Friday, January 29, 2010

Moving to wordpress

Have just migrated the blog to wordpress to cross post from my wordpress login. the new url is

Regular posting shall resume shortly on the new address...

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Dofficially D!

Finally, I put to official use the name that was given to me by the people I loved working with (read, Inductis colleagues) - D

The Diamond Consulting Case Competition on campuses is called DConstruct. I think they think its D for Diamond. (wink wink). Its D for D!! :)

Couple of links I could find about DConstruct - Here and here

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Customer Analytics is here to stay

Couple of very interesting articles here - 1 and 2

The first talks about the relative unpreparedness of Asian Banks in maximizing the value of their data as well as the need for advanced analytics for the next stage of growth. Not sure if the link would work; So, I am pasting the article below anyway.

The second talks about digiton's view of an IBM report that talks about the end of advertising unless they start investing in customer analytics.

Two separate reports talking about the same thing - Customer Analytics is here to stay, and gradually its become the backbone of all businesses. Encouraging, isn't it?


Copyright 2007 Business Wire, Inc. - Business Wire

November 9, 2007 Friday 2:00 PM GMT

HEADLINE: Survey: Asian Banks Seek Right Strategies and Decision Tools to Fuel Smart Growth in Today's Credit Boom;

New Survey from The Asian Banker and Fair Isaac Spotlights Need for Better Data and Analytics for Managing Risk, Fraud and Customer Acquisition

As credit markets in the Asia-Pacific region continue to expand at record rates, results of a new region-wide survey underscore a growing need for proven strategies and solutions that enable banks to make profitable customer decisions that accelerate growth while limiting risk and losses.

Commissioned by Fair Isaac Corporation (NYSE:FIC) and conducted by leading financial services research and intelligence firm The Asian Banker, "The Asian Banker Consumer Credit Practice Survey 2007" spotlights current practices in credit customer management, risk management and fraud control. The survey engaged senior banking executives, experts and practitioners in 10 major financial centers across Asia Pacific, including Singapore, China, India, and Hong Kong. The Asian Banker and Fair Isaac revealed the results in Shanghai this week, during Fair Isaac's first InterACT customer conference in China.

The survey indicated that as Asian banks work to expand their consumer credit businesses, they are in need of advanced decision-making capabilities to help them smartly capitalize on their growth opportunities. The survey found that most banks in the region are still at the early stages of building and leveraging sound analytic approaches and technologies to improve the processes that drive their most important customer decisions. Key findings of the survey include:95 percent of respondents identified establishing a reliable credit scoring process as a key operational challenge. Less than 10 percent of respondents currently utilize advanced techniques for fraud detection and prevention on a regular basis. Less than one-quarter of Asian banks utilize advanced customer segmentation techniques in their marketing activities. Less than one-third of banks incorporate customer profiling or profitability analysis on a regular basis.

The survey was conducted at a time of burgeoning growth in Asian credit and lending markets. According to The Asian Banker, the current $3.9 trillion consumer credit market in Asia Pacific has an estimated potential of $8 trillion.

"By investigating how banks manage key functional processes and customer decisions across the consumer credit lifecycle, The Asian Banker sought to examine the preparedness of Asia-Pacific banks to achieve their growth potential," said Dr. Grace Liu, Senior Researcher at The Asian Banker. "Specifically, we looked at their current capabilities as well as the fundamental challenges they encounter. Diversity of credit markets, varying levels of process maturity and different go-to-market strategies were key themes that emerged, along with the common challenges banks face in acquiring and leveraging quality customer data."

"We are pleased to partner with The Asian Banker to provide a timely view of current practices, perspectives and requirements for success in the Asia-Pacific credit industry," said JY Pook, Managing Director for Fair Isaac Asia Pacific. "The fast-emerging markets in this region hold tremendous opportunity for banks and lenders that approach it with both the right growth strategies and the right combinations of data, predictive analytics and sophisticated decision technologies. Fair Isaac's mission is to help Asia-Pacific banks embrace and leverage the strategies and solutions they need to consistently and confidently make customer decisions that enable smart growth."

Survey Details

Select findings of the survey include:

Data, Credit Scoring and Fraud Analytics are Keys to Growth

The Asian Banker found that the ability to capture, analyze and act on customer credit data is a key determinant for success in the lending origination process. Respondents were concerned by the state of data, predictive modelling capabilities and account automation across the consumer credit lifecycle. They indicated that an inability to effectively leverage data is an obstacle to developing advanced decisioning capabilities, and thus is an obstacle to consumer credit business growth. Eighty-seven percent of respondents indicated that making effective use of credit bureaus is challenging, while 88 percent indicated that they have difficulties achieving effective automation of credit approval processes.

In the areas of fraud detection and prevention, the survey found that banks rely largely on basic fraud detection methodology, and view fraud detection and prevention improvements as secondary to growing customer acquisition and account management capabilities. While 89 percent of respondents actively use internal or industry-shared "blacklists" - the most basic of fraud detection methods, only 22 percent use more advanced modelling methodologies such as neural networks and profiling.

A Need for Deeper Understanding of Customers

The survey illustrated that Asia-Pacific consumer credit markets are at different stages of development, with varied levels of market penetration. Emerging economies like India, China, the Philippines, and Indonesia demonstrate the highest potential for market development and growth, while more mature economies like Singapore and Australia comprised the group with the highest ratio of penetration and indebtedness.

This diversity is further indicated by different approaches to market development. In emerging economies, banks such as those in India and the Philippines (or 29 percent of all banks surveyed) utilize broader-based approaches to customer acquisition, while banks such as those in Singapore and Australia (24 percent of banks surveyed) have adopted more advanced marketing strategies in customer segmentation. However, fewer than half of all banks surveyed have established mechanisms for measuring the effectiveness of marketing campaigns, due largely to challenges in quantifying and establishing appropriate performance measures.

China Poised for Growth, But Needs Advanced Analytics

According to The Asian Banker survey, China is one of the highest-potential growth markets. However, the country is still at the nascent stages of market and process sophistication. For example, almost 65 percent of Chinese banks surveyed agreed that they were unable to target appropriate customers for their consumer credit offerings. More than half of Chinese banks also viewed the effective use of credit bureaus and historical data a major challenge.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Evaluserve report predicts Indian KPO Boom

This link here [may require subscription.. not sure] talks about the impending boom in Indian KPO market. Headline says - India to dominate global KPO mkt; create 1.8 lakh new jobs

The Evalueserve report also states in detail about the few sub-sectors within the KPO industry that are expected to do well. These include banking, finance, securities and insurance research, data mining and analytics and contract research organizations and biotech services."

Thats some good news ;). Having decided to make a career in this field, and still watching it find its firm feet, I think these occasional headlines are very importants for us to feel confident about the career choice we have made.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Nascence, Idling & Adolescence

One of the things I’ve always been scared about, in an organization, is the transition from Nascence to Adolescence. What I mean is a new/small/fresh/startup environment of the firm (NASCENCE), gradually maturing into the processes/culture/large company environment (ADOLESCENCE). However, the theme here is the transition process and my fear around Idling. Often, as we build delivery capacity, the lag between sales and delivery often leads to idle (delivery) time for the team.

Let me show a cycle of events, which I hope some of you will identify with –

  1. Company gets a project in a new space (analytics here)
  2. Company hires people to get it done
  3. Company views this as an opportunity to build its presence in the space
  4. Company starts building the business case. A core team is put together to convert the project into a vertical/business
  5. The wheels start rolling. Sales team is roped in for selling. Delivery capacity starts getting built. Everyone is busy. Everyone is enjoying the dirt on the track.
  6. New guys come in. Some start working on new projects. Some wait for projects.
  7. The unutilized team members are put on firm-development and intellectual capital development
  8. On the ground, there is an uncomfortable buzz. The seriousness required to complete these internal initiatives is often missing. The unrest begins!

I feel that the initial lot of people are usually overworked, because they came in after a project was sold, which, in high probability, led to the identification of opportunity. The IC and FD guys seem to be creating unrest. Why?

My guess is that the blame should be taken by the initial overworked guys like me, who end up believing that they are the ones doing the “real” work, all FD and IC is just a way of keeping guys busy.

The second group to take blame should be the leadership which is in charge of looking at the FD and IC initiatives. Its their responsibility to inculcate the sense of pride, responsibility and importance associated with these inward oriented projects.

The third group to be blamed, to the least extent, is the new group itself. A simple saying like Rome wasn’t built in a day goes a long a way in building organizational maturity. We all need to realize that everyday cannot be a perfect 9 hour work day. Just as there are bad days/weeks of 16 hours+ work per day, there are bad days/weeks of 0(ZERO) work per day. Just as you need the client work to generate revenue, you need FD and IC initiatives to build the backbone of a firm. The initial chaos of excitement needs to gradually mature into a process driven organization meant to meet the needs of a large number of people working together. The ad-hoc decision making needs to be replaced by structures that are ready to take the load of a large number of people demanding individual attention.

That said, I believe that it is how well we handle this stage of growth, that differentiates a great leadership from an average leadership. and yes, one of the ways of doing it is communication (clear, effective and copious)

What do you think?

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Desktop Analytics

Read this quote - (Measuring productivity, or the lack thereof, on the personal computer. "Desktop Analytics") on Google Reader feed of Data Sciences Analytics

Interesting. Not getting into the contents of the real post, I loved the statement. Its funny how many times I have tried to measure my desktop productivity. My desktop (or, laptop) time includes work, watching cartoons/animations/manga, reading comic books, reading blogs, reading general stuff, mailing, searching for tid-bits, playing games, etc etc. Amongst all this, I have no idea if my desktop productivity is 50% or less than that! Oh Yes! I would like to believe that I am terribly busy and am doing a lot of work, but the fact is that, ignoring the dependencies of a workplace, my productivity in the last several years would never have been more than 50%. On a really bad day, it might be 100%. But that would have to be really bad day!

All ye data folks out there, is there a way to capture this data? Any tool? I am sure the results are going to depress the hell out of me. BTW, this blog post - would it go under productive use or unproductive use? My guess is that its unproductive use, unless people find a skewed logic of calling it a break to refresh my decaying brain cells and hence, increasing my productivity. And a break is a part of a productive work day, isn't it?

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Communicating is required!

A very impressive experience based blogpost by Kevin. It rightly emphasizes the equal if not greater importance of communicating over crunching!
I guess its true not just in an internal vs. consultant kinda scenario, as Kevin mentions, but also in the case of a Manager-Analyst relationship. There are times when I have seen the Engagement Managers and above have a tough time with the team, because they want to hear a lot of things, but not just the numbers! ;)