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Remzil Jacob

Remzil Jacob, Chief Data Officer, Barclays

Describe your career to date

With over 25 years of experience in technology enabled business transformation focused on banking, finance and data, I started my journey in retail banking before moving to the US to work on several data focused transformational projects. From driving large scale change projects focused on data warehousing and data mining to running enterprise wide centers of excellence, I have focused on data as a key lever to drive strategy. I have driven high value programs with efficiencies and savings using data strategies across most of my career. I joined Barclays a decade ago, and I have been working within our chief data office for the last five, serving as chief data officer for our payments business initially and now fraud. I also head data strategy and governance across consumer banking and payments chief data office which supports six high value and exciting businesses. 

What stage has your organization reached on its data maturity journey?

Barclays invested in a rich, multi-year data and records program and has been on its data journey for the last five years. We have taken the time to build a strong foundation of trusted and reliable data assets managed within a robust framework and are now focused on leveraging these assets to inform strategy, drive customer experience and help fuel business growth. Key themes around data monetization, data usage and data analytics are all major areas of focus for 2023. 

 

Tell us about the data and analytics resources you are responsible for

The chief data office is a very strategic team in Barclays with no more than 250 members across the bank. About 20% of the team works in central roles while the rest are split across four business groups. Within consumer banking and payments, my team and I work alongside data engineering, data platforms, data privacy and our technology organization to deliver data product and solutions to the businesses we serve. My team is 35 members strong, spread out across the US, UK and India. We act as true partners to our businesses to manage data, identify opportunity through analytics, and drive strategy and growth from a data perspective. 

What challenges do you see for data in the year ahead that will have an impact on your organization and on the industry as a whole? 

The recent instability in US banking will attract greater scrutiny around controls and soundness checks and I expect to see tighter regulation and oversight as a result. This will no doubt hold banks to higher standards and will necessitate work around regulatory changes. Data resource will have to balance the need to exploit data with the work that may have to be done on the regulatory front, and I do see a heightened focus in this space for 2023. 

 

Have you set out a vision for data? If so, what is it aiming for and does it embrace the whole organization or just the data function?

Our vision for data is dovetailed into our business strategy – we have set out the key role data will play for material growth initiatives and transformation work that will get us to our goals. These prioritized use cases drive the book of work for us in 2023. 

  

Have you been able to fix the data foundations of your organization, particularly with regard to data quality?

What’s most important with data quality is to have an effective framework to monitor and remediate issues. This surfaces the most critical issues first, and for a thriving, growing organization that is moving forward, you will have always data quality issues. An effective framework will ensure you identify, triage and fix these in the right way.  

Remzil Jacob
Remzil Jacob
has been included in:
  • 100 Brands 2023 (USA)