From new tools to tackling data quality
I was ready for a new project to really get my teeth into
Since I wrote my last blog, we’ve held two Innovation Days aimed at rejuvenating our processes, systems and way of working in the Finance department. The Innovation Days are not only very productive because we work on projects together, but also great fun because you get the chance to talk to a lot of colleagues – including people that you don’t often get to see because they’re from outside of your own team.
I’m a member of the organising committee for the Innovation Days, and we’re also continuously working to embed ‘change’ more firmly in the DNA of our department and its people. We’re taking things one step at a time. The day-to-day work has to carry on without interruption, of course, so we’re mainly focusing on changes that people can make without too much extra effort. Tools and new approaches should make people’s jobs easier, after all, and it helps if they support a bigger underlying goal too. For example, we’ve introduced a new tool called a ‘slide deck’ for project teams aimed at giving them more insight into their progress while also serving as a management reporting solution. I’d seen a similar thing while working in Italy, and I realised it would be perfect for us. The slides are projected on a large wall within our department so that everyone can see the progress of all the projects. You can also see at a glance which projects could benefit from some extra help. This kind of transparency is essential, and is in everyone’s best interests. It helps people to understand each other’s approaches, plus in the longer term it makes it easier for them to do one another’s work if necessary.
In the meantime I’ve also become part of another large-scale project, this time relating to data quality. Data is a very hot topic within the bank and it’s important for all areas, from Marketing to Know Your Customer. Banking data is also subject to ever-tighter demands by the regulators such as the European Central Bank – such as that data quality has to be assessed in the same way everywhere. I’m working on this project in partnership with an information management colleague. I’m primarily focused on establishing the scope from a Finance perspective. What are the main data source systems for ING in the Netherlands and Belgium, and which financial elements should we use as the basis for our decision-making? We’re putting together an overview of those specific data elements.
I’d been getting a little too comfortable in my role over the past few months so I was keen to find a project I could really get my teeth into again. This topic ticks all the right boxes as far as I’m concerned. I jumped at the chance when my manager asked me to get involved. The combination of finance, IT and data is demanding but fun, and my colleague and I make a great team together – we’re making good progress, in any case. This project is another very interesting challenge for me, so I’ll be staying in this department at least until it’s finished. After that, it will be time to look for a new challenge to tackle – and perhaps even a new role.
Arvind did a bachelor’s degree in business economics with a specialisation in accounting and finance, followed by a master’s in accounting and control, both at VU Amsterdam. He shares an apartment in Amsterdam with two of his friends. He is a keen musician and loves being surrounded by people; his family and friends are very important to him.