CASE STUDY - Egg Bank Improves Customer Data
Commentary by Egg Bank PLC
The world’s largest purely online bank,Egg PLC offers a range of financial productsand services (credit cards, spendcards, insurance, mortgages, and savingsplans) to more than three millioncustomers in the UK. Because Egg is anInternet-based operation that doesn’t havea branch network with physical buildings,almost all interaction with customers isdone online, and much of it is automated.It’s therefore especially important for Eggto have accurate customer information.
Previously, different groups withinEgg relied on a number of sources forcustomer data, resulting in informationthat was inconsistent, inaccurate, andtook up to six weeks to obtain. Eggdecided that it had to do something toaddress this problem.
In order to ensure that Egg had anaccurate, single source of customer information,the bank decided to establish acustomer data warehouse (CDW) thatwould serve as a consolidated, centralizedinformation source.
Egg designed its CDW carefully,ensuring that its infrastructure wouldmeet the service-level requirements of itsinternal users. Their scalability, reliability,and performance requirements wereall factored into Egg’s evaluation andplanning process. For the CDW databaseitself, Egg selected Oracle. Oracle featuressuch as parallel query, materializedviews, and partitioning would provideEgg with the speed of information thatusers were seeking.
Data that will eventually populatethe CDW is first retrieved in its raw formfrom a variety of internal and externalsources. It’s then cleansed, matched, andimported into the CDW. Next, specializeddata marts are populated from theCDW for internal departments. Users then analyze the information usinga variety of end-user tools, includingOracle Discoverer.
The information held in the CDW isrefreshed in near real time. “If someonevisits Egg.com, applies for credit with us,is accepted for credit and issued a card, bythe time the card is issued, we would seethat person in our data warehouse,” saysEgg head of data Jay Parmar.
Egg’s CDW is currently about2 terabytes in size and is growing byapproximately 10 gigabytes each month.Egg campaign managers, creative teams,and phone sales teams all use it to accessaccurate and current customer information.“If we didn’t have this CDW,”notes Parmar, “we couldn’t do the 120campaigns per month across 6 channelsthat we currently conduct.”
Previously, users were satisfied with a six-weekdata latency ... We’re now doing marketingcampaigns using data that is one week behind,but have the capability to conduct dailycampaigning with data only 24 hours old.
Jay Parmar, Egg Bank PLC
The CDW has significantly improvedthe accuracy of the customer data Egguses. Parmar says, “Previously, users weresatisfied with a six-week data latency, andwere doing marketing campaigns usingdata that was six weeks behind. We’renow doing marketing campaigns usingdata that is one week behind, but havethe capability to conduct daily campaigningwith data only 24 hours old.” But theappetite of Egg’s internal customers hasbeen whetted, and they are asking for data in 12, 6, or even 4 hours. Egg is consequentlyheaded towards an operationaldata store—a real-time data warehouse.
Linking customer information tofinancial and transactional data has proactivelyeliminated potential problems.As Parmar explains, “The CDW alsoprovides a daily credit decisioning capabilityto manage risk. For instance, ifsomeone has an Egg credit card, we are able to make a decision using the datain the data warehouse on a transactionalbasis to determine whether we need tospeak to that person or if they are justslightly overdue.”
Egg’s customers ultimately benefitmost from the CDW. “If we didn’t havea data warehouse, we would be severelyrestricted in the service we provide tocustomers,” says Parmar. “At Egg, weput customers first and help them tomake the most out of their money. Thedata warehouse plays quite a strong partin providing the information and datanecessary to help our customers makechoices about their finances. Outwardly,the customers don’t know that we useour CDW to help them, but there’s noquestion of its positive impact on ourexternal customers.”
For Further Information
This article originally appeared in the issue of .