Jude Schramm, CIO of Fifth Third Bank, speaks with Chris Galligan, Senior Manager of Business Development at Centric Consulting, in a video interview about finding the right tools that align with the bank’s strategies and objectives, enabling self service, the future of banking with AI, the different challenges in the transition, and leveraging data insights that help the bank deliver better customer service.
Fifth Third Bank, the principal subsidiary of Fifth Third Bancorp, is an American bank holding company headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio. It is one of the largest consumer banks in the Midwestern United States. Centric Consulting is an international management consulting firm with unmatched expertise in business transformation, AI strategy, cyber risk management, technology implementation, and adoption.
Schramm begins the discussion by stating that the bank is doing its best to find the right tools to fit its strategies and objectives and align them. He elaborates that the enterprise data office is led by the Chief Data Officer who manages everything from data creation and consumption to storage and delivery.
Adding on, Schramm says that the enterprise data office partners with all of the bank’s business units to understand the needs of the employees who utilize data for numerous reasons. It is the core for introducing technologies and tools into the bank, to enable different business use cases.
Next, Schramm sheds light on the data sciences group that is focused on the data modeling aspect, early-stage artificial intelligence, and data utilization for advanced business use cases. However, he adds that the set of use cases is smaller as the bank wants to advance in a controlled fashion.
Pivoting towards artificial intelligence, he mentions that the goal is to look into incorporating advanced generative AI concepts in the bank. This includes automating certain aspects of the company, like the messaging platform.
Commenting on the future of banking with AI, Schramm considers if the bank wants to be a first follower or a leader in that aspect. He notes that the pace is limited in the banking sector, and it is crucial to understand how to best take advantage of the available tools.
However, being in the top 12 banks in the country, Fifth Third can afford to push and make advances, to experiment and safely bring in data use cases in the environment, says Schramm.
The bank has some organizations on its radar that are defined around very specific data use cases, he reveals. It leverages those organizations to help keep a check on introducing technology and use it in different use cases across the bank.
When asked about self-service Business Intelligence (BI), Schramm states that Fifth Third is transitioning to self-service. He asserts that from being an organization where IT did the majority of work in business intelligence and data analytics, the bank is investing in realignment around self-service.
Delving further, Schramm mentions bringing in technology and exporting leadership talent from enterprise data teams to business organizations, to enable the business teams to self-serve. He highlights it as a massive transitional phase where the bank tries to empower and enable businesses to drive value from available tools.
Jude Schramm | CIO of Fifth Third Bank
The goal is to ensure that the data is good, with solid data management practices, data quality, data use and consumption, and its readiness for analysis. Empowering businesses to do the actual analysis on top of the technology layer lessens data complexity and makes it easier for business teams to consume it safely.
According to Schramm, the biggest challenge in this transition to self-service lies in making the employees in business units comfortable doing it. From creating projects and giving requirements for building the objects to doing it themselves is a big shift.
The next challenge is to ensure that the data is reliable. Schramm states that data quality is a critical aspect that the organization has been working on for a couple of years. He affirms that the organization has done a great job with a solid focus on master data management and creating data layers in a way that the systems bringing them in are reliable.
Schramm shares that although it is a heavy lift with regards to getting to the point of starting self-service, Fifth Third is in its third year of the journey, and is in the empowerment phase.
Furthermore, he highlights how the organization is getting better at letting data create insights and leveraging those to understand the whereabouts of products and business strategy.
Sometimes the data received is counterintuitive to what one might think, however, Fifth Third is up for experimentation, as it provides different insights, says Schramm.
He opines that whether it is about demographic insights, having footprints in different regions, or customer base demographics, the data insights make one rethink and pivot certain strategies.
CDO Magazine appreciates Jude Schramm for sharing his insights with our global community.