Big Data & Analytics Heroes

Farouk Ferchichi

Chief Data Officer & Head of Business Intelligence at Toyota Financial Services
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“The biggest focus that we have at Toyota Financial Services is to leverage data and analytics for the business, around customer experience”

Farouk Ferchichi, chief data officer and head of business intelligence at Toyota Financial Service, and this week’s Big Data & Analytics Hero, shares insight into Toyota's journey to improve their customer experience by leveraging data and analytics.

How is big data changing your business strategy?

Toyota Financial Services is a hundred-billion dollar finance company that offers loans and leases to consumers. The biggest focus that we have at TFS immediately to leverage data and analytics for the business, around customer experience: making the customer experience the most positive one so we can attract them as well as retain them in the family with us for as long as possible. We started asking ourselves what’s next for us? How can we bring in and structure data? And that’s when we started looking at things like Watson Explorer.

How has big data improved business operations?

With Watson Explorer, the data scientist experience is much more—they don’t rely on the ETL developer, and they don’t rely on the database guys, they just directly connect to the servers with the right security access. Another type of user experience change is around our BI reporting managers and analysts. Historically when they get a question about a certain KBI or KRI that is displayed on the dashboard, they have to go many places to figure out what it means. Now, because it is in one place, they can answer that question a lot faster.

Operators historically go to too many places to be able to do their job, to understand their performance and to access documents to do their job better, or in compliance with operating procedures. Then they have to take away time from the customer interaction to call a supervisor, a peer or someone at headquarters. Having a 360 degree view of information where it’s personalized, secure and saves them a tremendous amount of time also facilitates this transparent way of showing all the information available in one unique place.

How have big data and analytics impacted how you do your job today?

I personally have been doing data management for over 15, almost 20 years. I haven’t encountered a tool that can do that. So our discovery of the Watson Explorer was amazing. We feel like Watson Explorer is a channel for us to be able to deliver the information in a much faster, more comprehensive way to our users and deliver on our philosophy around self-service data without creating chaos. I feel like the possibilities are limitless.