Data is now central to our biggest decisions at ANZ and that means asking some key questions: What do our customers want? What do our stakeholders and shareholders need? What does the data need to do differently to enable us to provide those services and outcomes?
"In any crisis, you need to have the most current data available at the fingertips of decision makers to enable quick decision making.”
This shift needs to be made efficiently and effectively; it must address the cost of our legacy infrastructure and it must be done in a manner that gives confidence to all authorised users at any point in time.
Successful data projects conducted in banks tells us they're not technology projects. If we view data with just a technology lens, we risk missing the boat. Data projects should actually focus on outcomes for customers, then understand how processes need to adapt to allow the data to flow where it needs to. Finally, projects must understand where we need technology to support.
Data in a crisis
In any crisis, we need the latest data at the fingertips of decision makers to enable rapid decisions. The COVID-19 pandemic and recent bushfires in Australia graphically demonstrate that need. But really crises just emphasise what should be happening with data anyway.
Data needs to be available ‘end to end’ (from when a customer enters our channels, to when the issue is addressed, to the follow up required with that customer to understand how that intervention has improved their outlook).
Embedding data is about much more than a reporting function churning out reports - the world is way beyond that. Increasingly, all executives need to understand what behaviours we want to drive, what products we want to build for customers, how we enable those from a process standpoint and how we enable them from a technology standpoint.
Data needs to be consistently available to different decision makers and stakeholders (including regulators) which means we must ensure we have confidence in the source of the data and calculations made with it, how it’s assembled and stored.
With that, we can have a constructive dialogue focused on decisions we can make. Without it, management teams can sink into ‘my data vs your data’ traps that frustrate progress.
Ongoing investments in data quality drive faster decision making, faster reporting and automation. It all fits together. We want to be more proactive about knowing what levers the bank and our customers can pull in a crisis. It’s a combination of customer-driven propositions and data processes backed by technology which can help us accelerate.
Useful data and trust in the brand
My team at ANZ has two main customers: the external customer whose financial wellbeing we’re trying to help improve. And the internal decision makers who we’re trying to help make faster decisions which are transparent to the customer.
Before we can help a customer, that customer must first trust we will use that data for their benefit and they will be engaged with us in the process. That means building the muscles that pull data out from legacy ‘locked boxes’, engage with customers on propositions, and ask permission to engage on it.
“Open banking” is spurring both established banks and new challengers to do more. It will drive initiatives like comparison sites which will encourage competition. At the heart of open banking is a way of using data which is actually what banks should have been doing anyway.
At the heart of that is trust, given that open banking will happen at a customer’s request. At ANZ, to build that trust, we have a very strong data governance function. We have a set of ethical principles which we use to gauge each of our use cases.
We ask a series of questions for each use case: who wants the data? What is the data? What do they want to do with it and why? We gauge the answers against these ethical principles to make sure we're really comfortable that we're protecting customers and that the data is being used for good. These are questions we were already asking so as we accelerate we can embed these principles into future technologies.