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Using analytics to build bank branches
Helping banks put their branches in the right location, and serve their customers with the right services and products

Even as online banking becomes more ubiquitous, physical bank branches still remain an important service and marketing channel and are fundamental to the bank’s business development and growth. Yet as global financial markets change rapidly, banks must maintain and better serve their customers while reducing the operational costs of their physical branch facilities. Without the right insights this can seem like a daunting task, but IBM Research – China developed a solution that analyzes large amounts of complex data and helps banks make more use of their physical branches.

Knowing where to put a bank branch requires a deep understanding of the customer’s preferences as well as other factors about the physical surroundings. The solution from IBM Research - China looks at a variety of data sources including geography, demographics, population and transaction history. By performing statistical analysis and delivering analytics though a visual interface, the system can help the bank determine where new branches should open, which existing ones should be upgraded, as well as where to move or close underperforming ones. This also allows banks to match the city development planning and distribution of financial resources when planning their branch locations.

Currently the solution is being used by more than 30 banks in China and around the globe. In 2011 the team from IBM Research - China was named a finalist in the prestigious Franz Edelman Award, which is given by the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences.

Meet the researchers

  • Ming Xie image

    Ming Xie

    Manager, Intelligent Facility Analytics and Optimization,
    IBM Research - China

  • Jin Yan Shao image

    Jin Yan Shao

    Research Staff Member,
    IBM Research - China

  • Li Li Zhao image

    Li Li Zhao

    Staff Researcher,
    IBM Research - China

  • Yu Hui Fu image

    Yu Hui Fu

    Staff Researcher,
    Associate certificated IT Architect,
    IBM Research - China

  • Yu Hang Liu image

    Yu Hang Liu

    Staff Researcher,
    IBM Research - China