Visual Analytics Big Draw for Cosmos Bank


If you haven't heard it enough lately, let me say it one more time: Data visualization is your analytical future. And lest you're growing tired of my two cents, let me add another voice to the message: that of James Lin, Executive Vice President and Chief Risk Officer at Cosmos Bank.

"This is an era of visualization, so we should provide senior management with eye-catching tables and charts that help them quickly grasp the situation and make informed decisions," Lin told me in an email interview.

And corporate leaders ought to have access to these data visualizations -- the latest insights -- instantly. They should be able to pull them up on their PCs or tablets so they can better assess situations and ask key questions, rejiggering the data to "run their own analyses and generate, without requiring extensive IT support, their own reports, dashboards, and visualizations simply by clicking or drilling into items of interest."

Actually, there's no "should" about it. At Cosmos, this is happening now.

The banking services provider began implementing SAS Visual Analytics, an advanced analytics tool that allows interactive data exploration, in the third quarter of 2012. Giving the senior management team prompt access to the information it needed for business decisions was one of four business targets, Lin said. A second goal involved a different set of users -- major Cosmos shareholders and board members. "We want to provide them... instant grasp of the bank's operations through visualized management reports on a PC or tablet."

Overall, Lin said, data visualization fit into Cosmos's desire to create a high-performance analytics environment and deliver real-time discovery capabilities. Cosmos, like so many other companies the world over, is searching for ways to get the most from its data stockpiles. "We want to be able to dive into our big-data for up-to-the-minute customer intelligence for business development and risk management," Lin said.

This sample screenshot shows how a risk management report might look when compiled using SAS Visual Analytics.
This sample screenshot shows how a risk management report might look when compiled using SAS Visual Analytics.

Cosmos is the largest issuer of cash cards in Taiwan, with some 560,000 cards in circulation, representing 57 percent of the market for cash loans. It's been accumulating data on cash cards since 2003 -- data such as monthly customer snapshots; transaction records for applications, underwriting, drawdowns, repayments, delinquencies, write-offs, recoveries, and so on; and periodic, routine bureau data inquiries, Lin said. Transaction volume is "massive," he added: An average five transactions per customer monthly amounts to more than 300 million transaction records accumulated in the data warehouse.

Under the Visual Analytics environment, Lin's risk management analytical team handles the maintenance of the data visualization platform and the "generation, calculation, and preparation of original transaction data." Meantime, the risk management portfolio managers "are responsible for the analysis of asset quality, generation of reports, and strategies/measures to be taken based upon the findings of the trend/analysis."

Previously, when those folks needed portfolio analysis, they requested the reports from the analytical team. Now, they can do more thorough analysis themselves and get to insights more quickly -- a business imperative. "Timing is key to turning big-data into meaningful analysis," as Lin said.

While portfolio managers get the information they need quickly, the analytical team members who have SAS coding and programming expertise get better use of their time, too. They're able to focus on the more sophisticated model building and fine tuning.

And back to that corporate leadership. Senior management's mandate is to base decisions and strategies on the information coming out of Visual Analytics, Lin said. The business model is proving successful, so much so that a task force established under the CEO's office is charged with duplicating risk management's visual analytics success story in MIS and business and customer development, and with consolidating Cosmos's MIS into a "consistent bank-wide reporting infrastructure and template under SAS VA."

That ability to centralize and integrate the IT infrastructure is a prime benefit, but so too is this, he said:

    We can process and analyze each transaction throughout the month for a more accurate view of each customer's behavior. The ability to analyze big data in real time enables us to gain customer insights that help us design and offer the right mix of products and services at the right time, which leads to winning new customers and keeping existing ones happy and loyal.

It's hard to ignore that, don't you think?

Beth Schultz, Editor in Chief

Beth Schultz has more than two decades of experience as an IT writer and editor.  Most recently, she brought her expertise to bear writing thought-provoking editorial and marketing materials on a variety of technology topics for leading IT publications and industry players.  Previously, she oversaw multimedia content development, writing and editing for special feature packages at Network World. In particular, she focused on advanced IT technology and its impact on business users and in so doing became a thought leader on the revolutionary changes remaking the corporate datacenter and enterprise IT architecture. Beth has a keen ability to identify business and technology trends, developing expertise through in-depth analysis and early adopter case studies. Over the years, she has earned more than a dozen national and regional editorial excellence awards for special issues from American Business Media, American Society of Business Press Editors, Folio.net, and others.

Midmarket Companies: Bring on the Big Data

The "big" in big data is no reflection of the size of the organization embracing its potential.

Push Yourself to New Analytical Discoveries

Take inspiration from Christopher Columbus as you pursue your analytical journeys.


Re: A picture's worth a thousand words
  • 4/17/2013 4:42:11 PM
NO RATINGS

Exactly -- that's a big differentiator between yesterday's infographics and today's dynamic data visualization!

A picture's worth a thousand words
  • 4/17/2013 4:32:48 PM
NO RATINGS

How true. Visualization gives one a snapshot view of data. If you want/need the details then chisel down.

Re: Stunning
  • 4/16/2013 10:37:14 AM
NO RATINGS

LOL. I dare you to present a data visualization a la what you played around with yesterday in the SAS VA demo and see what the senior managers have to say about that!

Re: Stunning
  • 4/16/2013 10:36:03 AM
NO RATINGS

The people I present my data to every month are other engineers and senior managment. I mean being engineers we do enjoy raw data in spreadsheet form ;-) But when I added the line graph you might think I just invented the light bulb. 

Re: Stunning
  • 4/16/2013 10:25:17 AM
NO RATINGS

Ah, the dreaded spreadsheet. I guess a big question is who the recipients are. If they're most comfortable receiving their insight in that format change can be pretty hard to implement.

Re: Stunning
  • 4/16/2013 10:15:08 AM
NO RATINGS

Beth, 

Today all my network data is pulled from a monitoring tool and presented in a spreadsheet :-( 

The only visualization used is a line graph to show useage, which is something I started when I took over the report about 2 years ago. Before that everyone had to click through the different sheets to see the usage from earlier months. 

Re: Stunning
  • 4/16/2013 10:08:08 AM
NO RATINGS

Bulk, what are you using today to produce your reports? Do they include any sort of visualizations?

Re: Stunning
  • 4/16/2013 9:12:15 AM
NO RATINGS

Beth, agree. I would love to be able to produce my network usage reports with this tool, or even something half as amazing. 

Re: Stunning
  • 4/16/2013 8:15:07 AM
NO RATINGS

bulk, goodbye productivity for now, because you're still in play mode. But imagine how much MORE productive you could become if your organization had this inhouse!

Re: Stunning
  • 4/16/2013 8:08:11 AM
NO RATINGS

A good point. The charts and system will undoubtedly needs some explaining to be useable by staff in order to not "waste time." With all the variations and permutations available easily to everyone, there has to be some training involved to get employees to start looking in the right direction when using visual analytics.

Page 1 / 2   >   >>
INFORMATION RESOURCES
ANALYTICS IN ACTION
CARTERTOONS
VIEW ALL +
QUICK POLL
VIEW ALL +