Habib Bank manages data at scale with Cloudera Data Platform

As the leading financial institution of Pakistan, Habib Bank Limited (HBL) is at the forefront of all development initiatives which includes growth of priority sectors and targeting the unbanked population in the country. HBL remains committed to its objective of client centric innovation and financial inclusion for all segments of society. 

HBL was the first Pakistani commercial bank to be established in Pakistan in 1947. Serving over 32 million clients worldwide, over the years, HBL has grown its branch network and maintained its position as the largest private sector bank in Pakistan with 1700+ branches*, 2200+ ATMs*, 61,000+ Konnect* by HBL agents (branchless banking platform), and 52,000+ QR locations. HBL is currently the largest Domestic Bank with a presence across major trade zones in the world. 

HBL has re-envisioned itself as a ‘Technology company with a banking license’, as it transforms into the bank of tomorrow – one which empowers its customers through digital enablement. In 2021, HBLs customers digitally carried out over 330 Mn financial transactions valued at PKR 7 Tn) in payments, a growth of 30% over 2020. HBL aims to double its banked customers by 2025.

We needed a solution to manage our data at scale, to provide greater experiences to our customers. With Cloudera Data Platform, we aim to unlock value faster and offer consistent data security and governance to meet this goal.Aqeel Ahmed Jatoi,  Lead – Architecture, Governance and Control, Habib Bank Limited

The Solution: CDP Private Cloud brings a next-generation hybrid architecture with cloud-native benefits to HBL’s data platform.

HBL started their data journey in 2019 when data lake initiative was started to consolidate complex data sources and enable the bank to use single version of truth for decision making. The architecture of data lake was designed keeping in mind reliability, security, high performance and robust data structures which can fulfill current and future business needs. Blutech Consulting was selected both by HBL and Cloudera as the implementation partner based on their in-depth technical expertise in the field of data. 

In 2020, Cloudera professional services were engaged to perform technical audit of the ongoing data lake implementation and to understand if there are any gaps and to align with best practices. Cloudera professional services audited the entire implementation and architecture and found the entire setup extremely satisfactory and further provided areas for improvements.

While Cloudera CDH was already a success story at HBL, in 2022, HBL identified the need to move its customer data centre environment from Cloudera’s CDH to Cloudera Data Platform (CDP) Private Cloud to accommodate growing volumes of data. CDP Private Cloud’s new approach to data management and analytics would allow HBL to access powerful self-service analytics. The platform’s capabilities in security, metadata, and governance will provide robust support to HBL’s focus on compliance and keeping data clean and safe in an increasingly complex regulatory and threat environment.

With CDP, HBL will manage data at scale through a centralized data lake, serving Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Singapore and other international territories. The bank will be able to secure, manage, and analyse huge volumes of structured and unstructured data, with the analytic tool of their choice. 

Smooth, hassle-free deployment in just six weeks

Leading data analytics company Blutech Consulting and a very reliable partner of Cloudera was selected as the implementation partner, working with Cloudera Professional services to oversee the upgrade activities. The implementation took just over six weeks, and involved end-to-end planning, stakeholder communications, pre-requisites and actual upgradation. 

Farrukh Cheema, Client Engagement Partner, Blutech Consulting said, “Our goal for Habib Bank was a modern unified data platform that is built for growth and the analytics demands of tomorrow. Cloudera’s CDP is the only solution that can address the system, hosting, integration and security, enabling us to deploy quickly and easily with minimal impact to operations.”

Prior to the upgrade, HBL’s 27 node cluster ran on CDH 6.1 and primarily served regulatory reporting and internal analytics requirements. All prerequisites had to be completed to ensure smooth deployment to ensure minimal impact on daily BAU activities. Subsequently, the upgrade activities took place on a long weekend to ensure zero to limited downtime for HBL teams. 

Future-proof data capabilities

Aqueel Jatoi, Lead – Architecture, Governance and Control shared, “The implementation has been quick and seamless, and our teams are already reaping the benefits of CDP. We are confident the upgrade and continuing partnership with Cloudera will form an important foundation to our customer-centric approach, significantly improving our ability to respond to customers.”

Following the successful upgrade, HBL will further future-proof their data architecture leveraging Cloudera’s solutions powered by analytics and machine learning to address anti-money laundering (AML), fraud and cybersecurity.

See other customers’ success here 

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