FinTech is a hot topic, not just in India, but globally. Not just the big banks and IT companies, several startups are trying to crack the next big thing which will shape the future of banking, including tech like blockchain, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning. With Datathon, YES Bank, India’s fourth largest private sector bank has taken upon itself to figure out how to leverage the new age technologies and turn them into scalable solutions.
Launched in September 2018, YES Bank Datathon had 6000+ Data scientists, engineers, and developers work to develop 20 data-driven products in an accelerated 100 day period. The top 200 teams (out of 1600+) included not only students from top technology institutes like IIT Bombay, Chennai, Kharagpur, but also 150+ professionals from organizations like IBM, Walmart Labs, Siemens, Amazon Development Centre, Capillary Technology, TCS, Accenture, Amdocs and Infosys.
Considering that Banking is something which impacts a lot of people across geographical, social and economic strata, it’s important to improve the efficiency with the use of latest technologies. With ever-increasing transactions and data complexities, processing big data into meaningful data points is extremely important. That’s where AI and ML come in.
With Datathon, YES Bank was able to identify the top 20 solutions for its own banking requirements. The chosen concepts will now be taken live within a month. The finale had 50 teams showcasing their models which were trained and tested on more than a terabyte of created and tokenized datasets. Eventually, 10 solutions were awarded cash prizes worth Rs 20 lakh.
Some of the top solutions coming out from this Datathon includes Fraud detection and analytics for card customer, Customer Sentiment Analysis to predict customer engagement, a master product which creates a single 360-degree view of every retail customer, Personal Finance Management tool without requiring access to customer SMS and many more.
While we have seen several Hackathons arranged by leading banks in the past, this is the first time an Indian bank has arranged a Datathon in the country. Unlike Hackathons which are typically 48-hour long, Datathons are three to six months challenge where participants actually develop Proof of Concepts with real data.
For students, it was a rare opportunity to build algorithms and data models on Terabytes of ‘real data’ in a deployment-ready environment. They had 25+ mentors who are Data science heads and experts across industries like Ola’s Gaurav Aggarwal, Uber’s Saurav Kaushik, PhonePe’s Mathangi Sri, Capgemini’s Mukesh Jain and several others who helped the teams every step of the way. Other than the top 20 models which will be taken live within the month, the remaining models will move into the bank’s data product library and will be iteratively developed and taken live within a 3 month period.
Although Datathon 2018 came to an end, YES Bank will continue to partner with top technology institutions like IITs and BITS Pilani where they will co-host AI/ML challenges and data engineering workshops to deepen practical and technical know-how of future technology leaders and widen the data science ecosystem. The 2019 Datathon is scheduled to be held in June 2019. We can expect more such innovative solutions to come out of YES Bank Datathon this year as well.