First Vietnamese bank honored by TDWI

11:16 | 30/09/2015 Economy

(VEN) - VPBank recently announced that it has been recognized as a 2015 Best Practices Award winner in the Enterprise Data Management Strategies category by TDWI, the premier source for in-depth education and research on all things data. The Best Practices Awards were presented at TDWI San Diego, which took place on September 20–25 at the Manchester Grand Hyatt in San Diego, CA. Vietnam Economic News’ Ca Huong talked with Vivek Bhanot, Head of the Business Intelligence Competency Center, about VPBank’s data management strategy and the award.

First Vietnamese bank honored by TDWI

Can you briefly describe your role at VPBank?

I am currently serving as BI Director at VPBank and also part of bank’s Board of Management. In terms of my role, I am responsible for realizing VPBank’s vision of transforming itself into an information driven bank. In early 2014, I set up the Business Intelligence Competency Center (BICC) reporting directly to the CEO, Mr. Nguyen Duc Vinh. Starting with less than 10, the center now employs 40 people working in different areas supporting information needs of business and support units of the bank.

What is the importance of data management for organizations?

No one can deny that data is absolutely essential for better decision making. In fact, most of the organizations now have begun to treat data as their strategic asset. At the same time, advancements in IT and ubiquity of online platforms have led to mind-boggling growth in volume, velocity and variety of data that can be captured. Machine-generated data is expected to grow by 15 times in 2020 according to the International Data Corporation (IDC). Such is the growth in volume of data that instead of usual megabytes and gigabytes, organizations now talk about terabytes and petabytes of data.

But with all the growth, the challenge that remains is what to do with this data and how to convert it into meaningful and actionable information. In order to derive maximum value out of data, it needs to be managed well. Hence the need for Enterprise Data Management (EDM) systems arises. EDM approach is not just limited to utilization of technology; it is an optimum combination of technology, governance and people. Although EDM is necessary for all industries but some are farther than others e.g. banking, telecoms, healthcare are leading in their efforts to redefine business models based on data and insight driven decisions.

VPBank’s Business Intelligence Competency Center (BICC) is one of the first centers of this kind in the banking system in Vietnam. Please share with us the idea behind setting up the BICC. Also let us know the difficulties faced while building this center and its benefits for your bank?

VPBank is on an aggressive growth trajectory. The management realized that in order to achieve its ambitious five-year goal - one of the top three banks in Vietnam (by retail business) and top five (overall), the bank has to transform itself. One of the pillars of this transformation was building a world class data management and BI capability ultimately leading to information driven culture in the bank. Data Committee, constituted and chaired by our CEO, approved the creation of the BICC with the objective to promote and enable effective use of a shared BI service in the bank along with developing and managing a sound Data Governance mechanism.

There were definitely challenges e.g. convincing the bank’s Board of Directors about the value of the BICC, finding the right people and technology, increasing the awareness amongst end users of information, coordination with IT etc. To overcome these challenges, the BICC was conceived and implemented as an organizational change rather than a technology initiative and best practices like top down approach, phased roadmap, right positioning and communication, balanced mix of people, measurable success metrics etc. were leveraged to ensure success.

Since establishment, the BICC has taken remarkable strides forward. For the first time in VPBank, information on critical areas like pre-sales/sales productivity, application funnel, operational effectiveness, loan attrition, campaign effectiveness, product quality, risk indicators, customer cross-selling etc. was available for senior management and day-to-day business users. Ranked no. 1 in the bank for internal customer service excellence, the BICC featured in the list of top 10 achievements of VPBank in 2014.

Could you please share with us your further plans at VPBank?

The BICC has been successful in more traditional forms of BI e.g. reports, dashboards, scorecards etc. but we still have a long way to go in terms of utilizing and ultimately monetizing Big Data. At the same time, we are looking at next-generation data management platforms like Hadoop in order to capture and act on more and more unstructured forms of data. Governance around data is also a challenge. In fact, VPBank was one of the first banks to have started the implementation of a Data Governance mechanism in 2014 focusing on areas like data ownership, data quality, data security etc. The initial implementation phase has yielded some impressive results especially data quality improvement but it will take time before governance becomes fully operationalized and integrated within bank’s processes.

VPBank has recently received an international award from The Data Warehousing Institute (TDWI) in the Enterprise Data Management Strategies category. Could you share with us some details about the TDWI and the judging criteria for this award?

For 20 years, the TDWI, based in the US, has provided inpiduals and teams with a comprehensive portfolio of business and technical education and research about data. The in-depth, best-practices-based knowledge TDWI offers can be quickly applied to develop world-class talent across your organization’s business and IT functions to enhance analytical, data-driven decision making and performance. The TDWI presents five major conferences as well as topical seminars, onsite education, membership, certification, live Webinars, resourceful publications, industry news, and in-depth research.

The TDWI’s Best Practices Awards are designed to identify and honor companies that have demonstrated excellence in developing, deploying, and maintaining BI, data warehousing, and analytics applications. The nominated solutions were evaluated on business impact, maturity, innovation, and relevance by independent judges.

It’s an honor for VPBank to be recognized by the TDWI. The best practice award endorses our CEO’s vision of transforming VPBank into a data-driven bank and provides further impetus to our implementation efforts. Looking at the previous winners of these awards namely HSBC, GE Consumer Finance, Royal Bank of Canada, Scotiabank, IBM, SAP etc. and considering the fact that VPBank is the first winner of the TDWI award from Vietnam, makes this recognition all the more special. 


Ca Huong