As vice-president of data product management at financial services firm Credit Karma, Poulomi Damany oversees the algorithms and platforms Credit Karma uses for its predictive, data-driven recommendations.
Ahead of her presentation at this year's AI and Big Data Innovation Summit, Damany spoke to Innovation Enterprise about some of the challenges she faces in her role and the creative ways Credit Karma has utilized analytics to improve its customer service and products.
Innovation Enterprise: How does Credit Karma utilise AI processes to assist customers?
Poulomi Damany: AI systems consist of a reinforcing loop of learning from reasoning to self-correction. At Credit Karma, we have more than 80 million members who visit our platform regularly to review their financial profile, enabling us to learn at scale. We collect close to nine terabytes of data per day and use these observations to inform our predictions of things happening in the not-so-distant future.
For example, we know that 80% of our members visit Credit Karma within 90 days of a mortgage tradeline appearing on their credit report. With that knowledge, we're able to surface recommendations for mortgages relevant to them and that they are likely to be approved for. We run 8 billion such predictions every day and use the results to tune and improve our recommendations for our members.
IE: How has blockchain technology transformed your industry?
PD: Blockchain is yet another example of the digitization of the financial services industry. While blockchain doesn't directly impact our core business at this time, it could be viewed as a necessary step toward revolutionizing the banking industry. Only time will tell.
Register today to see Poulomi Damany and a host of other leading AI and data scientists share their thoughts and views at the AI and Big Data Innovation Summit in London on October 31 – November 1, 2018
IE: How do you leverage AI and machine learning to make business decisions?
PD: We use deep-learning models to provide personalized recommendations to our members. We also leverage similar techniques to inform our business decisions. For example, we can better identify new macro trends and abnormalities in our business metrics, which we use to improve our business forecasts. Similarly, our marketing teams use predictive analytics to create optimal bids for our digital advertising campaigns.
IE: What disruptions do you foresee shaking up your industry in the next year?
PD: From an industry perspective, we're seeing central bank rate increases, driving up interest income for financial institutions. This could lead to a rise in defaults and loan losses, increasing the cost of credit and offsetting improvements in net interest income.
Given that, there's an even greater need for technological solutions that address consumer pain points and assist them in making more informed decisions to make financial progress. This is particularly true for consumers who are new to credit or trying to repair their credit, like millennials for example. Nearly half of all US millennials is a Credit Karma member and we are leaning into delivering solutions they are most comfortable consuming. This includes mobile-first services for comparing and applying for financial products, intelligent chatbots providing actionable financial advice and saving information in mobile wallets for ease of use.
IE: What message are you hoping to convey in your upcoming presentation at the AI and Big Data Innovation Summit?
PD: I hope to communicate the importance of using data for good -- for our members, partners and our business. Credit Karma's mission is to help people make financial progress. To do this, we believe it's important to arm our members with their own financial data so they have a complete view into their finances and can make more informed decisions. Our goal is to connect them with the financial products they want, need and are likely to qualify for.
By providing our members with highly personalized experiences and empowering them with their own information, we gain their trust. This benefits our members, our partners and our business. Through this, I hope to demonstrate how other companies can benefit by putting the consumers first and using data for good.
Poulomi Damany will be speaking on Day Two of Innovation Enterprise's AI and Big Data Innovation Summit in London on October 31 – November 1, 2018. To attend and hear more great insights from AI and data professionals across some of the biggest organizations, register here.