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Vishal Patel, Chief Data and Analytics Officer, Webster Bank

Describe your career to date

I work as Chief Data and Analytics Officer for Webster Bank. I am responsible for various aspects of data management that cover data governance, business intelligence and analytics, master and reference data management, data engineering, and data platform management for the bank. I am also an advisory board member for MIT’s Center of Information Systems Research – Data Research Board Advisory.

My first job in the IT space goes back to 1999/2000 with a startup firm. I was an analyst building small applications. I then had an opportunity to work for a client in an investment management space; this is where my passion for data management grew leaps and bounds because it directly impacted on the company’s bottom line.

Over a period of years, I took several strategic roles within various investment management firms that provided me with an opportunity to stand up data governance and data management practices in a very fast paced environment.

My proven experience in data management led me to my current role which covers functions like data governance, business intelligence and data analytics, master and reference data management, data platform strategies, data product management, and regulatory data strategy.

Data literacy is a key enabler of the value and impact from data. How are you approaching this within your organization? 

I established a data platform strategy two years back which we executed based upon delivering data-based value add to our bank. Having done that, we were able to centralize information in a logical data model-based approach. This allowed us to have different data needs based on various data domains.

We also build standardized data products like customers, customer and products, customer and risk trends, and more, allowing us to use these existing products for a wide variety of business use cases. We built an enterprise data product catalog with a mindset of data showroom with clear and concise for any consumers to use it.

We executed a self-service strategy that provided enough intel of our consumer to pick and choose data products for their business needs. We also established a regular outreach to provide insight on new data content and product enhancement as they become available driven by business strategy.

What role do you play in building and delivering conventional AI solutions, including machine learning models? Are you involved in your organization’s adoptions of generative AI?

I am the Chief Data and Analytics Officer for a mid-sized regional bank and the largest regional bank in Connecticut, USA. As part of an expanded remit, I am responsible for driving predictive analytics strategy using artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning models for our Commercial and Retail banking divisions. Given that I have already implemented a cloud-based data platform with logical data model-based dataset, we are looking to do more with data. We have set up an AI task force where I provide appropriate guidance to implement and drive adoption of generative AI for low risk and no risk usecases within our risk appetite.

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

A cloud-based data platform strategy has been key to the success in improving data quality via an authoritative data source strategy. Using strategic technology solutions for data quality engines to check current health of our data, coupled with people and process based operating model for data health improvements, we have been able to contain data degradation to support business needs.

We improved our data governance capability with clearly defined roles and responsibilities using a top-down approach so that it becomes a remit for each owner to provide an appropriate level of care for data quality to support business strategies and client needs.

Vishal Patel
has been included in:
  • 100 Brands 2024 (USA)