Presented By O'Reilly and Cloudera
Make Data Work
September 25–26, 2017: Training
September 26–28, 2017: Tutorials & Conference
New York, NY

Enterprise digital transformation using big data

Atul Dalmia (American Express)
11:20am12:00pm Wednesday, September 27, 2017
Secondary topics:  Financial services

Who is this presentation for?

  • CIOs, CDOs, and CMOs trying to drive enterprise transformation and adoption in large organizations with big data

Prerequisite knowledge

  • A basic understanding of big data and the incremental business value it has over legacy data stores

What you'll learn

  • Learn how American Express drove enterprise adoption of big data, challenges it faced, and some ideas on how to solve them


Big data decisioning is critical to driving real-time business decisions in our digital age. But how do you begin the transformation to big data? The key is enterprise adoption across a variety of end users. Atul Dalmia shares best practices learned from American Express’s five-year journey, the biggest challenges you’ll face, and ideas on how to solve them.

American Express faced quite a few challenges in transforming the company to a global big data enabled ecosystem that would centralize all critical data across the company. Its data was decentralized across multiple legacy data stores, and data scientists and analysts were spending more time aggregating data than on business insights generation. The data platforms could not handle the quantum increase of data in the digital economy, and platform capacity did not allow artificial intelligence and machine learning in predictive analytics. Further, the company used batch decisioning, due to lack of real-time decisioning capabilities at scale.

The big data ecosystem has been extremely successful in solving for customer needs in the digital age, including real-time decisioning on credit, marketing, and servicing experiences, personalized marketing offers and recommendations based on a 360-degree view of the customer, business, and merchant, improved cross-channel marketing, and lower fraud disruptions based on known travel patterns of the customer. A significant component of the transformation was enterprise adoption, which included executive sponsorship, a culture of change, and up-skilling a large and diverse workforce on big data tools.

Photo of Atul Dalmia

Atul Dalmia

American Express

Atul Dalmia is vice president of global information management at American Express, where he is responsible for leading the company’s data and platform strategy and driving innovation in acquisition, marketing, and servicing across the customer lifecycle and across channels. He is also responsible for accelerating development on American Express’s big data platform to drive innovation and speed to market while driving cost efficiencies for the enterprise. Atul holds a master’s degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a bachelor’s degree from the Indian Institute of Technology, Chennai.