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How Zions Bank Is Conquering Big Data for Marketing Campaigns

Thursday, July 18, 2013

A large data analytics project is like painting a bridge, says Deva Annamalai, vice president and product and marketing technology strategist at Zions Bank in Salt Lake City.

"You start from one end and when you get to the other end, you've got to start at the beginning again," he says.

Annamalai heads a group Zions created about six months ago called Marketing Insights. Over the next several months, the team's goal is to identify business use cases and "data recipes" that will help the marketing department come up with more advanced customer segmentation capabilities, provide next-best offer products based on predictive analytics, and optimize marketing campaign execution.

One thing that makes this analytics team and its mission different from others is the source of much of its data — the fraud analytics team headed by information security manager Michael Fowkes.

"Our fraud analytics group started a Big Data setup two years ago," Annamalai says. The group, which includes two data scientists, started collecting information primarily to protect customers from fraud. It reached a point where it had the bandwidth to offer the data analytics to other departments, starting with marketing.

"They were able to say, in the past you probably didn't have access to some of our bank information the way the systems are siloed, but now we're collecting all this information and we can get this data to you, if you ask the right questions," Annamalai says. For instance, the marketing group used to have limited access to branch transaction data. "That quickly opened up new ground for us, because from a marketing perspective getting the right data is always a challenge."

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Source: Information Management

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