Data science to the fore in UBS Innovation Challenge

Data science to the fore in UBS Innovation Challenge

A Singaporean data science company has bagged a S$40,000 prize and a chance to work with one the world's largest banks after triumphing in an Innovation Challenge set by UBS.

For the Challenge, posted on the Expara Innovation Engine, UBS was looking for a way to identify relevant information for clients using its forthcoming digital wealth management platform in order to present users with dynamic content specifically tailored to their individual needs and investment preferences.

Sqreem, a company set up by technology veteran Ian Chapman-Banks and former Merrill Lynch algorithmic trading expert Rene Raiss, beat off competition from five shortlisted applications from a field of eighty entries to secure the prize.

The Sqreem engine was originally designed for the signals intelligence and national security arena, where the focus was on crypto-analytics and data compression. After five years of development and over $7m raised and invested, Sqreen has now grown into a cloud-based technology platform that is capable of unlocking consumer behaviour from large data sets, like Google search terms or twitter conversations.

In addition, Sqreem can tap into GPS data and third party databases to further refine its outputs.

The company has developed a beta test platform that is being trialled by DBS Bank in Singapore and BPI Bank in the Philippines.

Speaking to Bloomberg, Dirk Klee, chief operating officer for UBS wealth management and responsible for digital initiatives, says: “Banking is one of the most rudimentary industries when it comes to digitalisation. EBay, Amazon - everything is getting more and more digital. The question is how we translate this into a similar experience for our clients.”

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