Big data initiatives to achieve competitive advantage

Retail Financial Services

01 June 2017

Retail Financial Services


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Moderator: John Chapman – Owen James Group

Expert: Paul Alexander – Beyond Analysis 

Key issues for participants prior to the session:

  • How big data can be practically applied.
  • How to improve data quality to ensure big data can be applied.
  • When does data become big data?
  • Maximising commercial opportunity with customer data.
  • The impact of GDPR on use of data.

Key discussion points during the session:

  • First step in use of data is to define the company’s data strategy and what targets are expected as a result of using the data.
  • Data cleansing is key.
  • Not everything can be solved by data.
  • People in the frontline of the organisation are often data inhibited. Graphs/Charts/Spreadsheets don't work, pictures and colours do. Data should be presented in ways that is meaningful to the organisation.
  • There should be consistent key measures within the organisation.
  • Establishing key MI metrics is essential.
  • GDPR is a major issue – key issues are being prescriptive with each customer about exactly how the company is going to use their personal data and get there positive approval for use of that data in that way. Client opt-in mean that legacy data and purchased data are major headaches for the financial services industry.
  • Data cannot be taken for triangulation purposes.
  • Companies should look to aggregate cohorts of customers to enable marketing initiatives.
  • We have a long way to go with GDPR as we currently have no definition of personal data. However, the time to implement is short and the data commissioners will be looking to make examples of large companies that don't comply.
  • We should not draw inappropriate conclusions from data - it's easy to rely on data, but the business context and practical applications must be taken into account.

The outcome:

Positive outcome from discussion- data analysis has a key role to play in gaining competitive advantage, but strategy must be company-wide (inclusive), key measures established across the organisation and frontline staff should be data enabled. The implications of GDPR should be understood and implemented.