It Is Simply Not Sustainable To Institutionalize A Data Model Which Is Built To Last For Years

Speaker Snapshot with Ritesh Sarda, CIO at Sun Life Financial


Ahead of his presentation at the  Big Data Innovation Summit in Hong Kong on April 26 & 27, we spoke to Ritesh Sarda, CIO at Sun Life Financial. 

Ritesh is the CIO of Sun Life Financials HongKong, leading client focused digital and data analytics programs and a champion of agile methodology. He is a Financial technology professional with experience in leading large technology transformation programs across Asia pacific and North America. He is a Technology evangelist for mobile, big data, cloud computing and service-oriented architecture.

You have worked across a number of industries in the past, how has this changed your approach to your current role? 

I have seen the two ends of the process spectrum - either it’s the wild-west, where there’s chaos, confusion, and no control. The opposite is a process driven organization which puts so many stage gates in place that by the time you go through the approval process, you’ve missed the opportunity. You need to strike the right balance of control and agility to seize the opportunity and execute effectively.

How has the use of big data changed in the past 5 years?

The sheer volume, velocity, and variety of data has evolved exponentially over time and it is simply not sustainable to institutionalize a data model which is built to last for years. Data strategy requires the schemas to be generated dynamically rather than restricting the data with pre-defined schemas. Historically data was leveraged for post facto reporting and record keeping purpose. However, businesses are now realizing the power of data for predictive analytics and data-driven decision making. Data visualization is the key to derive meaningful insights from the goldmine of information.

What do you think the next big technological leap will be within big data?

It is all about using data to improve client experience. Developing the capability to interact with clients in a way that anticipates their needs takes some time to achieve. Robotics and artificial intelligence is a game changer and requires even more complex data transformations with natural language algorithms and machine learning capability. With the internet of things (IoT) getting immersed into daily life there is lot more data produced by machines rather than humans and it requires distributed power of big data platforms to capture huge data loads and make it available for analytics

How does the APAC region differ from others in terms of how data is being used?

APAC has digital natives and the adoption of new technology is much higher than others, so the velocity of data generation and expectation to get personalized offerings are very high. So the organizations in APAC have bigger challenges to satisfy the growing expectations and needs of their clients. Data is the corner stone of any successful digital strategy and it is critical to have a single view of a client across lines of business offerings and provide seamless omnichannel interaction to clients.

What can people expect from your presentation in Hong Kong?

People can expect practical insights into how data transformation strategy can be executed to provide seamless digital experience to drive client satisfaction. 

You can see Ritesh's presentation at the Big Data Innovation Summit in Hong Kong on April 26 & 27.

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