16,000 “Data Heroes” trained at DBS Bank

DBS Bank is leveraging a unique internal training programme to build data-literacy skills across its workforce.
By: | October 29, 2019

DBS Bank has added data literacy and analytical skills to 16,000 of its staff as part of the first 18 months of its “Data Heroes” training programme.

The participating staff have come from all parts of the business, and from all levels of seniority.

Paul Cobban, Chief Data and Transformation Officer, said the big data-focused programme was helping to bring the entire workforce into the digital era that is a vital part of business today.

“Technology is advancing rapidly, and we need to ensure our staff have the knowledge, skills and tools to not only adapt to change, but also build communities with their peers so as to create a virtuous cycle of learning,” he said. “By empowering our staff with new technical and soft skills, they’re more efficient and productive at work. This will enable them to have a more fulfilling career as well.”

DBS’ ‘Data Heroes’ programme offers a comprehensive training curriculum that caters to different knowledge and skill levels across the bank, including novices whose day-to-day roles do not require much interaction with data analytics. Employees are able to learn at their own pace and select what they need to improve on from a range of online courses, workshops and community programmes.

The goals of the bank-wide upskilling programme have been to:

  • Use data to address business challenges in a highly-structured fashion;
  • Use data analytics to better identify business opportunities; and
  • Facilitate closer collaboration with the bank’s data scientists and technology teams so as to create more intuitive products and services for customer.

Nelson Lam (pictured), from DBS’ Institutional Banking Operations team, said he was able to immediately apply many of the lessons learned to his day-to-day work. In particular, a monthly report his team has been responsible is now both easier to produce, and offers much greater insight into the corporate customer centre’s ongoing performance.

“Having to churn out the same 10-page report every month was tedious and administrative, and I wanted to provide more actionable insights to my team,” he said. “After attending the course, I could better analyse my data set to present more relevant and concise information to improve the team’s performance.”


For more on DBS Bank’s ongoing digital transformation, see our interview with Paul Cobban, Chief Data and Transformation Officer, from July this year.