How We’re Transforming Banking Operations with Quick Time-To-Value Projects

It’s not often that you hear the words “financial institution” and “quick and agile” in the same sentence. But at ATB that’s exactly what we strive to be. Being a large organization in an industry that is heavily regulated and risk-averse, it can be easy to stick to the same way of doing things because it's always been that way. However, we have always believed in finding the best and most value-driven solutions that serve Albertans – and that means being agile and forward thinking. One way we do this is by encouraging teams to leverage technology to create value-driven products quickly. We call these quick time to value projects and these projects are  proven successful. The beauty of quick time to value projects is success comes almost immediately, as opposed to longer-term projects that take many years to provide all their value at once.

In order to deliver value to our customers, we need to deploy the right technology and tools for our teams. How can we make their days more efficient so that their time can be focused on what matters most: the people we serve? Enter ATB's Enterprise Data Science (EDS) team. They've been working on clever ways to leverage existing technology to drive value within our organization by being dedicated to using data science techniques to solve everyday banking problems and ramp up efficiencies across multiple business units.

Here are some of the EDS-built tools now in use at ATB:

  1. The EDGuR1 chatbot

Digging for information in a database, updating a timesheet, trying to remember the right acronym ... There are so many small, seemingly simple tasks and transactions that we (and all workers) do each day that add up and take away from our time that could be better spent on value added tasks. Built using the tools available within Google Cloud Platform, the EDS team created a fully functioning chatbot named EDGuR1 that provides team members fast access to hard to find, but easy to describe resources. The time savings EDGuR1 provides our team members, at a few minutes each day can amount to many people-hours saved  on mundane task and instead on tasks that matter.

Within two weeks EDS was able to build, deploy, and scale the chatbot at a very low cost and with minimal effort. Happier team members. Happier customers. Such a simple deployment of technology using existing tools and APIs had small, but transformational effects on the daily routines of ATB team members and is one of our favorite examples of quick, high value projects.

  1. Optical Character Recognition

As a financial institution with significant business clientele, we regularly receive large amounts of financial information from clients, especially on business loans that are margined. In the past, this task required 12 full-time team members to go through each statement and manually enter information to calculate future loan values. It’s a big task to say the least, and it takes away from our team members’ time – which is better spent on building client relationships.

In the past margined loans have been managed efficiently, and possible solutions of increasing efficiency are expensive and time consuming, often requiring third-party expertise. Instead our EDS and internal Operation Automate team collaborated over a short time period to develop a cloud-based automation tool leveraging Optical Character Recognition. This tool reads the text from incoming financial statements for margined loan accounts, and automatically extracts the right information and calculates the new margined loan amount, providing the customer with near-real-time access to their updated loan amounts.

To learn more about how EDS built and deployed these solutions, we’ll post an in-depth piece on this next time. Don’t miss out - subscribe below!  


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