This week we caught up with Neha Pansari who was the recipient of ‘Women in Leadership Awards’ at the Rising 2019. She currently works as an assistant vice president at Axis Bank, where her work is to largely transform the audit department using advanced analytics techniques and automating standard processes.
Pansari started her analytics journey eight years back when she joined ICICI Bank as a fresher after completing CA, CS. while she was always groomed in audit, accountancy and finance, her inclination towards data analytics grew when she landed into analytics team within audit department. Since then she has worked on developing many analytics solutions such as building automated testing environment wherein the audit tests could be performed on the entire database rather than being conducted manually for samples and on a real-time basis.
In this candid interaction with Analytics India Magazine, she shared her views on the use of analytics in the banking industry, challenges faced, and more.
Analytics India Magazine: What are the critical skillsets according to you required for a candidate to fit in the data science roles in the current scenario?
Neha Pansari: Over the past few years, a lot of Institutes have started courses on Data Analytics & Business Intelligence. We have the talent available in either coding skills or the ones who understand the business, however, a blend of both is difficult to find. It is important for technical guys to understand the business to make more sense to their analysis, this will also make the entire delivery process faster. Critical skill sets would primarily be hands-on experience on analytical tools, critical thinking in terms of building hypothesis & analysing data, creativity and adaptability to learn new technologies. I have myself over the course of my work experience completed various certification courses in Statistics & Business Intelligence.
AIM: How has data analytics brought about a streamlining in processes in the banking industry? What are some of the advantages that you see that analytics has brought about in banking?
NP: Banks can make better decisions with data analytics, be it automating their operative processes or using analytical models to give customer insights, data analytics is key to the future of banking. Volume, as well as the velocity of data, has become very important factors enabling analytics within the Banking Industry. Some of the advantages can be –
- Stronger Regulatory compliance
- Better ability to target customers with the right mix of products
- Manage fraud effectively
- A better understanding of consumer behaviour
- Monitor transaction from AML compliance perspective
Sophisticated analytical solutions can improve Banks profitability, ensure compliance, growth and competitiveness. Analytics is the best value creation lever available today.
AIM: How do you see the adoption of analytics in banking evolving over the years? How do you see the future of banking and analytics?
NP: Banking Industry has dramatically evolved over the years, today it not just Branch Centric but getting more Digital – bringing branch to your finger-tips. With the advent of technology and Digital India getting a push, Banking has transformed and will undergo even more transformation. The customer of today wants a Bank that understand their needs, goals and presents them with personalised products & services. Predictive analytics can help Banks extract deep customer insights and provide valuable solutions. AI has a lot to change the dynamics of Banking, Chatbots / Voice Bots / Seeing AI / Text Analytics all of it can transform the traditional methods of Banking and enrich the customer experience.
AIM: What are the most preferred analytics and data science tools by you that you have used extensively in your analytics journey?
NP: We have a mix of various tools used, in my journey I have used different tools like SAS, Alteryx, Tableau, SQL, R, Python and not to forget Excel too. A lot of times, even a simple tool like Excel helps to perform a lot of analytics. When it comes to visualization, my personal favourite is Tableau.
AIM: What are the challenges that the banking industry faced when it comes to analytics adoption?
NP: Conceptualising and operationalising analytics to take a smarter decision is a challenge given the ground realities of talent crunch, system infrastructure & competing priorities. The quality of data and the way its managed is also a challenge in performing analytics.
Analytics is not just using the right tool, its broader concept which involves building hypothesis first and then making the right use of the tool, it blends of business acumen and technology. The biggest challenge today is to find such talent which understands both the worlds, business use case and technology