Akbank Accelerates Marketing with Agile Analytics


Akbank is one of Turkey’s largest banks, reporting a net profit of TL 4,854 million (~ USD 1,387M) and assets of TL 295 billion (~ USD 84B) at the end of 2016. The bank’s consolidated capital adequacy ratio of 14.2 percent, calculated according to Basel III standards, is among the highest in the sector. In 2016, Akbank was voted as the “Bank of the Year in Turkey” by The Banker, deemed the “Best Bank in Turkey” by Global Finance, and the “Best Bank in Central and Eastern Europe” by Euromoney. The company has also been named “Most Valuable Banking Brand” in Turkey for the fifth consecutive year in the international brand valuation company Brand Finance’s survey.

  • Industry

    Financial Services.

  • Use case

    Campaign Analytics, Data Integration, Data Analytics.

Analytic cycle times covering the bank’s numerous marketing campaigns were reduced from five days to five hours.

Attila Bayrak, Chief Analytics Officer at Akbank

Business Challenges

In the highly volatile global environment in 2016, the Turkish economy continued to grow strongly, led by private consumption and investment spending. This presents a tremendous opportunity for Akbank to grow its business and invite furious competition for banking services for consumers, private clients, and corporate customers.

To execute on its pledge of sustainable return on equity of at least 15-17 percent, the customer-facing side of Akbank faced four key challenges:

  • Become a leader in the Turkish banking sector in terms of customer experience and satisfaction, along with value to the customer
  • Build stronger relationships with customers to increase retention and reduce churn
  • Grow their customer base in both the consumer and corporate markets
  • Increase the wallet-share and lifetime value of existing customers

Analytic and Data Challenges

At the heart of Akbank’s strategy was to increase the agility of their marketing and sales campaigns to provide the proper offers and messages at the right time to prospective new clients and existing customers. With 90 different marketing campaigns running simultaneously, Akbank’s existing architecture posed many challenges to achieve their desired agility:

  • Siloed campaign data stored in over 10 different data sources made it difficult to get a consolidated view of marketing campaign results.
  • Long, complex analytic processing cycles where individual queries could take up to 24 hours, and the entire results generation process would take 4 to 5 days.
  • Manual SQL-based reporting processes were constantly updated, creating version control headaches and errors that were only identified after taking measurements.

Because of these complexities, Akbank could only measure their marketing campaigns’ performance monthly and only then make adjustments to improve results. This certainly was not agile, and according to Attila Bayrak, Chief Analytics Officer at Akbank: “Our inability to see results while campaigns were running prevented us from making adjustments as needed. We needed a platform that would allow us to change the strategy while in the game, not after it is over.”

The Datameer Solution

To deliver the desired agility, Akbank required a big data platform that would consolidate their disparate data sources, speed the time to insight, and eliminate errors. Datameer delivered with:

  • Easy Integration
  • Integrated Analytics
  • Speed and Performance
  • analytics-multi-icon
    Agile Analytics
  • Easy integration — Datameer’s data ingestion and blending facilities provided Akbank with the ability to consolidate diverse data sources easily.
  • Integrated analytics — Datameer’s spreadsheet-style interface, 270 powerful functions, and workbook linking enabled Akbank to consolidate their analytics into a single suite.
  • Speed and performance — Datameer’s ability to crunch through data and analytics faster allowed Akbank to speed the processing times.
  • An agile approach to analytics — Datameer’s rapid data discovery allowed Akbank to explore new problems and see new customer behavior types.

Akbank’s Results

Akbank used Datameer to deliver the desired agility with the marketing campaigns. Because of Datameer, analysts and campaign owners could see results daily and make required adjustments on-the-fly to increase their campaigns’ performance. Specific results include:

  • 24 x

    faster analytics

  • 8320

    hours of coding saved a year

  • The cycle time to run the analytics covering the 90 different Akbank marketing campaigns was reduced from 5 days to 5 hours.
  • Analytics spread across over 1,000 different SQL queries was consolidated into easy to use, templated analytics in Datameer.
  • Parameterized analytics centralized in Datameer eliminated errors and provided governance to see lineage and track changes.
  • Four analysts that were previously continuously coding SQL queries were freed to explore the campaign data looking for new behavioral insights.
  • The consolidated data and analytics now enabled analysts to explore customer behavior across campaigns and get a customer-centric view of responses
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Attila Bayrak, Akbank | Customer Journey