation lifecycle.”
Confidence to take leaps
SAS Viya has enabled ATB Financial to get smarter with analytics and expand beyond simple reporting. From risk analysis and fraud detection to mobile app customization and customer service improvements, advanced analytics has unlocked huge returns for Alberta’s largest homegrown institution.
“We see SAS not as a vendor but a partner,” Asiedu says. “They listened to us, understood our challenges and gave us a solution catered to our needs. Ultimately, SAS has given us the ability to trust our results and take leaps, which allows us to be more creative in devising ways to enrich the customer experience.”