October 01, 2012

As banks continue to accumulate massive amounts of data, both structured and unstructured, how to effectively use all that data to know your customer better will be key, said State Street Corp. Chief Scientist David Saul. Saul said he doesn't prefer the term "big data" when referring to this issue but rather "smart data," because it implies an intelligence behind the organization and use of this data. Saul touted the use of semantic databases to achieve this, which could be the next evolution in how banks manage big, or smart, data. The semantic data model associates a meaning to each piece of data to allow for better evaluation and analysis, Saul noted, adding that given their ability to analyze relationships, semantic databases are particularly well-suited for the financial services industry.

Using a semantic database, each piece of data has a meaning associated with it, noted Saul. For example, a typical data field might be a customer name. Semantic technology knows where that piece of information is in both the database and unstructured data.

However banks use their data to better market to customers, it's important to use that data to engage your customers, said Donald Morrison, SVP, head of banking and capital markets for MphasiS.

"Many banks are invested in customers, but few are engaged," he added. Just knowing a lot about a customer isn't enough today, but using that information to build a lasting relationship is paramount.

Bryan Yurcan is associate editor for Bank Systems and Technology. He has worked in various editorial capacities for newspapers and magazines for the past 8 years. After beginning his career as ...