Organizations in the financial services industry rely on data to make strategic decisions, drive their businesses, and maintain a competitive edge. The Bank of England was discovering that legacy tools were no longer sufficient to satisfy the growing demands of analysts and economists.
The Bank of England is the central bank of the United Kingdom formed in 1694. The Bank of England’s mission is “to promote the good of UK citizens by maintaining monetary and financial stability”. As well as managing the UK’s currency, supply of money and interest rates, the institute has a diverse range of responsibilities including gathering and analyzing data from banks, building societies, credit unions, insurers and mortgage companies to inform policy decisions and guide UK government departments and international organizations.
Launching a Strategic Data Plan
The Bank needed a centralized data management platform to break down data silos and facilitate bank-wide research. The European Market Infrastructure Regulation (EMIR) data presented the biggest and most immediate challenge. In 2014, the Bank launched its strategic plan, “One Mission, One Bank.” A key pillar of this strategy was the “One Bank Data Architecture,” which called for a centralized data management platform. This platform would allow the Bank to collect, store, and perform big data analysis on larger datasets that could be shared with researchers and the data science community, plus support operational systems.
The Bank now has multiple production environments, which includes the collection of EMIR data relating to derivative trades. Utilizing HDP, the analysts can significantly reduce the time it takes to process a dataset containing over 15 billion derivative transactions. For example, report packs that used to take two days can now be produced in five minutes.
“Instead of processing and aggregating smaller slices of EMIR data sequentially and threading back together for final analysis, using HDP our analysts are now able to take their code to the granular dataset in its entirety. HDP has also enabled us to successfully and efficiently collect other datasets for research and analysis alongside our established EMIR Hive based warehouse.” Adrian Waddy, Data Platform Delivery Lead, Bank of England
The Bank of England is now in the process of building a second data management platform, five times larger than the existing one and spanning multiple data centers. This will open even more opportunities for big data analysis and help the organization continue to fulfill its duty of providing a stable and reliable foundation for the UK economy and broader banking ecosystem.