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© 2018 SEEM - Sustainability through Engagement, Empowerment & Mobilization

thoughts & notes

November 19, 2019

What is the problem that is compelling you to solve using data science? The power in data and the mechanisms to harness this power is now available to us. Identifying the right problem or use case is the first step. There are multiple use cases across the industry being attacked using data science currently. What resonates with you? Being very clear about your objectives and a definition of what success of the project would look like is the stepping stone.

Having identified your use case and a definition of the success of the project, then you can begin focussing on the project more precisely. You may wonder how a data science project is similar or dissimilar from...

December 3, 2018

Global systemically important banks have diverse lines of businesses and they operate in multiple geographies. This exposes them to a complex and dynamic regulatory landscape. To meet with the regulatory expectations, they invest in multiple initiatives and their supporting technologies. Often these initiatives are isolated without having an association with one another and their underlying data. This results in redundancies as well as gaps in the overall compliance program. 

What if we could create one integrated compliance program across the bank and geographies? What if this program could use one application to integrate all the discrete initiatives? It would gi...

December 2, 2018

The core business of a bank is to manage their credit risks well while generating profits through different products & services. Losing sight on the requirement to manage credit risks well can lead to unwanted events even to the magnitude of the economic downturn as we saw in 2007-08 credit crunch & recession. If so, how do banks believe they are doing in this elementary aspect of their business? Would it be ok to agree that there is fundamentally no change in the risk management framework that was before the downturn in 2007-08 and now. What were the issues in that framework that persists even today?

Risk function is still the same. It is seen more as a hindra...

November 29, 2018

You may visualise the fight against financial crime as one managed in two main parts in the lifecycle of a customer. First when the customer is on-boarded, and a KYC is carried out to understand who the customer is. The other is after on-boarding, the ongoing monitoring of the customer to ensure the activities of the customer are in line with acceptable norms. This ongoing monitoring can again be divided into two main parts - monitoring the transactions of the customer and the other gaining better insights about the customer from information like emerging new relationships, business associations, and many other data points from diverse sources including social med...

November 28, 2018

You may agree that there is a constant rise in the regulatory scrutiny on banks. With regulators gaining more capabilities to analyse data using technology, they are striving to ensure compliance in a more transparent and auditable way. Unlike in the past, where banks submitted static reports at a specific time in the right format, they are now looking for more detailed and granular data for better insights. They are not satisfied with the right conclusion made by the bank and reported to them but are looking for explanations that led to the conclusions as well. This leads to the responsibility of the bank to produce detailed reports backed with data and demonstra...

October 27, 2018

The ills of corruption, we all know. It kills any good deed, denies opportunities to deserving, hijacks rights of the weak and many more. Who is not aware of this? The dilemma is whether to give some money and get the job done or fight back. How much a common person can fight? The system is tough to fight with. One may choose to be honest and go on but that does not make others honest and change the system. To change the system it needs something else. Those who are honest are faced with challenges more and more. They are faced with dilemma take the shortcut or stay strong and let go many luxuries that the shortcuts would otherwise make them available. There are m...

October 3, 2017

If you may look back on your journey so far and try to remember a situation at work or outside where you have noticed people really join in and give their best, what was that situation? 

My first half marathon was in Mumbai in 2009 and one of the memorable ones. What fascinated me was the overwhelming support and participation by residents and bystanders who were so enthusiastic to offer you food or water or just show their joy by some street shows or music or some kind of act they could think of. It was like a fiesta. These people were not asked for or appointed volunteers to cheer the runners. They were the ones who saw some kind of connection with the runners. T...

March 21, 2017

You might agree that attainment grades in school or for that matter quantitative outcome at a workplace may not be the sole indicator for evaluating one's probability of success. What is that which is more fundamental than attainment? The first thing that comes to our mind is “attitude”. What is actually “attitude”? Probably it means a lot of things because it is this attitude that determines the how part of the journey. How sincere one is; how much effort one puts into; how well one collaborates; how one perceives the work and explores ways to become efficient or organised; shares knowledge with others; learns from how many possible avenues or how ethical one's a...

March 8, 2017

Culture put in simple terms is the way of doing things in reality - the untold norms, practices, rules and regulations that people in the organisation follow. It is not something that is controlled by a switch, a thermostat, an order issued by management or a replaceable part in a machine. It is like the air that we breathe. Can you change the quality of the air in a city by any quick fix? NO. How do we fix it, if we have to? How can you change the culture in an organisation, if you have to? But why do we have to change the culture now? If it is working well, just let it be. The problem statement needs to be clear first.

So far what we have been doing actually was...

February 3, 2017

How will leading look like in this time of fourth industrial revolution? Is this going to be different? To understand this let us first look at what is the primary driver for this revolution. Undisputedly you will agree it is technology and predominantly, Artificial Intelligence. The impact of Artificial Intelligence is unimaginable as it will be penetrating across the industry in almost every aspect of business. In fact, the entire ecosystem will need to get readjusted as a result. AI systems can learn from vast amounts of complex, unstructured information and turn it into actionable insight. It is capable of replacing humans for most of the repetitive jobs and f...

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