When people in the financial services sector talk about “the bank of the future,” they often focus on the external things. In a few years from now, for example, bank branches may look completely different than they do today, equipped with many more touchscreens and sensors within furniture connected to the Internet of Things. Bank customers, meanwhile, might end up doing more transactions with their smartphone or watch than they ever did using a traditional wallet.
The real key to the bank of the future, though, probably lies more with what’s going on inside, behind the scenes, where decision-making processes that once relied on siloed (and often paper-based) information becomes largely data-driven. It’s a business that demands nothing less.
According to its 2015 World Retail Banking Report, for example, Capgemini says many customers are abandoning their banks in favor of non-traditional financial services providers. For those that stay loyal, they are still unlikely to purchase any additional products. Only by demonstrating that they know their customers well, and can offer the most personalized and relevant products and services possible, will banks reverse the tide.
In other words, banks need data scientists more than ever. And they’ll offer those who choose to work for them with some of the most varied and potentially fulfilling careers imaginable.
The Top Priorities for Data Scientists In Banking
Unlike industries where the scope for big data problems could be limited, analytics will permeate every important facet of financial services over the next few years. This includes areas like marketing of course, but that’s only a starting point.
According to FICO and Infosys, banks will be increasingly relying on data scientists to drive efforts around fraud detection and prevention, regulatory compliance and operational efficiency. Their jointly published guide, Analytics in Financial Services, links data science to each of the most critical outcomes banks are working towards, whether it’s increased cross-sell revenues, enhanced customer value or reduced non-credit losses. Data scientists, in their words, will take banks from data to knowledge and finally to wisdom. Given how central banking has become to everyday life, bringing more wisdom into the world isn’t a bad way to think about developing your career.
The Recruitment Gap That May Be Closing
As with any emerging area of specialization, banks are challenged to find the kind of talent they want. In fact, a recent article on BankingExchange.com suggests financial services firms might abandon hiring outside data scientists eventually in favor of growing expertise from within. As the article notes, though, this is a massive undertaking in its own right, and may require a significant shift in the culture of many organizations before it’s ever possible.
Still, there may be no better time for data scientists to take advantage of a job market that is more open to great outside candidates than it may ever be again. As Abraham Lincoln and many others are quoted as saying, the best way to predict the future is to create it. In this case, the best way to predict the future of banking is to become part of that future as a data scientist.
If you’re a data scientist, take this challenge for a chance to interview for a position with one of the best-known financial institutions in the United States.