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SAS® underpins global data governance programme at CPPGroup Plc

International Assistance business uses SAS to achieve high quality corporate data

CPPGroup Plc is an International Assistance business operating in the UK and overseas. Through its Business Partner relationships and also through direct retail sales to consumers, CPP provides Life Assistance products. These include annually renewed and packaged products that provide assistance and insurance across a wide range of market sectors including financial services, telecommunications, travel and the home designed to make everyday life easier to manage.

The history of data management at CPP
The original requirement was to identify customers who have multiple product and service holdings, and to understand the relationship across these different services. This was done by implementing the SAS® MDM system across the organisation in order to integrate the two key policy systems to provide a single customer view (SCV) across the company. The data was collected via a weekly batch processing model, and was then used for data cleansing, standardisation and clustering with a master data management (MDM) hub in place today. In the future there are plans to 'bake' real-time data quality business rules into real-time checking procedures.

In 2011, the analytics capabilities were extended, and outputs from the SCV were overlaid with propensity models and demographic information. Since initial implementation, the original six customer linking rules have been refined to just three in order to improve accuracy and efficiency. Furthermore, the data enhancement and cleansing process has been aligned with a range of other batch processes. These developments have created a more effective organisation; powering an MDM initiative to drive value from customer data.

Creating a centre of excellence for data governance
CPP's Data Architect, Andy Hazelwood, recognised the need for the company to have a standardised and global approach to its data management "We knew early on that in an international business like ours data management and quality were of fundamental importance. We wanted a standard toolset and expertise base that could be rolled out to support the opportunities for the business, particularly in emerging markets." Andy's team have now taken on the role of developing a data governance centre of excellence (CoE) that can quickly train analysts and business users in how to build data quality improvement rules within the SAS® Data Management Platform to ensure standardised, high quality data for analytics and operational efficiency.

The Data Management team at the CoE facilitates the management of data across the company. One of the first tasks for the CoE was to define a data governance policy with rules about how the organisation should treat and manage its data and who is responsible for that management. This included developing the organisational framework to support the CoE, using a 'three lines of defence' model, including non-IT, compliance and audit functions.

Going global with data governance
Following establishment of the data governance CoE, adoption of the SAS Data Management Platform has significantly increased across the company. The software has already been implemented in the Spanish office with new analysts up and running today. Additional roll-out is expected to also take place in the Group's international markets, where the Spanish roll-out will be seen as an example of best practice and to act as a second CoE. The key requirement is to improve the data 'on-boarding' process internationally. As CPP receives information from key Business Partners in a market it is fundamental that data profiling and data discovery can be undertaken quickly to verify the accuracy, completeness and relevance of that data. For example, the team make use of the QKB, Quality Knowledge Base, within the SAS platform to improve address standardisation and accuracy to support outbound sales and marketing activities.

The impact of standardising on SAS for data management
The MDM platform provides a consolidated (SCV) for the UK business. But according to Hazelwood it's the ease of use of the technology which really helps to generate a culture of data quality management across the organisation "We needed a technology standard that could be used and adopted by business analysts, in addition to IT experts and coders. That has been one of the key benefits of the SAS platform with which we can have a new analyst up and running on within a week." The company has also run several data migrations of late and Hazelwood found the SAS platform more than able to cope "We have noticed significant improvements in loads and standardisation when we've used the SAS Data Management Platform to support migrations."

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Business Issue:
Establishing an organisation-wide data governance programme with an MDM consolidated hub to integrate data from two key policy systems
SAS® MDM, SAS® Data Management Platform
Improved data quality, easy to use platform for roll-out to a global team of data analysts, single customer view

We needed a technology standard that could be used and adopted by business analysts, in addition to IT experts and coders. That has been one of the key benefits of the SAS platform with which we can have a new analyst up and running on within a week.

Andy Hazelwood

Data Architect, CPPGroup Plc

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