In banking, it is difficult to find data experts

These are new rare pearls of finance. For several years, large banks have been buying up profiles of data experts: data researchers, data analysts, artificial intelligence specialists, and more. Demand is growing as the sector continues to digitize at full speed and is trying to make better use of it. new black gold data.

“Banks have a huge amount of data to use and a lot of uses. This is a great platform for such a profile, ”explains Sylvie Blanche-Vinatier, Director of Human Resources for IT at Societe Generale.

The La Defense-based group has made the use of data one of its strategic priorities for improving service offerings, as well as their use in terms of risk management and compliance. The bank now has just over 350 in-house analysts working in various areas of the bank’s business, and it intends to expand its ranks.

Profiles are hard to seduce

The problem for Societe Generale, as for other banks, is that these experts are in high demand, and not just in finance. Digital transformation and data flow affect all sectors and all types of companies. Gafam loves it very much. As well as startups that know that these profiles are no longer necessarily attracted to the sirens of large groups.

This phenomenon is confirmed by Grandes Ecoles, which recently launched special training courses. “The demand for this type of expert is growing rapidly. The students we teach are spoiled for choice, they go where they want, ”said Ervan Le Penek, Master Data Science for Business at Ecole Polytechnique, who co-taught with HEC.

The two institutions created this program in 2016, which combines science and business education on the École Polytechnique campus and “accurately responds to the growing demand from companies looking for a new generation of scientists and data managers.”

Special training

For sixty or so students who graduate each year, there are many opportunities, but banking is not necessarily the main thing. One third of graduates go to the world of startups, another third – in consulting, and a third third – in large companies.

However, Ecole Polytechnique is in the process of creating a new training course in data science that specializes in the financial professions, still in partnership with HEC. “There is a specific need that we have identified with companies in this sector. And scientific models that need to be adapted to the banking business, ”explains Ervan Le Penek.

In addition to X, other Grandes Ecoles, such as Ensae, Supelec and ESCP, have developed special courses. Despite this, demand continues to grow faster than supply. Banks sometimes have to look for experts in other companies, which is not always easy.

Use of “retraining”

“This is often a young and unstable population with many opportunities. We try to convince them by showing them the prospects for development in a large group, “says Sylvie Blanche-Vinatier.

To meet their needs, banks also rely on “retraining”, a phenomenon that involves retraining their own employees for new tasks. Societe Generale is currently developing a certification training project on data science.