Our Insights

Five Minute Focus: How Data is Changing Everything

Jennifer Stott, RBC’s Chief Data Officer, discusses the importance of data in supporting and empowering our clients, the benefits of an informed data strategy, insights on her career in IT, and why tech skills are valuable, for everyone.

1. What is RBC’s data strategy for the next 12-18 months?

RBC is on an exciting path of delivering best-in-class digital experiences to our clients in order to help them thrive. Underpinning that focus is the availability and power of data. We’re leveraging data to increase our capabilities around artificial intelligence and machine learning, and make data-driven decisions.

At the same time, we recognize and appreciate the privileged relationship we have with our clients, and we strive to maintain their trust.

Our data strategy over the next few years will include advancing our ability to harness our technology and data proficiency, while continuing to respect our clients’ needs for data privacy and protection.   

2. What data solutions have the potential to transform our clients’ businesses?

RBC is always looking for ways to help our clients, and their businesses, thrive.

Our Insight Edge platform was launched in September 2019, which enables RBC to provide clients with relevant insights about their industry performance, customers, and markets. It’s a great way to leverage data and analytics to help our clients better understand their business needs and quickly find solutions.

3. How can our clients future proof their business?

It’s important to
understand the
impact data is
making in today’s
changing world

Nobody knows what the future holds but we all know that change is a constant. It’s important to understand the impact data is making in today’s changing world. Understanding its potential impact to your business and then applying that data to gain insights for your organization is a great way to stay ahead of the curve. Through data, you can better appreciate your clients, and the environment and economics they are operating in.

4. How is RBC connecting clients to their data?

In the last few weeks alone, RBC has made upgrades to its mobile banking platform for business clients. We’ve launched payment flexibility, cash management capabilities, and a robust online banking channel. These are all services we’re offering to help our clients be efficient in obtaining information or assisting them in analyzing cash flow or other financial services so they can spend more time focusing on their business.

5. What are some of the challenges facing RBC in developing and implementing a successful data strategy?

We are in the position of dealing with a huge volume of data that increases all the time. On top of this, the world around us is changing constantly. These two factors make trying to apply a strategy consistently and continuously across all our lines of business and internal processes challenging at times.

But it makes the imperative of having the right strategy all the more important. Our data strategy reflects our desires to help our clients prosper and to advance our business priorities.

6. What influenced your pursuit of a career in IT? Were there any roadblocks?

I joined the world of technology because I liked the idea of combining the technical capabilities I saw on the horizon with solving business problems that were getting more complex.

Capability, intellectual curiosity and ambition are important factors in meeting challenges

My family encouraged me to pursue the things I enjoyed and through my various roles, and with the support of some wonderful colleagues and insightful mentors, I’ve been given a number of opportunities to apply that passion to increasingly complex business problems. There have certainly been some challenges along the way but I’m not sure I would call any of them ‘roadblocks’ per se. I believe that capability, intellectual curiosity and ambition are important factors in meeting those challenges.

7. What skills have assisted you most during this period of rapid technological change?

The ability to see a problem from multiple perspectives. Understanding the impact of a business issue from the perspective of RBC and its clients helps to create a vision for how technology can be used to resolve the issue.

Being able to build relationships and bring people on the journey is also extremely important. Understanding your stakeholders, knowing what has value to them, ensuring that you can articulate a vision to help them, and getting others to share and support that vision drives the kind of continuous evolution that is necessary with today’s pace of change.

8. Should people in non-technical roles also learn and integrate data/technology skills?

Absolutely! Technology has become so consumerized in our world - it’s on your phone, your tablet, your TV, your car, your fridge. Essentially our society is making use of technology in almost every part of our lives.

I believe it’s crucial for all of us to understand how this technology works, how to maintain it, where your data is going and how it is being used. The more informed you are, the more aware you can become about the benefits and potential risks to you, your family and your business.

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