To collect data, you have to be creative and proactive

Pieter Stam, Data Analyst

'My job is to collect data within the bank, process it and use it for reporting purposes or risk analyses. The core of my business is to deliver data of good quality. In order to do so, it is important to understand the business, have IT skills and be familiar with the regulations. The biggest challenge is to understand what data is needed. Next you have to find out whether it is possible and if it’s possible to deliver. Once that’s clear, it’s often a matter of just writing the code. You have to be creative and proactive to collect the data because the data availability within the bank comes from many sources.’

Data-driven companies own the future

‘A lot of competitors have become more data driven, so analyses have to be faster and better. If you don’t follow this path, you’ll probably lose market share. The challenge for the business is to speed up the processes for loan disbursements. We want to work fast, financing clients within just a day, for example. On the one hand, you don’t want to bother clients asking them to provide a lot of information but, on the other hand, we need information for sound risk management. That’s the challenge.’

Risk models for small and medium enterprises

‘Currently, I’m working on the redevelopment of the credit risk models for Small to Medium-sized Enterprise retail clients. The models calculate several kinds of parameters, for example the probability of default for a customer. We also estimate the exposure and loss in case of a potential default. These parameters are used to determine the capital buffer of the bank. Right now, we are implementing the models and data streams in the IT systems.’

Many clients, lots of data

‘We have many clients. Just consider all of their daily payments or take the mortgages – we have the biggest market share in mortgages. So we have a lot of data available. We also use data on a macro-economic level, data on how a company is performing, financial numbers and characteristics of these companies (when they started, for example), data about the owners and so on. This data comes from lots of sources within the bank and sometimes from sources outside too, such as BKR. We combine them and make them fit for purpose, which is often the biggest challenge.

With our data, we help our clients to operate their business. If we notice strange things in the data we collect, we try to help our clients in advance. Is there anything special going on? Is there anything we can help with? That’s what I like about Rabobank. Our focus is on the client. How can we help them in the best possible way? It’s more than making money with money. It’s about making progress together and growing together.’

It’s complex and big, so there’s a lot to learn

‘I’ve learned a lot at Rabobank. In terms of thinking about challenges and being proactive. There is a lot of work; there are many areas in which you can develop yourself. You can develop yourself in understanding the business, the dynamics of the organisation and the market, in understanding IT or reporting. We have a lot of systems, so it can be fairly complex. The data landscape is massive, so it’s difficult to have a clear overview. That makes our role important right now, but it will be even more important in the future.

I’m inspired by the discussions and conversations I have with my colleagues and other stakeholders. It inspires me to help new people on the job, to get them up and running and to see them learn and grow.’