We achieved 100% data governance with Data lake and data cubes says Yes Bank IT Chief Anup Purohit

Sangram Aglave, Contributing Editor, BW Businessworld caught up with Anup Purohit, CIO, Yes Bank and Rajat Gupta who heads their BI & Analytics program at Cloudera Sessions Mumbai 2018 to learn about various data initiatives underway at the bank. Edited excerpts from the interview below

Q. Why would you want to bring all data in one place?

Anup: All organizations are working towards instituting a data driven culture. Data Lake is part of a larger initiative in placing data at the centerstage of the day to day decision making at our Bank. This has helped us break the data silo’s and create a single source of truth. 

Rajat: 70%-80% of the data science time goes into data preparation. A data lake brings down the preparation time by making data more accessible to the end consumer.

Q. How to solve the problem of data security?

Anup: We have approximately 5 petabytes of data under the governance today. All this data is properly classified and cataloged for use. All personally identifiable data is tokenized in compliance with the Indian banking regulations. We have achieved 100% data governance after breaking the data silo’s with the data lakes. We have 27 data cubes that serve data to the end consumers. These cubes sources from the data lake. The IT team has full visibility into all data assets while delivering a top-class self-service experience to our data consumers. We have three watchdogs for data security and first one is the data team headed by Rajat then we have a CISO reporting into the Chief Risk Officer and third is the Internal Auditor who reports into the board. Over and above this we have external agencies, regulatory and non-regulatory that routinely survey the performance of our data security policies.

Rajat: Our security setups ensure only legitimate people get access to the data. We have fine grained row and column level security over our data assets. We have used python-based algorithms that tokenize the personally identifiable data.

Q. Can you share some notable data projects delivered by your team?

Anup: Yes Bank has successfully transitioned from a outsourced Loyalty program to one built inhouse with Cloudera. We save about a quarter of a million dollars each year as a result. 

Rajat: The inhouse loyalty program built on latest technology will drive Instant gratification for our customers. The paradigm shift in loyalty is going from day minus data to real time data. Cloudera based data platform has allowed us to report the earned loyalty points to our customers in real-time. 

Q. Is IT still seen as a cost?

Anup: Cost is reality. But all our IT costs are investments by nature. In a hi-tech business like a bank IT is important input side cost. But if you ask me overall, the role of CIO has reached parity with that of the COO as everyone is qualifying business processes for automation.

Q. Is data literacy a HR issue?

Anup: The Data quotient or data literacy depending on what you call it is a cultural issue. It’s a issue that cuts across all departments. All department heads should begin with an assessment of data literacy within their organizations and train people. The goal should be to achieve consistent and uniform level of ‘data quotient’ within the Enterprise.

Q. What do you plan to accomplish with Yes Bank Datathon?

Anup: The Datathon compliments our IT roadmap and Digital Transformation initiative and at the same time helps the Analytics ecosystem in India by giving data practitioners a unique opportunity to work on anonymized production grade datasets. At the same time from a business point of view; we are in search of those 5 -7 ideas that we could operationalize and productize at Yes Bank. Yes Bank Datathon will also bring scale and diversity to the bank which is very essential in looking at data from all possible angles.  A secondary outcome is getting to know talent whom we could hire in the future. 


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