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Strategic insourcing delivers multimillion-pound savings for major UK financial services provider


A major UK financial services provider's customer insight team wanted to push the boundaries of their decision-making by utilising data better. The client team were not a team of analysts, rather they were consumers and suppliers of research and insight to the wider organisation.  What they needed was strong data translators who were able to work with the key elements of the business to help them achieve their objective of managing and driving value from marketing data.

The role of a data translator is often overlooked in the pursuit of data science – having a data scientist and access to some data is not enough. The appropriate framing of each business question into a data question coupled with education around the analytical process for main stakeholders is key for successful outcomes.

We needed to set this household name brand up for inhoused success by deploying best practices in dashboard design, delivering automation, and improving internal links. These actions would shape appropriate insight requests and to ensure wide dissemination of generated insight for improved decision-making across the bank.


Through a small team of four data translators, we brought about significant, transformative change in the way the customer insight team worked. Utilising our client's existing infrastructure and talent, our data translators improved understanding between teams to create a more cohesive atmosphere where potential could be nurtured.

To kick off the initial engagement, we conducted a series of 1-2-1s with key stakeholders to understand the challenges, issues and goals the team faced. We were able to identify and streamline requests, challenging the client brand to move away from insight as a nice-to-have, to only requests for insight that could drive action. 

We identified new key datastreams to tap into to give additional flavour and context to the insights that requests were generating. We created a prioritisation process where requests were formally assessed. The creation of a fixed backlog was not the ultimate aim, rather we looked to create a process into which the requestors had input on a regular basis.

We ran several sessions with the client team to give them insight into the mechanisms of data science practices and statistics. Our aim was to break down barriers between the insight providers and the requestors. This resulted in the customer insight team feeling more engaged with the analytical process, meaning they were able to have input and to ask key questions throughout the analytics delivery, ultimately bringing understanding to all parties regardless of prior knowledge.

We utilised the bank’s cloud-based infrastructure alongside a Tableau server so that reports could be developed, automated, published and consumed. Dashboard design principles were introduced so that outputs from the team were easily readable and had a strong identity.

We identified over 50 dashboards and created a process to automate them, freeing up considerable time for the brand's insight team to focus on research, driving change within the bank from understanding the customer better.

The bank has strong data governance, however this governance needed to be tailored to the likes of data feeds that do not follow standard data structures (for example survey data). We worked with the client's Chief Data Officer to ensure that these data sources would be brought under appropriate governance.


Through our role as data translators and providing a final stage delivery capability we enabled our client's capability via improved data and analysis requests which were better prioritised. Inhouse understanding of analytics was hugely boosted.

Our work allowed the organisation to leverage best practice in dashboard design and automation, delivering efficiency and effectiveness at the heart of their work. Outputs were high quality and drove action, leading directly to greater visibility of the teams’ work across the bank as they were able to share their insights with a wider audience. Many of the outputs we delivered have become part of standard exec reporting packs.

As understanding between teams improved, the analytics moved from a mostly reporting basis to delivering value through advanced analytics. These are then automated and made available as part of that MI. We delivered projects that covered value drivers analytics, topic modelling analysis and attribution modelling.

Our creation of a process into which requestors could regularly input needs meant that at the start of the coronavirus pandemic, the team were easily able to pivot away from general customer listening through social channels, to coronavirus-specific NLP text analytics. In consequence, we could deliver insights to the exec within a week of lockdown beginning.

Throughout all our work, we ensured that data governance specific to marketing based on bank standards was absolute.

Our work has saved a huge amount of client resource through automation, and reduced time to insight – enabling greater agility and faster, more accurate decision-making. We have also proved that this inhoused model of econometrics can be a success, saving this financial services institution millions of pounds in outsourced effort and licences. Our work alongside the client's data and analytics teams to pull together below the line attribution models for all the bank’s products is expected to save £5 million for our client in the next five years.

Keys to success

  • Proving the value of a dedicated inhouse analytics team supporting marketing strategy and activities
  • Envisioning and delivering on the marketing transformation programme
  • Driving new tactical insights from reporting, topic analysis, sentiment analysis and econometrics

Discover how we did it. Contact us today.

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