Digital & Data Strategy in Financial Services

Institute of Banking

Digital & Data Strategy in Financial Services

For people who are interested in

All areas of the financial services sector

Those working in international financial services

Those working in fund management

Those working in banking

Learners will be at managerial and leadership level, or aspiring to a leadership role

Digital Transformation

Even prior to Covid19, digitalisation was transforming the world around us, but since the onset of the pandemic the pace of digitalisation has accelerated to such an extent that many commentators are predicting that what previously they thought might occur in the next 7-10 years in now likely to happen in the next 2-5yrs.

This rapid acceleration of this digitalisation only exacerbates the challenge (& opportunity) to the Financial Services sector:

Consumers are increasingly having their needs met through digital channels and their ‘big tech’ interactions are driving ever higher digital expectations.

New competitors and disruptive threats appear with increasing frequency and while Fintech has yet to reach ‘tipping point’ across the sector, it has already dramatically changed the ways we operate.

Innovation is now the expectation not the exception, but most companies are finding it difficult to integrate ‘new’ approaches into their more traditional business models and bigger investments are not always leading to bigger returns.

At the same time, the value chain (and our value propositions) is being broken down as we see the rise of platforms and the networked business model.

The digital transformation section of this programme gives you an overview of what’s happening globally and the impact on the sector, the effect of changing consumer demographics and economic systems, and the evolving digital landscape.

Data and Analytics

Research proves that data-driven businesses show significantly better financial and market performance relative to competitors. This trend towards using 'Big Data', fuelled by the ever-increasing availability of digital information and the increasing computation power, is also observed in financial services. By leveraging analytics and new big data technologies companies can create valuable insights about their business and develop data-driven innovations which gives them a competitive advantage. However, due to the technical nature of this topic, developing a data and analytics strategy is often a challenge. Today, leaders in financial services should have a proper understanding of this topic to make their organisation future proof.

The data and analytics section of the programme will give you a better understanding of the data and analytics environment. At a leadership level, you will be guided through the basic principles of various analytical concepts and their business applications. By engaging in this, you will have a better understanding of recent business and technology trends in this field. This should help you in your communication with analytical experts and contribute to the design of a strategy that helps your organisation grow in terms of data driven maturity.


When you successfully complete this programme, you will be awarded a Graduate Diploma in Digital and Data Strategy in Financial Services from UCD.

This is a level 9 qualification on the National Framework of Qualifications.

Subjects taught

Modules and learning outcomes

This programme runs over one academic year, and students will complete two modules per trimester.

(Each module carries 10 (ECTS) academic credits)

Autumn Trimester (October – January)

Strategy and Culture in a Digital Transformation Environment - (NFQ Level 9, 10 ECTS)

• Forces driving digital transformation

• Technology trends

• Dispelling the myths of digital transformation

• Disruption and digital business models

• Domains of Strategic Transformation (Customer, Competition, Data, Innovation and Value Proposition)

• Innovation

• Value Proposition development

• Engaging the C Suite

Strategy and Culture in a Data and Analytics Environment - (NFQ Level 9, 10 ECTS)

• The data and analytics environment

• Data and analytics prototyping

• Value from data framework

• Future impacts

• Data maturity and mindset

• Building a data culture

• Documenting data sources and data maturity analysis

• Data ethics, regulatory environment and compliance

Spring Trimester (February – May)

Digital Assets and Operating Model - (NFQ Level 9, 10 ECTS)

• Building blocks of a digital business

• Digital 360O – how to frame the organisational layers of digitisation

• Customer centric business models

• Harnessing data to support prioritisation, personalisation and operational excellence

• Unwrapping agile

• Establishing innovation

• Evaluating the digital operating model

• Developing the transformation roadmap

• Understanding software development and deployment

• Digital architecture blueprints

• Managing digital risk

• Digital skillset and learning paths

Talent and Assets Management - (NFQ Level 9, 10 ECTS)

• Data Management definitions, frameworks and capabilities

• Building a data and analytics team

• Meta data and data architecture

• Data quality management

• Data management frameworks

• Data Warehousing and business intelligence

• Privacy, data governance and cyber security

• Data Management Technologies

Summer Trimester (June – September)

Designing and Delivering Digital Transformation - (NFQ Level 9, 10 ECTS)

• Common transformation pitfalls

• Managing change

• Change leadership

• Customising change

• Transformation toolset

• Data, dashboards and KPIs

• Business Agility

• Design thinking

• Developing the business case for digital transformation

• Realising the benefits

Driving Business Outcomes - (NFQ Level 9, 10 ECTS)

• History and background to Artificial Intelligence (AI)

• Introduction to AI

• Robotic Process Automation (RPA), Maching Learning

• Neutral Networks and Natural Language Processing (NLP)

• Chatbots, Recommender Systems and Intelligent Agents

• Understanding algorithms

• AI bias, ethics and explainability

• AI strategy and governance

• AI use cases within financial service

• Global view of AI

Entry requirements

The minimum entry requirements to the Graduate Diploma in Digital and Data Strategy in Financial Services are as follows:

Relevant Honours degree (min. 2.2 L8 NFQ).

Applicants who do not hold a primary degree but have relevant work experience at a middle or senior management level are eligible to apply and will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Professional body membership

You must be a current member of IOB, or become a member, to undertake this programme.


3 trimesters

This programme is delivered online.

Enrolment dates

Next intake Autumn Trimester - (2024-2025 academic year)

Please note that the programme content and fees are subject to change in the 2024/2025 academic year. Any changes will be outlined in the 2024/2025 prospectus and at in August - the start of the new academic year.

More details
  • Qualifications

    Postgraduate Diploma (Level 9 NFQ)

  • Attendance type

    Part time

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    Course provider