Austin Capital Financial institution Modernizes its Information Stack in simply 16 Months to Help First-in-market Merchandise and Companies
- Austin Capital Financial institution, a fast-growing group financial institution, sought to modernize their knowledge stack to assist their evolution right into a product centric and digital first financial institution
- In simply 16 months, the financial institution has adopted Snowflake, dbt, Fivetran, and Thoughtspot, and Atlan as its Lively Metadata Administration answer of alternative
- The financial institution is now in a position to launch new merchandise at unprecedented velocity and effectiveness, with Atlan supporting buyer knowledge querying for a brand new product with mere hours of implementation effort
A member of the Inc. 5000 checklist of fastest-growing personal firms for seven consecutive years, Austin Capital Financial institution is a frontrunner in group banking, utilizing know-how and knowledge to gasoline its nationwide development.
“We began off a number of years in the past with objectives similar to some other group financial institution, serving the Austin group,” shared Ian Bass, Head of Information & Analytics for Austin Capital Financial institution. “After just a few years of being the sponsor financial institution for a FinTech providing, our founders determined we may construct this sort of factor ourselves. So we began constructing our personal digital banking merchandise division, which is the place Credit score Robust was born.”
Credit score Robust represented a brand new frontier for Austin Capital Financial institution, a completely digital providing of loans and contours of credit score, provided to customers with no credit score historical past or poor credit score to assist them enhance their scores with out the widespread threat of predatory lending or bank cards with astronomical rates of interest.
Remodeling from a group financial institution, providing conventional merchandise like checking and financial savings accounts with a brick-and-mortar location and on-line portals, right into a digital-first financial institution with a nationwide buyer footprint, was no trivial job. Not solely wouldn’t it demand groundbreaking merchandise and trendy person experiences, but additionally the most effective and brightest minds in Information & Analytics, with the know-how to assist them launch and iterate at unprecedented velocity.
“My position was to construct a contemporary knowledge stack for the financial institution and for Credit score Robust. And after I got here on board, the info and analytics stack was non-existent,” Ian defined.
Austin Capital Financial institution’s transactional knowledge resided in AWS and PostgresSQL databases, and weren’t well-connected, making one thing so simple as querying throughout databases tough to not possible. To fulfill the numerous calls for of a brand new digital merchandise mannequin, Ian and his workforce have been tasked with a real ground-up construct of a contemporary knowledge stack.
“What I actually wished to construct was a NextGen platform that I may use to democratize entry to knowledge and analytics,” Ian shared. “So step one was to virtualize this into an surroundings the place none of these obstacles would exist. That was Snowflake.”
Shifting from implementing Snowflake, Ian’s workforce sought an answer to ingest knowledge with out the necessity for important knowledge engineering assets, selecting Fivetran and launching in only one month as they started to combine into their core know-how and construct fashions. Already current on the financial institution have been Tableau and PowerBI, serving as a brief visualization and evaluation layer.
Simply 16 months later, Austin Capital Financial institution and Credit score Robust would sit atop a totally trendy knowledge stack, constructed to assist digital monetary merchandise that required way more flexibility than conventional banking methods, and architected to run lean.
After I got here in, none of this existed. And at present we’ve about six completely different SaaS merchandise that comprise our knowledge stack. We now have ThoughtSpot, we use Snowflake, we use Reverse ETL instruments. We now have lots of issues in place that we are able to virtualize and deal with with a two or three particular person workforce, versus needing an enormous engineering workforce. We’re paying for these instruments, nevertheless it’s offsetting prices in that we don’t want to rent groups to do that. We will run actually lean, and we are able to pivot in a short time.“
Ian Bass, Head of Information & Analytics
However whereas instrument after instrument was efficiently carried out, Ian and his workforce have been spending important effort responding to requests for knowledge, and had but to discover a option to provide this knowledge in a self-service method whereas remaining compliant. Lively Metadata Administration would show to be the lacking piece.
Inherent to Monetary Companies choices is a considerable amount of delicate buyer knowledge, together with addresses, names, start dates, social safety numbers, and account numbers, all worthwhile to unhealthy actors, and requiring cautious stewardship and strict entry controls.
“We wished to be sure that we’re being good stewards of our buyer’s knowledge. A part of that entails ensuring that solely the best individuals inside our group have entry to it and that we’ve the right controls round it, multi-factor authentication, issues like that,” Ian shared.
Their first step was creating masking insurance policies, making certain that solely approved workers of Austin Capital Financial institution could be permitted to entry delicate knowledge. Ian’s unique plan was to implement masking insurance policies in knowledge entry by Snowflake, however discovered that whereas his workforce may implement these insurance policies utilizing the instrument, they’d be tough to keep up, and to be learn at-a-glance by colleagues with decrease technical aptitude.
As we thought of knowledge governance increasingly, it turned clear I wished a instrument to deal with that. You actually need an interface constructed on high of Snowflake as a way to simply see who has entry to what. And that’s the place Atlan got here into the image. I used to be actually taken with the entire idea of DataOps and what that meant, and what we’re driving towards is each workforce being an information workforce.“
Ian Bass, Head of Information & Analytics
With the best Lively Metadata Administration platform, Austin Capital Financial institution may lastly provide self-service to its knowledge customers with out sacrificing sturdy entry and masking insurance policies.
“Atlan turned a necessity. That’s how we management entry in an simply repeatable trend,” Ian defined. “After which the truth that we’ve knowledge lineage on high of it, and the power to prepare all of our info and classifications, and add glossary phrases linked to that knowledge? That’s all icing on the cake for us.”
The place knowledge customers as soon as needed to strategy Ian and his workforce for knowledge requests, his workforce now makes use of Atlan to construct queries that allow their colleagues in groups like Operations to run reviews on demand. Furthermore, with masking insurance policies in place, this knowledge will not be solely accessible by way of self-service, however is ruled in a fashion the place solely approved customers can entry it.
“That was a very highly effective piece of what Atlan provided for us, and I’ve been very pleased with how that’s progressed,” Ian shared.
Among the many earliest alternatives to place their new knowledge stack into observe was a promising new product named FreeKick. “We imagine it’s a first-to-market product, in that it’s designed to assist construct credit score for minors and younger adults,” Ian shared.
FreeKick permits dad and mom to securely and reliably set up, construct, and shield their kids’s credit score. Constructed on high of a digital financial savings account, FreeKick mechanically builds credit score for youngsters aged 14 to 25 as soon as activated. Dad and mom merely make a deposit into their FreeKick account and activate credit score constructing. A mum or dad can select to resume the service yearly, or shut the account and obtain 100% of their deposit again. Establishing a powerful credit score profile for his or her kids can save their kids greater than $200,000 over their lifetime.
“We expect that is going to be a differentiator within the market,” Ian defined. “There could also be different merchandise or choices on the market, like co-signing on a automobile be aware, however there’s probably not some other means to do that that avoids threat. Should you are available at present and deposit $2,500 with our financial institution, it’s an FDIC-insured deposit and also you’re getting a credit score constructing product to your youngsters, without cost. It doesn’t truly value you any cash.”
In FreeKick, a promising enterprise mannequin was rising for Austin Capital Financial institution. However essential to success could be a well timed launch earlier than commencement season. And provided that FreeKick was a departure from their regular merchandise, the know-how Austin Capital Financial institution would use to service new accounts couldn’t be tailored in time for launch.
“Our inner CRM was not going to be prepared as a result of there was new infrastructure and transactional databases to know. They hadn’t pieced it collectively but,” Ian shared.
Whereas it was doable to launch FreeKick with out full technical assist from their CRM, every time the shopper service workforce would want knowledge about account holders, Ian’s workforce must assist it.
“My workforce, and myself, personally, would have needed to be on name for the shopper service workforce, and able to run the question on the drop of a hat as quickly as they have been on the cellphone with anyone who was asking questions on their account,” Ian defined.
Ian and his workforce additionally thought-about a self-service mannequin whereas the CRM was enhanced to assist requests for shopper knowledge, however discovered it infeasible. This strategy would demand that the shopper service workforce be given entry to Snowflake, with the right roles and insurance policies, then skilled to jot down SQL queries in opposition to their knowledge warehouse.
In Atlan, Ian’s workforce discovered an answer. Insights, a metadata-based question builder, would allow their shopper service workforce to run queries about buyer knowledge in a self-service method, with out the necessity to study SQL.
We used Insights to assist our shopper service workforce, and Atlan made it a lot simpler and saved a bunch of time for me and my workforce. It was a simple and efficient workaround, till our CRM was able to deal with the brand new product. So it actually gave us peace of thoughts. It was one thing that took my workforce solely a few hours to place collectively. We couldn’t have completed that with out Atlan.“
Ian Bass, Head of Information & Analytics
Whereas solely a workaround whereas their CRM caught as much as assist the brand new service mannequin that FreeKick demanded, Atlan Insights ensured that Ian’s workforce spent simply two hours delivering an answer. The choice would have been painful: Turning their knowledge workforce into an on-demand service heart for primary shopper knowledge requests, and taking their eye off constructing a shiny, data-driven future for the financial institution.
With the best knowledge know-how, activated and accessible utilizing Atlan, Austin Capital Financial institution is in a stronger place to launch new services, and evolve its enterprise mannequin.
“We’re within the part of determining if we wish to incorporate these new product launches into our current mannequin structure, or if we wish to break it out individually,” Ian shared. “In some instances, that would make issues rather a lot easier for us. Having this virtualized and utilizing dbt and Snowflake makes it easy for us to say ‘Right here’s the connections we have to make, right here’s all the info and fashions we’ve, and the way does that match into the ecosystem?’ After which we all know what adjustments we have to make, and what fashions we have to create.”
Downstream, Austin Capital Financial institution’s current adoption of ThoughtSpot is one other level of optimism for Ian and his workforce, affording the pliability they should question and visualize on the velocity their enterprise is altering.
“We’re working stay queries on high of ThoughtSpot day in and day trip, and life is a complete lot easier and more practical,” Ian defined. “It’s simply straightforward to jot down up new queries, spin up new stay boards, and pivot shortly. If somebody needs to drill down on a solution, it’s quite simple.”
Moreover, Ian and his workforce are trying ahead to cataloging Thoughtspot belongings in Atlan to raised perceive the affect of adjustments to their fashions of their visualization and evaluation layer, and finishing a complete, single view of their knowledge property.
To assist their advertising and marketing campaigns for brand spanking new merchandise, and to gather the mandatory knowledge to evolve these merchandise and campaigns shortly, Ian’s workforce has shortly added Reverse ETL to their rising set of capabilities. “We may have employed an engineering workforce to arrange all these API connections, however we determined to only pay a small sum of money per 12 months and do it by a instrument that I may arrange myself in a matter of 30 to 60 minutes,” Ian shared.
The highway forward for Austin Capital Financial institution stays bold, with a mission to construct a 360-degree view of their clients, inclusive of net exercise. Additionally essential to assist a rising variety of deposit-based merchandise will likely be new metrics and KPIs, supported by Ian’s workforce and accessible by Atlan.
Maybe probably the most thrilling to Austin Capital Financial institution is the introduction of information science and machine studying, enhancing the way in which they market and function. “We wish to get into optimization for advertising and marketing spend. We wish to put fraud detection fashions in place. We wish to be sure that we’re good stewards of our clients’ knowledge,” Ian defined.
Finally, Austin Capital Financial institution sees Atlan as its window to the world, higher understanding their fast-evolving know-how and processes, and the impacts that adjustments to them will make.
“I need all of it to be built-in, in order that we’re in a position to assess affect,” Ian shared. If we’ve a change to a subject in a desk that’s upstream of some mannequin, I’d wish to perceive the place else that will get used. And I’d know if it’s in a downstream mannequin that mixes 10 tables which are mixed in a view that aggregates knowledge, or if it’s additionally utilized by an algorithm to optimize advertising and marketing spend.”
If all of our infrastructure is tied into the identical place, we are able to make adjustments, and earlier than we make these adjustments, perceive the place the affect could be in order that nothing breaks. All of that can must be built-in into Atlan.”
Ian Bass, Head of Information & Analytics
The way in which Austin Capital Financial institution’s knowledge workforce operates, thanks partly to its funding in know-how and executing the best technique, is unrecognizable from the beginning of their modernization journey simply 16 months in the past.
“With the instruments we’ve in place now, we’re in a position to measure the affect of product adjustments straight away,” Ian shared. “We will additionally perceive how adjustments in our advertising and marketing technique affect our enterprise. For instance, we did a deep dive on key phrase searches that we have been spending on and made a considerable change. And we’re not simply measuring the effectiveness of that, however we have been additionally in a position to predict what would occur. We’re following fairly carefully in-line with what that prediction was.”
However past the plain advantages their know-how, knowledge workforce, and course of provide, the tradition of Austin Capital Financial institution, from client-facing workers to executives, is quickly altering towards being data-driven.
I’ve these instruments, however the President of Credit score Robust and the CEO of Austin Capital Financial institution even have entry to those instruments. They’ll see the effectiveness of adjustments inside hours or days of implementing. It’s one thing we didn’t have in place earlier than. We don’t must make these new constructs and connections, they’re in place already and we are able to pivot in a short time.”
Ian Bass, Head of Information & Analytics