The Needle in the Haystack

On one of my many very boring trips recently, I stumbled upon an advertisement for a key finder in one of the magazines. For a moment, I thought it was a wonderful product and that I should be buying one of those, since I am notorious for my forgetfulness. To understand how this product worked, I read the short description that was mentioned below the product ad. It said that there would be a key chain to which the key has to be attached and a card (similar to a credit card) which has got a chip on it, that will lead you to the key, once you have misplaced it. And the note, further said that the card can be kept in the wallet so that it is not misplaced. Now, for someone who misplaces almost anything, finding the wallet itself would be a challenge. The challenge for me was that there were far too many things that I had to search through in my flat to find my keys or the wallet. If I could somehow bring my search area smaller, it would be much easier to find my missing stuff all the time.

 This kept me thinking for a few days and then I realized this is precisely the problem most banks encounter today. They just can’t find the wallet to find the key. The technology solutions of today have given banks the key finder but banks are yet to find the solution to finding the wallet. Once they find the wallet, finding the key is the easier task.

 Today’s business applications have given bank users so much choice that they have no idea what and where they have to be looking to sell to their customers. There is an overload of information on hundreds of applications that bank users have to go through to finally arrive at the right product to sell to the right customer and at the right time. The relevancy of the information is much more important than the quantum of information. In fact relevancy of information is ‘the’ most important tool in the days of IT and not the quantum of information a system can provide. This is precisely what has made Google what it is.

 Even before Google, there were many other search engines that could retrieve information within fraction of a second, but what made Google stand out from the rest was the relevancy of the information it was able to give user on each and every search made. Google did it with a very innovative algorithm (using back-links). Today’s banks require a tool which would revolutionize the industry the same way Google did to the World Wide Web – an application which brings relevancy to the forefront and takes data crunching to the back-ground.

 It requires an application which can filter out all the false-positive cases and irrelevant cases with a human-like intuition but without a human intervention. It requires an algorithm that not only captures any relevant information that comes its way, but eliminates all the irrelevant information that could come its way. As with Google and the World Wide Web, the trickier challenge is the latter. And the day we find algorithms which can do this, we would have found the next Google.

- By Michael Lawrence

Michael Lawrence is Implementation Lead – BAS at CustomerXPs. He can be reached at

CustomerXPs offers real-time, intelligent products that empower banks with instant insights enabling influenced outcomes of deeper customer engagement and fraud-free transactions.

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