In the first nine months with Dataiku, the team churned out use cases from around FP&A. They had so much flexibility and freedom, however, that the next step was productionalizing their system and approach, including ensuring there was discipline with data pipelines, SLAs, and more stringent DataOps processes. According to Craig, that’s the power of Dataiku and what makes it unique — it has that unbonded freedom, but it also has the features in place to facilitate structure and processes.
By 2021, one year into their Dataiku journey, Craig and team are using Dataiku to run three major systems at the bank and to refresh daily Tableau dashboards for all the bank’s finances, a laborious task previously done in spreadsheets. They’ve developed a data marketplace that people across the organization can leverage for plugging in other pieces to get answers from data (for example, analysts trying to understand the cost of property can use the balance sheet from the data marketplace and plug in lease data).
Craig is developing a unique brand of data democratization or self-service analytics. The idea is not that individuals can do and build whatever they want with any data, but rather that a center of excellence (CoE) owns the core structured intelligence of the bank. That is, enterprise-level data connected to a homogeneous pool with product owners for every dataset and defined governance, which connects out to the entire organization. From there, the team builds specific experiences on top of that data that can deliver answers through core apps, and the ultimate “self-serve” flexibility comes from how people around the organization use those apps to solve business problems day-to-day.
“You can’t self-service the answer when you have too much chaos. It’s like booking a flight when you have to book a luggage on one app, the seat on another, and so on. We had democratization, and with it, we had app chaos. Over three years, one division had built 500 different apps. If I asked ‘Tell me which one answers x business question’ the answer was always — no clue. No one was really using it. Now with Dataiku, there is a core dataset, and it is secure. We’ve removed the people in the middle creating different stuff, and we now have a set of core apps and ultimate flexibility on answering questions and solving problems.”