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Stanbic Bank Botswana Data Conference Sheds Light on Data as Today’s Most Precious Commodity

GABORONE, BOTSWANA – The world continues to seek ways to fully integrate the benefits of the fourth industrial revolution and the opportunity that sound data management brings. Against this backdrop, Stanbic Bank Botswana has demonstrated not only an appetite for greater embedding of data driven principles in business, but in working to fully appreciate and action healthy data principles, hailing data as arguably the most precious commodity in today’s economies. The Bank shared this overarching sentiment as part of a week-long focus on data and digital transformation.

Said Stanbic Bank Botswana Chief Executive, Mr. Samuel Minta, “Day by day, technologies are becoming increasingly advanced and people are depending more on platforms that leverage innovation capability and opportunity. Through data, data science, and innovative technological platforms, we have seen the very way in which we live, and the way in which we do business, evolve. It serves as a means towards an even brighter future in many regards. Correct, productive use of data can transform industries and usher us into a new era of efficiency, impact and prosperity.”

Activities in the data-themed week included, first, an open lecture hosted at University of Botswana titled “Digital & Data Transformation: Our Journey to Future Readiness.” The open lecture saw debate and dialogue on how data can be used to positively transform businesses and industries as a positive force for disruption, optimising organisations and creating increased efficacy on the global stage. Speakers included: Dr. Tshiamo Motshegwa, University of Botswana lecturer at Department of Computer Science, Faculty of Science; Lead, High Performance Computing and Data Science Research cluster at the Department of Computer Science; Duncan Gareatshela, Head of Data, Stanbic Bank Botswana; and Nicky Verd, Author of Disrupt Yourself or be Disrupted. The forum also included a panel discussion on “Unpacking Future Skills,” facilitated by Emmanuel Osanga, Head of Enterprise Data Office – Standard Bank Group. Panellists included:

§  Nicky Verd, Author of “Disrupt Yourself or Be Disrupted”

§  Professor J. R.  Atlhopheng, Dean – Faculty of Science, University of Botswana; Chairman – Botswana Open Data Open Science

§  Dr. Tshiamo Motshegwa, Computer Science, Faculty of Science, University of Botswana

§  Howard Diesel, President, Data Administration Management Association (DAMA) Southern Africa

§  Hein Badenhorst, Chief Technical Leader, Data and Artificial Intelligence, IBM

The second leg of the data week saw a two-day conference hosted to explore the intricacies and benefits of leveraging Healthy Data, with a keynote on ‘The Role of Regulators in Future Readiness (Data & Digital Journey)’ by Dr. K Masalila, Deputy Governor of Bank of Botswana. Said Dr. Masalila, “In order to better understand and predict the needs and requirements of Batswana, the financial sector needs a new degree of data collection and sharing.  If we were to look to other markets across the globe, this can take the form of a real-time data repository that multiple employees would be capable of accessing at any given time. There are therefore, ladies and gentlemen, many possibilities to explore which can be tailor-made to our market. […] It goes without saying that digital transformation in the financial services sector is just as disruptive as it is for any other industry – even more so if we take into account the traditionally conservative stance of this industry. Let us usher in this new age and embrace the evolution of the financial services sector.”

The conference saw a gathering of over 120 delegates, including delegates from 8 African Countries representing Standard Bank Group (Zimbabwe, Mauritius, Lesotho, Uganda, Ghana, Swaziland, South Africa, and Kenya), and over 25 young graduates. Speakers included, but were not limited to:

§  Emmanuel Osanga Africa Regions Head of Enterprise Data – Standard Bank

Importance of Digital and Data Transformation to Stanbic Botswana

§  Howard Diesel President Southern Africa – DAMA Southern Africa

Mastering Enterprise Information Management in the digital economy

§  Dr. Mguni Statistician General -Botswana Central Statistics Office

Developing Good Data Management Practice

§  Alan Boshwaen Chief Executive Officer – CEO,  Botswana Innovation Hub

Leveraging Data for Innovation in the Digitally Transforming Services Sector

§  Hein Badenhorst – Chief Technical Leader Data and AI, IBM

Leveraging Data and AI in Delivering Financial Services in a Competitive Landscape

§  Nicky Verd, Author of “Disrupt Yourself or Be Disrupted”

The data-focused week culminated in a  Data Science Graduation Dinner for young data scientists in the business, a testament to Stanbic bank Botswana’s continued appreciation of and focus on healthy data practices and integration as paramount to their approach to business.

Concluded Minta, “The world across, conversation around data abounds, because the role of good, quality data and how it stands to unlock great opportunity cannot be over-emphasised. It is the foundation for making better informed business decisions. This is not simply the beginning for us, as our Transformation and Data offices have been hard at work for some time now in the supporting the business as whole. However, there is much, much more to be done, and we remain steadfast in our pursuit of leveraging data towards better business, ultimately empowering and supporting our customers and communities, whilst adding value for the shareholder.”

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BOTSWANAUNPLUGGED is an exclusive online news and lifestyle magazine created for upwardly mobile citizens with distinguished tastes. Based in Gaborone, Botswana; UNPLUGGED is a quintessential online news and lifestyle medium (platform) which strives to speak to the soul of the country’s upscale lifestyle by setting its sights on the passion that permeates our region.

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