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The Bigger The Better? Big Data in Financial Services

Big Data in Financial Services

This paper is designed to be relevant to producers and consumers of data in a financial institution. In particular, it is oriented towards the business use of data (e.g., analytics) and on technology techniques for managing data. The paper assumes that the reader has some context and understanding around Big Data technologies, how they would or would not apply within a financial organization, and the benefits and challenges that such new technologies present.

“Big Data” is a term which has come to spark much interest and discussion. Whether ‘hype’ or ‘futuristic,’ one thing is certain: “Big Data” has entered the technology industry lexicon in a big way. At Capco, we define Big Data as an information environment to facilitate better business insight and decision-making by leveraging information assets that have high volume, velocity, and variety, and require new forms of capture, processing, and analysis.

Key to the Capco definition of Big Data is that we perceive it to be a business-driven initiative; it is the business which owns the information and data assets of a firm, and not technology, and so it is the business which should champion the need to leverage Big Data as the proposed solution to specific problems. In many ways, Big Data is not about data, but about analytics, the business insight they provide, and the decision-making they facilitate. Further, while Big Data may have strong application in some areas, it may not be appropriate in all situations. However, this does not detract from the significant potential that Big Data technology offers to rationalize data management costs. Capco’s research shows that most financial institutions are implementing Big Data projects over the next 12-24 months, however, their objectives are varied and, at times, unclear. As with all data challenges, the commencement of any project to solve for a specific issue, whether through Big Data technologies or conventional technologies, should only be initiated once a particular challenge has been identified, and the complexities around the challenge are well understood by the business.