Data Integration

The secret “force multiplier” delivering superb customer experiences at OCBC Bank

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Talend Team

4 min read

At the second-largest bank in Southeast Asia, Singapore-based OCBC Bank, a team of data specialists is having an outsized impact on business results. By working closely with business stakeholders across the bank, the Customer Analytics & Decisioning team is finding innovative ways to apply analytics, AI, and automation to key processes in an effort to understand and better serve their customers.

This group has played a critical role in a program that is now delivering incremental revenue of $100 million per year. Using Talend technology to integrate and orchestrate data from more than 200 data sources, they have applied these innovations to more than 30 use cases. As a result, the team has radically improved the customer experience in everything from call center response times and marketing campaigns to financial crime, credit card fraud detection, and more.

Choreography of data 

Donald MacDonald, Head of the Customer Analytics and Decisioning team at OCBC Bank, is tasked with identifying opportunities to solve business challenges with data analytics and AI. Everything he does is centered around elevating the customer experience.  
That effort starts with obtaining a 360-degree view of each customer and understanding their unique wants, needs, and preferences. “It requires not only a whole lot of data but also the ability to connect and choreograph all that data to generate new insights,” explains Mr. MacDonald. “Talend effectively glues all the pieces together across the entire customer experience.” 

...Talend is a force multiplier for our team. It enables us to create better experiences based on a 360-degree view of customer needs.

Donald MacDonald
Head of Group Customer Analytics & Decisioning, AI Lab

Periyasamy SivaKumar, Head of Data Engineering at OCBC Bank, agrees. “Talend can read multiple data sources, and bring them all into one place, build the workflow with AI and machine learning, automate the process, and then run the job,” he says. “It just saves a lot of time. With Talend, we can give our data engineers access to high-quality data that’s loaded and ready to go, all in one place.” He also appreciates another Talend benefit — with no need to involve IT, productivity is improved for everyone.  

Myriad use cases, one common platform 

In the time since the partnership with Talend, OCBC Bank has already leveraged the flexibility and scalability of the Talend Real-time Big Data Platform in more than 30 use cases that directly or indirectly improve the customer experience. Some of these applications include: 

  • Integrating 120 billion data points to create accurate, 360-degree customer profiles. Data scientists can then apply machine learning and AI to determine the optimal Next-Best Conversation to have with a given customer through marketing outreach campaigns such as SMS, emails, telemarketing, and other contact methods, resulting in higher cross-selling revenue and happier customers. 

  • Implementing smart process automation that uses AI to simplify and streamline everything from call center response to communications about complex investments, so customers can quickly get the information they need. For example, OCBC Bank can identify customers who contacted the call center but dropped off early and have a representative proactively call them back. 

  • Providing automated reporting to the police or other government authorities about identified suspicious activities, saving staff time. For example, when the bank spots potential money laundering transactions, staff can avoid the tedious, time-consuming manual task of filling out the voluminous paperwork by automating the process.

The gains in customer satisfaction and the incremental revenue generated through these and other use cases is impressive enough. But according to Mr. MacDonald, OCBC Bank has also achieved a tremendous increase in productivity and agility. 

“Talend takes tasks that used to be run manually — whether by the data team or the business team — and allows us to automate those tasks, taking hours of manpower effort out of the business,” relays Mr. MacDonald. “For many of these use cases, what used to take days or week now takes a few hours. It's a huge productivity booster for my team. And that in turn makes us more agile, because now we support a wide range of use cases.” 

Growth has doubled MacDonald’s team in size from 50 to 100+ over the past two years — but it’s only a fraction of the increase that would have been required without Talend. That number would have been much higher without Talend — because Talend is a force multiplier for our team, says Mr. MacDonald. “It enables us to create better experiences based on a 360-degree view of customer needs, and it actually helps other business units avoid the need to hire more staff to do mundane, manual tasks. It’s a win for all the business stakeholders in our bank — and it’s an even bigger win for our customers.”

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Data Integration

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