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Banks to leverage big data in 2016

FNB's Yudhvir Seetharam says big data analytics can help businesses reduce costs, be more innovative and gain a competitive advantage.

FNB's Yudhvir Seetharam says big data analytics can help businesses reduce costs, be more innovative and gain a competitive advantage.

Financial institutions and businesses will be looking to leverage big data analytics as one of the means to overcome the current tough economic conditions.

This is according to Yudhvir Seetharam, head of analytics at FNB Business, who says the use of big data has grown tremendously in South Africa over the past two years.

"It (big data) has helped businesses to reduce costs, be more innovative and gain a competitive advantage. While there are a number of technical definitions for big data, it simply refers to applying scientific principles to data in order to produce actionable insights," he says.

Seetharam shares five trends on the growth of big data and how it is actively being used:

It is now being offered at universities

The big data hype has come with an increase in awareness of how collecting and analysing data can offer benefits to businesses. Given the specialist skills required for these roles, many universities are now offering analytics degrees – effectively preparing the future generation to function in the analytics world.

It can now be seen

The simple act of visually seeing data will increase, as more analysts use simple or even commercialised software to display data to their stakeholders. Unlike in the past, when stakeholders had to ask for data, they will now be proactively provided with insights.

Banks are now legally obliged to manage it

Banks need to have accurate and reproducible credit reports as per Basel regulations. This means that a bank needs to prove to a regulator that what is in its reports can be backed up with data. Similarly, to avoid the misuse of data, South Africa is set to enforce the Protection of Personal Information Act this year. This act protects the consumer's personal information from misuse by any business.

Consumers are now part of it

By essentially creating your own "home" Web, you can easily order groceries online (or your fridge can do it for you), automatically record your favourite episode on TV and even watch over your house while you're on holiday. The glue that holds these elements together is known as the "Internet of things".

Businesses can now make money from it

Being able to understand customers is essential for survival and profitability. Businesses are investing more capital into analytics and data, in order to derive customer insights. Financial institutions are also actively using big data to truly understand their customers in order to offer them tailor-made solutions.


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