How robots saved us from hours of GDPR-tasks

Ingrid Kristensen, Senior Business Analyst, Hampus Gerlach, Senior Execution Lead, Robotics Center of Excellence.
18-06-07 12:12 | Digital banking | The Digital Hub

We needed a quick and efficient way to handle the potentially large number of requests resulting from the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). What did we do? We brought in the robots. This is a success story of how we solved new challenges with new solutions.

The Robotics Centre of Excellence (RCoE) was contacted by the GDPR project in March. The 25 May deadline for the new regulation to come into force was approaching fast. We knew GDPR would result in requests from customers exercising their rights to access personal data and to receive the personal data that they provided to us. We also knew that this could potentially create a significant amount of manual work. But what we didn’t know was just how much extra work this would create.

That’s why we needed a low-cost, highly flexible solution that could handle these requests quickly and efficiently. So we brought in a new type of flexible workforce that can be called in when we need them – robots. In this case, traditional IT automation would have been too costly and taken too much time. 

Instead we turned to Robotics Process Automation (RPA), an emerging technology that enables so-called Intelligent Automation. GDPR is a good example of a process that can be robotized as it’s based on a clear set of rules and steps. Using RPA also allowed us to work across different types of applications to implement this complex project, which involved numerous stakeholders, in a matter of weeks instead of months.

In record time, process descriptions were created and relevant IT applications were mapped. Then the Robotics Centre of Excellence went into “all hands on deck” mode to configure robots handling the GDPR processes. While every GDPR request could have taken us one to three hours to process manually, our virtual colleagues will now instead handle a significant part of the work for us, cutting down the human time we will spend on a request to just a matter of minutes.

Harvesting value from Intelligent Automation 

 - Everyone did a fantastic job. The quality and speed used in defining, developing and testing was impressive. It’s amazing to see how the robots work through more than 10 complex applications, collecting customer personal data and generating a very professional report, says Thomas Kaiser, Nordic IR GDPR lead. 

 - The robots ensure that Nordea can handle a significant amount of GDPR customer requests without the need to engage or hire a lot of resources. This was the best and most cost-efficient solution for the bank. Thank you, Robotics Centre of Excellence, he adds.

IA benefits both customers and the bank

Nordea is now well-positioned to meet GDPR requirements thanks not only to our robot colleagues, but also to many hard-working colleagues at Nordea.

 - This project was highly prioritized by the Robotics Centre of Excellence since the potential regulatory and reputational risks for the bank were tremendous. I am proud of how we together could pull this off. This would not have been possible without the full engagement and close collaboration of the business and Robotics. This was Intelligent Automation and Nordea collaboration at its best, says Agnieszka Belowska Gosławska, Head of Robotics at Nordea.

Nordea is leading the way in Intelligent Automation (IA), applying and developing technologies such as Robotics for internal and external use to enable dreams and everyday aspirations. While still in the build-up phase, Nordea has come a long way, and we can already harvest significant value from IA, which benefits both our customers and the bank.
Robotics, machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) are also important to Nordea’s digital transformation and are enablers for LEAP – Nordea’s Direction for Digital.

/Ingrid Kristensen, Senior Business Analyst and Hampus Gerlach, Senior Execution Lead, Robotics Center of Excellence


Intelligent Automation (IA)
Intelligent Automation is used when traditional automation is not feasible, too costly or would take too much time.

IA encompasses a set of tools such as Robotics (RPA), Chatbots (Nova), RoboAdvisors (Nora) and selective Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence (AI). These tools enable our customers to interact digitally with us, which means we can spend more time working with our customers than on repetitive administrative tasks.

Robotics Process Automation (RPA)
This is the centerpiece and engine of Intelligent Automation. Its core principle is to use a virtual workforce of robot-users to execute repetitive, rule-based tasks.

The robots are virtual employees who work in the Nordea system landscape, handle most types of data sources and perform processing tasks across different applications, very much the same way as our human colleagues do.

Forrester Research predicts that the RPA market will grow to USD 2.9 billion by 2021 from USD 250 million in 2016.

Is the new regulation in EU law on data protection and privacy for all individuals within the European Union (EU) and the European Economic Area (EEA). (Wikipedia)

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