A look back at the activities of the Big Data & Digital Banking Chair with Crédit Agricole Nord de France

June 7, 2019

Crédit AgricoleThree years ago, IÉSEG and the Crédit Agricole Nord de France (or CANDF) created a “Big Data & Digital Banking Chair”, which incorporates an applied research program developed by the School and its Center for Marketing Analytics (ICMA – IÉSEG Center for Marketing Analytics).

A few months before the end of this collaboration, we look back at some of the main activities undertaken:

Applied and academic research: new applications for the bank and dissemination of results

The research part of the new Chair concentrated, for example, on an innovative project on the contribution of big data in developing customer relation management and digital marketing. Arno de Caigny, a doctoral candidate at the School, worked in particular on the enrichment and use of textual data to explore and improve customer paths, better anticipate them and interact proactively by incorporating the framework of Crédit Agricole’s Data Ethics Charter.

In collaboration with Prof. Kristof Coussement, founder of the ICMA, his research allowed for the creation of new prediction models by using machine learning and deep learning methods. This may help the CANDF to better manage and anticipate the needs of their clients. On the academic research level, the two researchers also used their work to publish three articles in some of the best scientific reviews worldwide in the area of “operational research”. They also presented at research conferences in order to share their work with academic experts in the sector.

Workshops to engage in good practices at CANDF and the Groupe Crédit Agricole

In addition to these research activities, Yvon Moysan, Academic Director for the Master in Digital Marketing and Innovation and expert in digital banking at IÉSEG, also led a series of workshops at Crédit Agricole Nord de France and at different entities of the Groupe Crédit Agricole.

With an objective to share good practices and feedback from Crédit Agricole about digital banking (connected objects, big data, artificial intelligence, etc.), these workshops also fueled the overall reflection on these subjects by analyzing different initiatives on an international level and/or by having external stakeholders in this ecosystem talk about their experience (Fintech, SSII, etc.).

In December 2017, he led a workshop on artificial intelligence and virtual assistants for participants from Crédit Agricole Nord de France. Participants were shown ways that this can be used in various sectors, such as the movie industry, retail, and publicity, along with the banking and insurance domains. In order to do this, a number of practical cases about customer relationships, product offering and services, along with the fight against fraud, were shared. For this occasion, five Master of Science in Investment Banking & Capital Markets students presented their FinTech project, which had been developed during their “Digital Banking and Fintech” course, in front of around 30 Crédit Agricole Nord de France executives.

Based on their own personal difficulties related to purchasing and selling cryptocurrencies (several transactional platforms used for a single transaction, missing information, complicated account maintenance, etc.) and on the Boursorama success story, these students had the idea to put forward FinTech Crytex: a centralized platform combining existing cryptocurrencies, a source of financial information and analysis, all based on the reputation of Crédit Agricole Nord de France.

Implication in School life

The Chair’s activities also contributed to different pedagogical initiatives at the School, such as hackathons for the Master of Science in Big Data Analytics for Business on IÉSEG’s Lille campus.

This ‘data science’ challenge aimed to provide students with the opportunity to work on issues identified by Crédit Agricole by using different techniques and methodologies learned during their program. Crédit Agricole also participated in the hackathon organized by the Master Digital Marketing and Innovation Master students on the IÉSEG Paris campus. The business issue concerned opportunities offered by connected objects, notably in the insurance sector.

Crédit Agricole Nord de France is also very involved in different School activities, such as career fairs, conferences, recruitment sessions, etc., and welcomes numerous IÉSEG interns and alumni. Two of the bank’s collaborators also received their Executive MBA from the School in March 2019.