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Where data really matters

“We have a saying in the team,” Richard Schroder says. “Data science is a contact sport. So when we turn up, we turn up in person.”

Schroder is Head of Analytics & Platform at ANZ Institutional. His team – a crack group of data scientists, analysts and designers – are tasked not just with collating deidentified data, but also how, where and when to use it in the most-effective way to benefit the customer.

As Schroder points out, when it comes down to it, all the banks have the same data, really. How does any one stand out? As Schroder tells ANZ Institutional, it’s all about the customer experience.

“We differentiate through the engagement and the customer-led design process to focus on the problems that matter to them,” he says.

Data has become so ubiquitous in business at times it becomes hard to see the forest from the trees. ANZ keeps a key focus on where it really matters.

“Working with our customers to help them navigate business challenges is central to our strategy,” Emma Davine, Head of Public Sector at ANZ Institutional says.

“Using data to make decisions, leveraging digital and design thinking are all examples of the tools that we use at ANZ to innovate around customer experience.”

Davine says the bank’s ability to draw insights from data has helped deepen its conversations with government, and ANZ was now seeing that activity “ripple and scale to our other institutional customers”.


“Using data to make decisions, leveraging digital and design thinking are all examples of the tools we use at ANZ to innovate around customer experience.” – Emma Davine

Beyond institutional businesses, Davine says government has found deep value in its work with ANZ around data – particularly through the recent COVID-19 crisis.

“Governments are interested in using data in a couple of ways,” she says. “One is to better understand its own transactions, payment types and liquidity and see this all in one place.”

“The second piece is to use deidentified, aggregated data to help form policy decisions and to interrogate a problem. We've taken a design-led approach to these problem statements and show that we're able to think differently to our competitors.”

Davine says ANZ has arrangements in place to share data on consumption and social distancing with several clients, including in the public sector.

“This is being used to better understand the economic impacts of COVID and to gauge the effectiveness of policy measures and of recovery,” she says.

A long way

Schroder says the bank’s capability has come a long way in five years, when the team consisted of just himself and a data scientist.

“We were running off a desktop computer,” he says of the time.  “Fast forward to now, we've got 50 dedicated data scientists, and data engineers who are focussed purely on adding value to customers.”

“We have [a process] where we work alongside our bankers and designers to engage with our customers on the problems that matter to them.”

Schroder says the key to ANZ’s strength in the market its ability to partner with customers seeking specific solutions.

“Our institutional customers want to partner well, particularly in the next five to 10 years, in and around the area of digital data and innovation,” he says. “Being a good partner is front of mind for them.”

“We have an engagement model where we can work with our bankers to provide context to the data problems we're working on.”

For Davine, data is a critical part of ANZ’s customer proposition, although importantly, is seen as just that – a part. Fortunately, the bank’s capability extends well beyond data, too.

“It's a really important piece of the package,” she says.

Shane White is Content Manager at ANZ

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