Douglas Hague, the new chief analytics officer at Bank of America Merchant Services, talks about the strategic implications of being a member of the C-suite.
Douglas Hague has an interesting path in front of him. The former senior vice president of vendor analytics at Bank of America is now chief analytics officer at Bank of America Merchant Services. While Merchant Services is technically a separate business — it was launched in 2009 with First Data — Hague’s ascension to the C-suite is notable in that it’s one of the first analytics roles to report directly to the CEO at Bank of America Merchant Services. That has some implications for strategy and for long-term planning, according to Hague. To put things in context, here are the numbers on Bank of America: As a financial institution, it is one of the world’s largest. It services about 51 million consumers and small businesses, with operations in more than 40 countries. It has about 5,300 retail banking offices, 30 million online users and more than 13 million mobile users. Lesser known is the fact that Bank of America is a major wealth management provider, and plays a big hand in corporate and investment banking and trading, across a range of asset classes. Bank of America Merchant Services handles payment processing and other services for about 300,000 merchants across the United States, processing about 13.5 billion transactions annually. Hague first spoke with MIT Sloan Management Review contributing editor Renee Boucher Ferguson about his use of analytics to make strategic business decisions — and finding talent to enable that process — in January 2014. He spoke with MIT SMR again in February, after being named chief analytics officer.
I think congratulations are in order.
Thank you. It’s an exciting new role for me.
It is exciting. And, I must say, it ties nicely into our research. We’re finding that to achieve better outcomes, some companies are organizing differently around analytics. One way in which they’re doing that is by elevating analytics to a C-level role. What does it mean to you that there is now this new role of a chief analytics officer within Bank of America Merchant Services?
My new position is head of sales and portfolio analytics, and I’m the chief analytics officer for Bank of America Merchant Services. The exact definition of the role is still a work in progress.