Case Study

How SAS Viya Helped Secure a More Stable Future for a Region’s Monetary Authority

12/17/2021 by Ben Zenick

Challenge: Secure the Financial Position of Caribbean Island Communities

Serving as the monetary authority for eight nations in the Caribbean Islands, the Eastern Central Caribbean Bank (ECCB) had outgrown legacy data processes that were exposing the region to unnecessary risks.

Solution: Implement a Faster, Easier Data Analytics Solution

Zencos implemented a robust, customized system that incorporated automation to allow ECCB to satisfy regulatory requirements and serve the growing demands for financial and economic data from the region.

Results: A Stable Centralized Bank with Flexibility for the Future

Once reliant on manual entry and spreadsheets, the ECCB now has the technology in place to rapidly perform critical economic calculations based on transaction data and report those findings to the IMF.

The ECCB is the monetary authority for 8 island communities: Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, St Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Established in 1983, the ECCB maintains the financial stability of the region by supervising the banking business of its member nations.

Responsible for regulating the availability of credit and promoting the economic development of the region, the ECCB collected financial data from multiple institutions. Plus, the bank needed to regularly report its findings to the IMF. As the number of transactions and regulatory requirements in the region grew, the bank’s team and their processes rooted in Microsoft Excel were increasingly overwhelmed.

With little progress towards updating its technology, the bank and its Caribbean member nations were exposed to increased operational and reputational risks. The time for relying on manual, outdated technology, was over.

Eliminate Spreadsheets and Modernize the ECCB to Advanced Analytics Processes

When the ECCB came to Zencos, the many financial institutions under its eight-nation jurisdiction would submit hardcopy transaction data via fax, email, or physical mail. Along with posing a security risk, this manual process of inputting sensitive data demanded a lot of time and effort from ECCB staff. The bank needed to manage 75 types of data forms that contained thousands of indicators the ECCB’s system wasn’t equipped to handle.

To modernize ECCB’s operations, Zencos first migrated the ECCB from its Excel processes to SAS 9.4 in 2013. For phase 2, we transitioned their data to the cloud to design, develop, and implement a system that supported web-based technology. The system needed to encompass collecting, processing, and storing data that would track identifying details such as country and institution and deliver results that were trustworthy and open to reporting.

A Robust Analytics Solution Powered by SAS Viya

After collecting the data into the storage environment, Zencos created a web interface that allowed the institutions to submit their forms to ECCB automatically. We applied SAS Viya’s ability to connect an open-source interface built in Python to the platform’s Cloud Analytics Services (CAS).

Once designed with the appropriate calculations and storage configurations, Zencos moved to phase three, which incorporated data retrieval and reporting. Then, we created a portal that allowed ECCB to efficiently deliver its findings to the IMF to satisfy regulatory requirements. 

The results were a customized, self-service system that allowed ECCB to view and report on the region’s financial and economic data in a meaningful way.

The ECCB and Its Member Nations Are Positioned for the Future

The ECCB now has an automated process for institutions in all 8 member countries to submit their data to a centralized hub. Freed from the time-consuming demands of spreadsheets and manual data management, the statisticians at the ECCB can now focus on the output of their data rather than its input. The organization not only serves the needs of its member nations and institutions faster, it can do so with greater security and reliability as well.

Through the flexibility of SAS Viya, Zencos was able to leverage open source technology to create a scalable solution that serves both ECCB and its stakeholder nations. And, by working from trustworthy data sources less susceptible to the errors introduced by manual entry, the ECCB is better positioned to serve its goals of a more stable financial future for the region. 

With our breadth of experience in modernization services for the financial industry, Zencos can deliver the same balance of security, speed, and stability to your organization’s data needs too. Let’s talk about it.

get in touch

Greg Rogers, Director of Business Development: 919.459.4600 grogers@zencos.com