150-year-old bank welcomes disruption with fintech and Hadoop


You might think that a bank founded in 1871 would fear change; banks and financial service businesses are historically big on tradition and adverse to change. Financial technology (also known as fintech) startups are causing disruption in the banking and finance services space in a big way, and many organizations fear this new dynamic. But when asked about fintech, Nadeem Gulzar (pictured), head of advanced analytics and architecture at Danske Bank, has a quite different answer.

“From my point of view, [they’re] awesome! These guys are pushing us; remember, we’re a 150-year-old bank, and sometimes we do tend to pat [ourselves] on the back and say, ’OK, this is going good.’ These guys are coming in and giving some competition, and we love it,” he said.

Gulzar sat down with John Furrier (@furrier) and Dave Vellante (@dvellante), co-hosts of theCUBE, SiliconANGLE Media’s mobile live streaming studio, during the DataWorks Summit in Munich, Germany, to discuss not only his enthusiasm for fintech, but also about how Apache Hadoop’s open source, big data management platform became a game-changer and the importance of data provenance for upcoming EU regulations. (Disclosure below.)

Managing vast amounts of banking and customer data

While Hadoop provides the basic infrastructure, by adding advanced analytics frameworks, Danske Bank has been able to dig into its own core transaction data, which it had not been able to do for decades. This is quite powerful and has become a game changer for the bank Gulzar stated.

Another consideration for the bank is the amount of data that is streaming in, continuously. “When customers interact with our web or mobile solution, the amount of data generated is humongous, so no way on earth you can think about batches anymore,” said Gulzar.

He explained that it’s all about streaming the data all the way in, doing real-time analytics on the data and then producing results for the bank so that it can serve its clientele better.

With the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation going into effect in May 2018, Gulzar said that it’s important to have full mapping and control of all the data coming in. Additionally, the bank will need to generate metadata and have full data lineage, knowing where the data came from and how it’s interconnected, he said.

Watch the complete video interview below, and be sure to check out more of SiliconANGLE’s and theCUBE’s coverage of DataWorks Summit 2017 EU. (*Disclosure: TheCUBE is a paid media partner at DataWorks. The conference sponsor, Hortonworks, does not have editorial oversight of content on theCUBE or SiliconANGLE.)

Photo: SiliconANGLE