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Scotiabank Centre for Customer Analytics awarded $1.8M in funding

Faculty at Smith School of Business to develop leading-edge tools for Canada’s financial industry.

A financial services project at Smith School of Business’ Scotiabank Centre for Customer Analytics (SCCA) has received a $900,000 grant from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC)’s Collaborative Research and Development (CRD) Grant program. This funding has been matched by Scotiabank for a total $1.8 million.

Michael Zerbs and Yuri Levin
Michael Zerbs, Chief Technology Officer at Scotiabank, and Yuri Levin, Executive director and Smith Chair of Analytics at Smith School of Business.

The multi-phase project will look at several areas of technology in financial services, including large-scale customer behaviour analysis, risk evaluation, price and resource optimization, big data and online algorithms.

This funding will enable researchers to develop tools and models to ensure Canada’s financial industry continues to be a technological leader, creating innovative products to help customers.

“This project is an incredible example of government, the private sector, and professors and students collaborating on important applied research in the financial industry,” says Yuri Levin, Executive Director and Smith Chair of Analytics at Smith School of Business.

“We are pleased to enhance the important, customer-focused research coming out of Smith and the Scotiabank Centre for Customer Analytics,” says Michael Zerbs, Chief Technology Officer at Scotiabank. “The collaboration between the students and professors at the Scotiabank Centre for Customer Analytics is helping Scotiabank to reshape and enhance the customer experience. These students are our future leaders and Scotiabank’s goal is to help ensure that they have the necessary skills and resources they need to support their success.”

Intended to foster mutually beneficial collaborations expected to result in industrial and economic benefits to Canada, CRD Grants give companies that operate from a Canadian base access to the unique knowledge, expertise, and educational resources available at Canadian postsecondary institutions.

“NSERC’s Research Partnerships program supports strong R&D collaborations and dynamic interchange between academia and partners,” says Marc Fortin, Vice-President, Research Partnerships, NSERC. “We are proud to support this collaboration that will help Canadian banks remain innovative and competitive by incorporating the best analytics practices in their operations. They will tackle various emerging issues in the banking industry which will provide many tangible and intangible benefits to Canada, like better customer satisfaction and better risk management.”

The Scotiabank Centre for Customer Analytics opened at Smith in January 2016. Scotiabank pledged $2.2 million in support of the centre, with some of the funding tied to various NSERC research grant programs. The centre builds on Queen’s research leadership in big data and advanced research computing.