Targeting data to extract value

Toni Sekinah, Research analyst and features editor, DataIQ

Financial services business processing and outsourcing company Target Group has more than £25 billion in assets, processes more than £3 billion of direct debits every year, and has 19 million accounts under management. With this in mind, it is small wonder the organisation has an immense amount of data from which insight can be drawn.

Canary Wharf London at nightTarget Group’s chief digital officer, Martin Houghton, said that the expertise of his company can help its banking clients to recover greater volumes of debt and is now making greater use of data. The business began life as a fintech company with a piece of banking software as its core product that was used to manage loans.

That product was sold into some of the major banks and Target began to take on more of a data focus. “We said, ‘why don’t you give us your data and we’ll run this for you as a complete end-to-end service?’” he told DataIQ.

"Data is a huge opportunity for us to optimise our operations"

In addition, he said that optimising data could help to make Target’s own practices more efficient. “There’s a big drive for us internally to optimise so data is a huge opportunity for us to optimise our back office operations massively, to drive insight through data and transform the business using insight.”

Houghton also said that there is demand from his clients to get more value from data. “They now want us to squeeze the value from those financial assets and it goes back to insight. To maximise the value of a financial instrument, you need to understand how it is operating. With all those data points, we needed a platform in which we can bring them together, correlate them and understand what the implications are.” That platform is provided by Information Builders, a business intelligence and data integration company.

Information Builder's chief operating officer, Frank Vella, said in the past Houghton’s job would have involved simply managing a book of business for a client and delivering the service that had been bought. “Now, he can look at the entire pool of data and draw new correlations, new opportunities for business, new insights into customers and patterns and offer his client alternative services or insights into their portfolio so that they might drive new products, new offerings or new relationships with their customers.”

"Without data there is no digital, without digitial there is no evolution."

Vella said that the Information Builders' platform offers Houghton the ability to innovate his product and extend the service offering to his clients. He said this is done through the IB platform co-existing in the analytics environment of clients of Target.

“Target Group understands that without data there is no digital and without digital there’s no evolution to the next generation,” said Vella