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Digital bank optimises data governance and streamlines compliance

Banking and Capital Markets Azure Purview 2

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Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

Digital-native bank illimity uses leading-edge technology to support its mission of enhancing the potential of people, families, and companies. In a complex data ecosystem, the bank wanted to simplify and accelerate how it managed its rapidly growing data. illimity chose to be an early adopter of Microsoft Azure Purview, a data governance solution, and the bank uses Azure Data Lake, Azure Data Factory, and Power BI as part of a comprehensive data management solution. Not only has illimity increased its velocity making it faster for employees to access, analyse, and use data both internally and externally but the bank has also added data lineage and other automation to promote more strategic work, easily anonymize customer data, and simplify compliance.

“We chose Azure Purview to help us achieve a higher level of business monitoring and react quickly. With it, we can accelerate how we process data and then make informed decisions as soon as possible.”

Chief Information Officer at illimity

Data-driven decisions

Founded in 2018 as the first cloud-native bank in Italy, illimity embraces a specialised and innovative business model. It operates in specific segments that are very important but not as well served by traditional operators. For example, illimity extends financing to high-potential small and midsize companies, purchases distressed corporate loans, and then services the loans through its neprix platform. The bank also provides digital direct banking services through, and over the next few months, it will set up and manage alternative investment funds for corporate loans through illimity SGR, the bank’s asset management firm.

As a relatively new tech bank, we seek customers who find value in digital banking but want a personalised, human connection, says Chief Information Officer at illimity.

As a fully digital bank, illimity faced several data management challenges. First, its ecosystem for tracking data internally and for connecting with parties externally was inherently complex. Second, the fast- growing bank had an explosion of data and needed an easier way to manage its data compliance and keep up with all the regulations in the European Union (EU). Finally, illimity wanted to optimise its understanding of its data to make informed decisions about the business and its customers, while also protecting the privacy and anonymisation of customer data.

illimity used a data catalog, but as the bank grew, it needed a more robust and comprehensive solution with more automation and analytics capabilities. We began to look for a solution to support data quality and data discovery that would work with our unique, distributed operating model.

A digital pioneer

illimity shared its solution requirements with Microsoft, and the Azure product team introduced the bank to Microsoft Azure Purview, a unified data governance service that was in private preview. illimity decided to adopt Azure Purview for knowledge sharing and data discovery, lineage, classification, and anonymisation.

We worked closely with Microsoft, and the Azure team understood what we needed and listened to our feedback. We implemented Azure Purview because we needed a high level of trust in our data and wanted to extract value to make data-driven decisions.

As part of its data governance approach, illimity uses Azure Data Lake Storage as a consolidated storage location to make it easy to collect, refine, and query raw data. The bank also uses Azure Data Factory to ingest and transform data. illimity adopted Azure Synapse Analytics and Azure Databricks to gain more analytics and AI capabilities, and the bank visualizes and gains insights about its data through reporting and dashboards in Power BI.

With Azure, we can achieve high data standards in very little time and reduce complexity, says Head of Data Analytics at illimity. And by taking this step with Azure Purview, we’re supporting the bank’s democratisation of data and data governance capabilities.

Increased velocity of data access and use

illimity has experienced improved velocity, both in the time it takes to make data accessible to employees and how quickly that data is used. In Azure Purview, illimity gained automation in its data lineage and can now automatically discover where data is coming from and all the information related to the data sources. Business users can then easily access the data that they need through Power BI for cost/risk reviews, business performance monitoring, and internal audits.

We can continually refresh data in Azure, an advantage that’s not common for banks but is becoming more natural in our digital landscape. At illimity, we encourage our employees to use Power BI to access data on their own, without IT support, to empower them to analyze their data and act on their findings.

The bank forecasts its profit and loss on a monthly basis and would like to increase the cadence to weekly reports. We chose Azure Purview to help us achieve a higher level of business monitoring and react quickly. With it, we can accelerate how we process data and then make informed decisions as soon as possible.

Streamlined compliance

As a financial institution, illimity is subject to many EU data regulations to maintain data privacy, including the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). illimity has found that the data automation capabilities in Azure Purview are key to simplifying compliance and anonymising customer data. It can be a considerable effort for traditional banks to stay GDPR compliant and manage data anonymization on traditional information systems. Using Azure Purview is hugely helpful for us from a compliance standpoint because of the automation and visibility we’ve gained.

Ultimately, illimity wants to buoy businesses across Italy and ensure that its customers get the most relevant and trustworthy service possible. That means managing all digital data tightly to truly understand customer needs while never compromising privacy. Our diverse customers require different services with nuanced needs. We’ve made Azure Purview part of our commitment to delivering a distinctive user experience to our customers and processing data accurately to make sure that we offer the right product at the right moment.