Westpac peers into future with big data technologies

Thursday, 16 February, 2012


Westpac Life New Zealand Limited, part of the Westpac Group, the New Zealand financial institution, has implemented data integration software to help power its strategic initiatives around customer centricity and big data.

Westpac has more than 1.2 million customers - 900,000 of whom use online financial services, performing three million online transactions per month. The data being amassed in different parts of the company presents a big data challenge due to its volume, variety and complexity across multiple sources.

Westpac’s previous silo-based approach to information management meant that strategic and tactical business decisions were frequently based on inaccurate, delayed and often incomplete data - a situation that led to the launch of the Insurance Project.

The project is a business intelligence environment that is designed to help the company increase revenues, improve customer retention and cross-sell rates, and reduce risk.

Providing a single point of authoritative and trustworthy business and insurance customer data, the Insurance Project is expected to deliver a more than 240% return on investment and increase revenues at least 1% over the life of a policy.

To support the Insurance Project, Westpac standardised on the Informatica platform for data integration.

Now, Westpac has more complete, more timely data driving advanced reporting, analytics and visualisations across the business. At the same time, the company’s data is approximately eight times more accurate than before. Armed with timely, relevant and trusted data, Westpac is able to make more intelligent marketing offers to customers and increase customer retention.

“In an environment of financial uncertainty, financial efficiency and business insights for faster decision-making is a challenge Westpac has tackled,” said Kevin Crowley, Head of Insurance, Westpac Life New Zealand Limited.

“We are better positioned because of Informatica to respond to demands for greater transparency and turn the company’s customer insurance data assets into business insights,” Crowley said.

Westpac realised its Insurance Project objectives within 10 months. These goals include timely identification of effective sales behaviours and trends, improved cross-selling across Westpac Life’s product portfolio and improving insight into governance activities across the organisation.

“As part of an evolution in the exploiting of big data across Westpac, we are interested in leveraging big interaction data to provide a lens into the future of the business and the relationships created between the brand and customers,” said Torrance Mayberry, Senior Systems Manager, Westpac Life New Zealand Limited.

“The Informatica Platform enables a data-centric approach to addressing business issues across the enterprise, regardless of the sheer volume, disparity and multiplicity of sources, and increasing complexity of the data involved. By being more data-centric, we are able to become more customer-centric,” Mayberry said.

The software is also supporting the company’s recently launched Social Media Project. The software is helping Westpac to capitalise on the opportunities presented by big interaction data to gain deeper customer insights and compete more effectively as a customer-centric organisation.

In its drive towards customer-centricity, Westpac is also turning to the Informatica platform to help leverage big interaction data through its new Social Media Project. By engaging in sentiment analysis on data derived from social media, the company anticipates achieving an even deeper understanding of customers and prospects, and an enhanced ability to move quickly on business opportunities and challenges. The platform helps integrate data captured from social media with other Westpac data for comprehensive analysis.

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