Singapore central bank sets up data analytics unit

Monetary Authority of Singapore establishes a new data analytics group, led by a newly appointed chief data officer, to better "position" itself and the local financial sector for the digital economy.

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has unveiled plans to establish a data analytics group that it says will guide the organisation as well as the local financial sector towards the digital economy.

Operational from March 15, the new unit would drive the central bank's efforts to tap data analytics for deeper insights and enhance work efficiencies within the organisation. It also would facilitate the supervision of financial institutions and improve the efficiencies of regulatory compliance among these organisations.

"The move is part of MAS's broader efforts to help position itself and the financial sector for the digital economy of the future," said the industry regulator.

Leading the group would be newly appointed chief data officer, David Roi Hardoon, who was formerly co-founder and chief of analytics at Azendian Solutions. Hardoon holds a doctorate in machine learning and has experience in developing and deploying analytical models.


MAS Chief Data Officer David Roi Hardoon

The data analytics group would encompass three main units focusing on data governance and architecture; specialist analytics and visualisation; and supervisory technology. Together, they would establish data management policies, manage data collection and quality, conduct data analyses, and improve data capabilities within MAS. The new branch also would work with the fintech and innovation group to drive data analytics capabilities across Singapore's financial industry and help make regulatory compliance more efficient, said MAS.

Its managing director Ravi Menon said: "The digitisation of information and the harnessing of data from multiple platforms have created the opportunity to use data analytics to understand the economy and the financial system with a depth that was not possible before."

He added that the regulator was "committed" to beefing up Singapore's capabilities in data analytics to tap growing opportunities in the sector.

MAS in the past year had announced a slew of initiatives aimed at driving the local industry, including a new fintech lab and sandboxes to allow fintech companies to test their products under less stringent laws as well as enable the regulator to better understand the fintech industry. Last November, it also outlined a framework that focused on providing a "conducive" regulatory environment and ecosystem to support new technologies.