Banks’ Big Data Boom Brings New MBA Job Opportunity...

In the depths of a 20,000 sqm vault on the outskirts of Madrid, Spanish bank BBVA is hoarding rows of computer processors. Instead of storing bullion, Spain’s second largest lender is stockpiling data. BBVA, which between 2011 and 2013 spent an average of €850 million a year investing in technology, infrastructure and software development, is an example of the way finance institutions are beginning to bank on big data. “Banks are starting to realise the full potential of digital technologies and their potential to disrupt and transform the banking industry,” says Richard Lumb, group chief executive for financial services at Accenture, the consultancy. The big data boom in finance has started to bring new job opportunity at banks. “Demand for big data experts is strong,” says Adam Jackson, managing director at leading City of London recruiter Astbury Marsden. He says this has become an important focus as more data exchange with consumers is conducted via the cloud. But there is a skills shortage of analytics talent across the financial services industry, according to Accenture. Technology is becoming increasingly important for banks and they are battling technology groups for the best talent. All industries are scrambling to figure out ways to harness the power of data, which they are using to drive decision making. Finance is one sector that has been ahead of the curve. “I have seen both the insurance and financial services areas make the early moves,” says Michael Goul, chair for the Department of Information Systems at W. P. Carey School of Business. Dustin Pusch, director of business analytics at George Washington University’s business school, says big data is becoming particularly important for banks’ credit departments. “The use of big data is increasingly necessary for firms to...