Big Data Mining and Analytics

Article Title

Toward Intelligent Financial Advisors for Identifying Potential Clients: A Multitask Perspective


Intelligent Financial Advisor (IFA), potential client identification, MultiTask Learning (MTL), feature selection


Intelligent Financial Advisors (IFAs) in online financial applications (apps) have brought new life to personal investment by providing appropriate and high-quality portfolios for users. In real-world scenarios, identifying potential clients is a crucial issue for IFAs, i.e., identifying users who are willing to purchase the portfolios. Thus, extracting useful information from various characteristics of users and further predicting their purchase inclination are urgent. However, two critical problems encountered in real practice make this prediction task challenging, i.e., sample selection bias and data sparsity. In this study, we formalize a potential conversion relationship, i.e., user→activated user→client and decompose this relationship into three related tasks. Then, we propose a Multitask Feature Extraction Model (MFEM), which can leverage useful information contained in these related tasks and learn them jointly, thereby solving the two problems simultaneously. In addition, we design a two-stage feature selection algorithm to select highly relevant user features efficiently and accurately from an incredibly huge number of user feature fields. Finally, we conduct extensive experiments on a real-world dataset provided by a famous fintech bank. Experimental results clearly demonstrate the effectiveness of MFEM.