ConnectOne Bank builds data lake in-house


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ConnectOne Bank built its own data lake and data warehouse in-house to allow for access to insights for all departments. 

One of the first assignments for the $9.8 billion Englewood Cliffs, N.J. -based bank’s Chief Technology Officer and Executive Vice President Sharif Alexandre was to “build a data lake and a data warehouse so that we can aggregate the data from our various data sources,” he told Bank Automation News, noting, it took approximately nine months to have the data lake and data warehouse fully functional but it’s “an ongoing effort that never really stops.”

According to Amazon Web Services, a data warehouse stores data in a structured format and a data lake hosts raw and unstructured data. 

Before the data warehouse, the bank had to export data to other systems that required various formatting. Now, the same data can be organized in a single place and exported out to other systems, said Alexandre, who joined the bank in 2022.  

“There are obviously systems out there that we could have built off the shelf or customized, but we decided to build from scratch because we wanted to have that control over every part of that architecture,” Alexandre told BAN. By building in-house, the bank controls it all — from how the data is built to the organization of workflows to the analysis of the data. 

When evaluating the options for the data lake and data warehouse, including cloud-based services, cost was a consideration but the decision to build “was largely driven by our desire to fully manage the orchestration of the data we were ingesting,” he said.

Bankwide efficiencies

The data lake serves as a “foundation for everything else that we can build on top of,” he said.  

For example, with access to structured data, departments can glean information to help with planning, he said. That wasn’t always the case. 

“For a long time, data was the responsibility of a team, and really one department accessed the data, and now with so many different departments running reports, logging into our data lake, understanding client behaviors … allows us to look ahead very differently,” Siya Vansia, chief brand and innovation officer, told BAN.  

With an in-house data lake, Vansia said the bank’s team can more easily use data to: 

  • Understand client behavior; 

Early-bird registration is now available for the inaugural Bank Automation Summit Europe 2024 in Frankfurt, Germany, on Oct. 7-8! Discover the latest advancements in AI and automation in banking. Register here and apply to speak here.


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