Wednesday, 18th September 2019
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Nationwide drives data-enabled culture

Qlik is partnering with Nationwide Building Society to support the organisation’s technology and data transformation programme. Working with Qlik, Nationwide is empowering its c18,000 employees with improved data insights, enabling them to work more efficiently and provide members with value through faster and more accurate decision making.

First used as a departmental solution for the Nationwide Commercial team, the organisation has quickly expanded its use of Qlik in line with the acceleration of its data and analytics strategy. This encompasses integration of the full Qlik Analytics Platform®, with the primary goal is to drive a data culture to make all employees ‘data enabled’, giving them the confidence and skills to make decisions through self-service analysis and reporting.

In the pursuit of stronger governance, consistency, self-service access to data for its employees and an ‘accountable freedom’ culture, Nationwide consolidated some of its satellite data teams and set about delivering data through self-service capabilities. This process revealed that a large portion of Nationwide’s employees who worked with data were spending the majority of their time on data preparation, reducing capacity to provide members with value and uncover insights.

The creation of a single chief data officer (CDO) function brought together Nationwide’s data governance, business intelligence, data warehousing, data lakes and many data science employees into one team, with a view to creating a Data and Analytics hub in the Society. As a result, Nationwide is driving improved data practices and adopting new methods of analysis using connected data. Business solutions, in areas such as Project Management & Delivery, are now being found where previously data through business intelligence solutions hadn’t been considered as part of the answer.

“As a mutual organisation without shareholders, everything we do has to have optimal value for our members,” comments Lee Raybould, chief data officer at Nationwide. “Qlik is not only providing the technical foundation to make Nationwide a data-enabled company but also assisting the cultural development of every employee through our ‘Fit to Fly’ ambitions. By democratising access to data throughout Nationwide, we are starting to build our culture around it and enhancing its credibility as the basis for new ideas and insights.”

From Data Innovation Days, to Quarterly Analytics Deep Dives and hackathons, new initiatives are engaging employees in the value of data, starting to boost data literacy at all levels and providing fresh insights on business issues. Nationwide has even launched ‘data speed dating’ to give staff from other departments time with champions from the central data team.

“Data is a crucial part of our DNA and employees’ everyday work,” adds Paul French, director of business intelligence, visualisation and reporting, data analytics at Nationwide. “In the same way that pilots don’t just enter the cockpit of a plane and take off, staff need to be ‘Fit to Fly’ in terms of working with data. Therefore, empowering employees with the right information and the confidence to make decisions with it is vital. Qlik has proven to be a fantastic tool to consolidate disparate data, break down internal silos and drive value. By making data more visible and intuitive, business teams have gained new insights across many processes, increasing efficiency and fostering a data-led culture.”

“Our work with Nationwide highlights the positive impact that becoming a data-led organisation can have on a business,” says Simon Kirby, director of financial services industry solutions at Qlik. “While technical analytics solutions play a crucial role, a company will never become data-enabled without cultural change and buy-in from the entire workforce. This goes hand in hand with giving people the means to analyse, argue with and make decisions using data in their daily working lives. That a large financial services organisation with lots of complex processes can re-define working practices with data shows the potential for other businesses in the industry and beyond.”

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