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Wednesday, December 7, 2022

NAB boosts its data strategy with Databricks

NAB selects Databricks to form the backbone of its data strategy.

The NAB strategy is designed to meet the growing demand for data to securely power use cases across the bank, including delivering personalized experiences, detecting and preventing fraud and scams, optimizing digital engagement, and managing of risks.

By combining the best qualities of a data warehouse and a data lake, Databricks’ cloud-based data lake will enable NAB to support all of its major data workloads, from real-time analytics and data science to recommendations. AI-powered, as well as being the source of significant risk management activities such as financial crime and regulatory reporting.

NAB’s director of data and analytics Christian Nelissen said NAB’s investment in data, including its work with Databricks, was all about delivering data securely at scale and speed.

“Our data strategy is to make data in the bank like electricity,” Nelissen said, “Most Australians assume that electricity is available when they need it and that it will be delivered safely and to the correct standard. The data in NAB should be the same.”

In just over six months from contract signing, NAB was able to implement Databricks, delivered the first three data sources on the platform, and put the first use case to work.

“We were able to move so quickly because the Group is already a cloud native and engineering leader, we didn’t have to go out and hire hundreds of engineers to make this work.” said Mr. Nelissen, adding “and it helped that Databricks has been such a strong partner in working alongside us to make this work.”

“From here, our plan is to deliver all the bank’s core data sources to the platform. We have also started work on decommissioning our legacy platforms. Databricks also gives us the opportunity to increase data security on the platform and strengthens our controls over privacy and data risk management.”

“Internally, our data platform is called Ada, after Ada Lovelace. She worked closely with Charles Babbage to bring to life the theory of early computer design in the 19th century. We loved the idea that she was someone collaborating with others to help them succeed and this partnership is how we think about the role of the data platform in the Group.”

Databricks Asia Pacific Senior Vice President and General Manager Ed Lenta said it had been exciting to play a role in NAB’s lake house vision and data journey to help democratize and unlock the value of data.

“We look forward to supporting NAB as they continue to develop their data capabilities, leveraging the scale and efficiencies of Databricks to deliver better results for their organization and clients,” said Lenta.

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