“Data is useless unless it helps us understand the world.”

The digital world is drowning in data. It almost feels as if everything everywhere is collecting information on us, all the time: our phones, our laptops, our wallets and even the movies we stream online. Financial services firms are certainly no exception to this.  

However, all that data, on its own, does nothing to improve our lives. Indeed, too much unorganized data creates a feeling of confusion and information overload. Data is useless unless it helps us understand the world. Moving from information to insight and from insight to action is an important challenge of the digital age, and one that retail banking has struggled with.  

For overcoming that challenge, Russia’s Sberbank won the Big Data, Analytics & AI category at the 2017 Efma-Accenture Distribution & Marketing Innovation (DMI) Awards. 

Specifically, Sberbank won for its TIPS service, which lives inside Sberbank’s online banking app. TIPS, like many analytics platforms, uses AI to trawl through huge amounts of data to find actionable insights. The interesting twist on TIPS is its presentation of these insights to its users.  

Sberbank customers told the bank, “Don’t give me all these sheets, data, digits,” said Vladimir Stasevich, Sberbank’s Online Products Head, at the DMI Awards in 2017. “Just tell me what I’m doing wrong and what I need to do better.” 

TIPS does just that. Users can select one of three levels of complexity for the advice the app gives them: simple, middle-level and complicated. Every level of advice is built on AI-driven insights about each individual user; with the level of detail and predictive scope of the insights is changing on each level.  

On the “simple” setting, TIPS sends users notices designed to make them reflect on their spending habits and goals. On the “complicated” setting, TIPS uses predictive analytics to anticipate major life events for users. For example, it might send special advice to a customer it thinks is about to become a father for the first time.  

Since its launch in early 2017, TIPS has attracted users in droves. The app is used daily by more than 200,000 Sberbank customers and has an install base of 200 million.  

“The source of success is keeping customers in the center of the product,” said Stasevich at the awards ceremony. “If they have some pain and we create something new and innovative which is able to cure this pain, that’s excellent.” 

For building an app that applies cutting-edge digital tools to make a real difference for its customers, Sberbank won the Big Data, Analytics & AI category at the DMI Awards. 

To learn more about TIPS, watch this video.

In the next post, we’ll look at the winner of the Customer Experience & Engagement Award. 

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