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National Australia Bank Improves Data Quality, Streamlines Regulatory Reporting

David Baum National Australia Bank (NAB) is a financial services organization employing more than 40,000 people, operating more than 1,800 branches and service centers, and responsible to more than 460,000 shareholders. The company provides more than 10.93 million customers worldwide with retail, business, and institutional banking services.

NAB wanted to eliminate inconsistencies arising from storing data in 34 different financial and operational systems. The organization lacked consistency in how it maintained data about cost centers, branches, and general ledgers for various business units. To remedy this situation, the bank wanted to establish a master data repository underlying all of its information systems so that changes to data elements in one system would be applied universally across all other systems.

In addition, by establishing a standard change-control process, bank officers would be able to prevent ad hoc, unjustified and erroneous data updates that could result in financial misrepresentations or inaccurate data in regulatory reports. They wanted to ensure that all finance systems stored data and produced results in a consistent manner.

To achieve these goals, the bank decided to replace an aging, inflexible mainframe system used as a pseudo master data management tool with a more sophisticated, true master data management solution from Oracle. Working with Oracle Consulting, the bank implemented Oracle Hyperion Data Relationship Management to manage master data assets in 34 applications including human resources, general ledger, planning, and finance. To prepare for the Oracle implementation, NAB spent weeks gathering system requirements for interface designs. An Oracle consultant provided initial training on Oracle Hyperion Data Relationship Management. The bank opted for a centralized maintenance and governance approach, where one team looks after the master data. The implementation team included one project manager, two NAB team members, and a consultant from Oracle Consulting.

It took three months to deploy Oracle Hyperion Data Relationship Management and the results have been exceptional. The new system ensures data consistency by establishing a formal, automated change control process where updates to the master data system are fed into or applied to all the other finance and operational systems.

When master data was migrated from the bank’s mainframe and other systems to Oracle Hyperion Data Relationship Management, NAB improved data quality from 90 percent to 99 percent by cleansing the source data and reducing the number of duplicate records.

In addition, improving data quality has improved data accuracy in regulatory reports designed to improve supervision, transparency, and disclosure while enhancing risk management and governance practices in the Australian banking sector. Managers have greater insight into the state of the bank’s worldwide financial operations thanks to having a single, master view of financial data.

BSI Improves Accuracy, Boosts Sales with Single Customer View

BSI (British Standards Institution) is the United Kingdom’s national standards body and the originator of many of the world’s most commonly used standards. The company works with more than 64,000 clients in 150 countries. BSI used the Oracle Enterprise Data Quality Management suite to create a single, accurate, complete record of each client in just one month. As a result, the accuracy of its customer and corporate data has improved to nearly 100 percent, and BSI can refresh information four times faster.

The project began with a simple need: BSI wanted to optimize customer insight by creating master customer records that captured each client’s profile, purchasing history, business relationships, and other attributes in a single view. The goal was to eliminate inaccurate, incomplete, nonstandard, multiformat, and duplicate customer and transactional data from the customer database, which was growing 3 percent to 4 percent each year.

Senior officers knew that having complete and accurate data would improve the organization’s ability to segment customers, increase marketing effectiveness, boost sales per customer, and reduce churn. In addition, by standardizing names, dates, and values in corporate and customer records, BSI could improve the performance and productivity of its marketing, sales, and operations teams, improving the match between customer needs and BSI services.

The need for standardization also extended to the publications, training documents, tools, and services that BSI sells online. They needed to ensure consistent coding, description, and pricing formats in their electronic catalogue.

Always conscious of costs, BSI wanted to complete this master data management project using its existing staff resources, despite a 20-percent, year-over-year increase in data volume.

BSI chose Oracle Enterprise Data Quality automated cleansing, matching, and profiling solutions for their intuitive functionality, adaptability, and value. IT professionals used the software to aggregate more than 5 million disparate data records held in multiple databases and formats into a set of “golden” customer records that span a four-year period and include transaction histories of all products and services. The results have been impressive―BSI:

  • Used the Oracle technology to deliver a single customer view to 2,000 workers in 60 countries, while enforcing best practices in data governance and management within the organization
  • Created better marketing campaigns that help improve sales by boosting cross- and up-selling opportunities and, in turn, provide a more complete customer experience
  • Has standardized product categorizations and consistent coding and descriptions to accommodate a 20 percent expansion in data volume each year, without having to add staff

David Baum is a freelance business writer and marketing consultant with 25 years of experience covering the high tech industry.