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IBM Watson makes it elementary for DBS staff

Instead of spending more than two hours every day poring through market reports, DBS’ relationship managers use the time to meet with clients instead, armed with information from those reports distilled by supercomputer IBM Watson.

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Instead of spending more than two hours every day poring through market reports, DBS’ relationship managers use the time to meet with clients instead, armed with information from those reports distilled by supercomputer IBM Watson.

The bank’s approach of capitalising on technological advancements to innovate and increase labour productivity was cited by Manpower Minister Tan Chuan-Jin yesterday as a positive example for businesses to stay competitive in a rapidly evolving environment.

Piloted last year, the Watson system goes through large volumes of complex data, such as research reports, and applies it against individual customers’ profiles to identify connections between customers’ needs and the bank’s research recommendations.

This helps its relationship managers to weigh different financial options available for customers, said DBS managing director and head of Digital Bank Olivier Crespin.

Noting that DBS produces between 700 and 800 reports every quarter, Mr Crespin said it would be challenging for relationship managers to digest all the information.

Without the Watson system, the relationship manager will have to process 5,000 pages of documents each quarter, equivalent to spending more than two hours reading each day, instead of making connections with clients, he noted. Relationship managers are able to access the Watson system on the go, he added.

Clients today also have access to a wide pool of investment literature and look to relationship managers to provide solutions to complement their needs, Mr Crespin noted.

“Before the implementation of the technology, significant effort is still required by individual relationship managers to identify quality investment ideas and this can be a challenge when there is an expanding array of investment opportunities and other pressing demands for time,” he added.

NG JING YNG

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