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Making Analytics less complex & costly

Many technology companies soon figure out that it is not easy to sell to a bank. Some may say that banks are too conservative, and others may say that banks are too demanding. The undeniable fact is that banks like to work with technology companies who understand their business and their domain. Now there is a new player in the BFSI field – data. Data has become even more critical than technology and is the most powerful foundation for growth and profitability. Understanding data, what different types of data mean, how they impact decisions, how they control risk, and how they create value is sine qua non in the BFSI sector today. And data analytics has so much power to create value and to prevent destruction of value.
So, in light of the twin forces of technology and data, I am sharing the unique approach at 3i Infotech, a BFSI focused IT solution and services company that began as the technology arm of ICICI Bank. 3i Infotech now has 20 years of experience in the BFSI field spanning 50+ analytics projects. This experience is not just in India, it spans multiple geographies – Asia, America, Europe & MEA with banks, insurance companies, mutual funds, NBFCs and more.
How do we help our BFSI clients? First, I wish to clarify that 3i Infotech is not an analytics products company, and neither do we offer products of other companies. So, we have no compulsion to sell any particular product and hence no moral hazard about product fitness. Our goal is to provide you the best possible solution based on your current requirement, your future roadmap, your existing solutions, your technical capabilities and your budget comforts. We have the technical expertise and the domain understanding to deliver the solution in the shortest practical time frame so that you can start benefiting as early as possible. We shrink the time frame for analytics projects from months to weeks, which very few companies can do. While we help with analytics of all kinds, our speciality is analytics for top management and CXOs. All our analytics related offerings operate under the brand Momenta.
Let me share some valuable insights that you can apply in your organization.

1. Time Reduction
With growing data size and growing uses of data, it is but natural that analytics projects are becoming bigger and bigger, in fact seemingly endless. Likewise, the cost and time associated with these projects is also forever stretching. One simple solution is to break analytics projects into smaller phases so that the implementation cycles are shorter, and users can start using the system as each phase gets completed and goes live. Now, dividing a large project into phases is not as simple as mathematical division or applying some formula. With hundreds of related parameters, this is something that comes only from experience of what causes projects to stretch out and what factors are really important.
Here is a real case. A banking captive center in India, was looking for an analytics and visualization solution. Initially they wanted a comprehensive solution. When we discussed further, we found that they were looking for an analytics platform with initial 5 dashboards and 15 key reports, which were essential to the users. The others were nice to have but not a critical requirement. 50% of the dashboards were readily available with us. We would delivery much faster than our competitors and the client was very happy.  Later we added AI & NLG to create graphical views to further boost usability.

2. Squeezing Cost
We have seen two main components when exploring technology costs. First is the obvious one – what new has to be procured. The more the variety of tools and licenses, higher the cost. The expertise that the 3i Infotech team brings to the table is that we have practical usage insights about the capabilities of numerous tools and can recommend the advantages and disadvantages in the context of the needs. This generates substantial savings as less useful features, options, modules, licenses, etc, can be minimized/avoided. Infrastructure too is a big cost element, and we have experience in optimizing that as well.
One thing that we at 3i Infotech almost always recommend is to re-use what is already existing. This typically includes existing softwares such as Oracle, Microsoft, etc. Several tools from Microsoft are very economical, like PowerBI. O365 helps distribute PowerBI reports at low cost. Another example is using O365 for accessing the reports, as most companies would already have licenses for that. Similarly, Oracle offers a lot of analytics as a part and parcel of the database.

3. Shift Expertise Downwards
There is a severe talent shortage of people with analytics skills, especially newer skills. Every organization wants to optimize deployment of people with such skills. We at 3i Infotech help our clients by creating tools and systems that enable and empower users to generate the reports they want by themselves, rather than go to the experts again and again.

4. Importance of ad-hoc / self-service reports
In preparing for an analytics setup, I have seen that one thing that is not given sufficient importance is ad-hoc / self-service reports. While ad-hoc reports may seem like a small thing, they often originate from requirements from key stake holders. Regulators will ask for reports that do not exist in the system. RTI and CSR reports also come in this category. A practical example is fire insurance company wanting information on who are the neighboring industries, particularly chemical companies. Hence, what every company needs is a powerful reporting system that gives users the power to create ad-hoc / self-service reports. We at 3i Infotech are familiar with many such ad-hoc reports and do help our clients prepare for most of them in advance.
One of our insurance customers is using dynamics data hierarchy and subject oriented data marts to perform quick ad-hoc analysis with faster turn-around and no dependency on their IT team or service provider.

5. External Opportunities
While there is immense opportunity for the company to use data analytics for its own growth and expansion, the same data is of value to many other companies that lack this data. This makes it possible for the BFSI company to leverage its data analytics and explore additional revenue streams from other companies – such as identifying geographical pockets to target, identifying suitable customer segments for different products, determining granular pricing points, etc. Some of these analytics may require customer consent, while some are generic enough to not need this. Obviously, all such offerings must be in compliance with regulations regarding what to offer, to whom to offer, and more, and these will vary as per the jurisdiction.

6. Leveraging Small Data
The scenario is changing from big data to small data and quick data. Big data is becoming increasingly bigger and bigger and hence more difficult as well as expensive to manage. On the other hand, organizations are finding high quality insights from small and limited quantities of data. Most financial institutes have their own data analytics team, which may be part of business or IT. The major issue is replicating the experience from one part of business to another. We at 3i do this by standardizing and replicating. Why use a bulldozer when a hammer is enough to put the nail into the wall. This requires experience and expertise to ensure that vital data is not left unused.

7. CXO Command Center
With all the work we have done, we have realized that CXOs need a command center where they can see all the critical information and take quick decisions. Hence we at 3i Infotech are developing this and will soon come up with CXO command center, where CEOs and CXOs will have a dashboard for performance with drill down capabilities. For the BFSI sector, this command center enhances and automates data collection across multiple types of systems and data sources and provides a near real-time visualization of story boards, leading to better visibility and easier decision making.
These are 7 examples of benefits that we can bring to any analytics project…and there are many more. 3i Infotech’s triple strength of deep domain knowledge, rich technology expertise and global delivery capabilities are our core. This is matched with our expertise in data science, machine learning, predictive analytics and big data. Momenta is an intelligent data & analytics platform with ready to deploy Visualization and Analytics features for key Business Functions. This helps organizations and Business units to take the right and faster decisions with interactive reports & dashboards.

Rishi Agrawal, Global Delivery Head – Application, Automation and Analytics at

3i Infotech Ltd.  [email protected]

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