Data Blog

A blog about all things data: data analytics, data management, data governance, data quality, data visualisation. Gain insights from our data professionals working across all industries.

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26 April 2017

Reviewed your bank’s chat metadata lately? Maybe you should – before the whistle blows

By Amjid Mahmood Imagine this scenario. You’re the head of compliance at a leading bank, and an employee who works on the trading floor comes forward with some very serious allegations about a senior trader. According to this whistleblower, the trader has been disclosing confidential information about clients to external parties and sharing information on their trading positions. You know you have an obligation to conduct a thorough internal investigation and report any significant findings to the regulator. But you also know that the sheer volume and diversity of data that you’ll need to comb through will present challenges if you use in-house resources to do it.

19 April 2017

Deploying machine learning in insurance pricing

By Paul Delbridge Insurers have been investigating the deployment of machine learning techniques in the pricing arena, seeking to exploit the speed at which models can be built and refreshed compared to the use of more traditional generalised linear modelling techniques. Machine learning techniques offer significant advantages over these traditional models, including the availability of various types of non-linear models which can lead to a wide range of new insights. However, these new models are more difficult to explain to both brokers and to customers (especially when these more sophisticated models suggest significant changes compared to the expiring prices), and there is a degree of resistance to what might be viewed as a black box technology by management and marketing teams.

10 April 2017

What can your phone say about you?

By Kavitha Chandrasekaran Our phones have become an essential part of our lives – and that means that every day, we leave a data trail behind us. From emails and social media messages, to pictures and videos, we leave a digital footprint wherever we go. Mostly, this is entirely intentional; it’s rare to find someone who owns a phone that doesn’t have any saved messages and images. But when something goes wrong, information is everything – which is why, in the world of forensic investigations, mobile data can be a valuable goldmine. ‘Mobile forensics’ is becoming an important part of the work of our Forensics Data and Analytics teams – we are increasingly asked to collect and analyse mobile data during investigations. It’s possible to collect an amazing array of information from the average smartphone, from SMS messages and emails, to calendar events, internet history and bookmarks and even your social media history. It’s even possible to recreate deleted messages, social media, pictures and documents from a phone.

04 April 2017

How businesses are transforming revenue models by monetizing and protecting customer data

By Paul Blase Information has become a primary form of capital - to businesses that know how to monetize their data, that is. Organisations that embrace the art of the possible in data monetization stand to create new capital from data sources and ultimately transform their business models. In doing so, however, they must maintain a sharp focus on data privacy. Capturing and monetizing data will require intelligent, connected systems and processes that help ensure that data and privacy are managed with the same rigour as traditional assets. The good news is that, as the volume of data has multiplied, the technologies for capturing, analysing and storing information have become more powerful - and less costly.

10 February 2017

Part II Data Governance banana skins: Enterprise data governance – the final step must be the first

If you read the first part of this series you’ll undoubtedly have been on the lookout for Data Governance banana skins and with any luck, will have avoided a few slips! In this blog I’ll talk about the silver bullet that will (apparently) resolve all data-related issues in one go – the Enterprise-wide Data Governance initiative. This subject deserves all the airtime it can get – it’s where most programs fail before they even begin.

02 February 2017

Using Personal Data to Build Customer Trust and Competitive Advantage

Every time you use a search engine, land on a website, buy a product or download an app, you generate and share personal data via a sophisticated and sometimes covert combination of tracking tools like cookies, beacons and e-tags. This expansion in personal data collection is creating enormous visibility into individual lives, preferences and behaviors, a trend that will escalate as technology continues to evolve with breakthroughs such as wearable devices, autonomous automobiles and the Internet of Things. The proliferation of data also represents a potential treasure trove of opportunity for companies seeking new sources of revenue and competitive advantages. In fact, 64% of respondents to PwC’s 20th Annual Global CEO Survey

09 January 2017

Can big data revolutionise the way we measure results in international development?

By Maaike Platenburg We hear a whole lot about big data these days. For many people, “big data” means a flood of data, but what exactly is it? According to UN Global Pulse, information can be defined as “big data” when the data volume can no longer be managed with normal database tools. Big data is typically characterised by the 3Vs: volume of data, variety of types of data and the velocity at which the data is processed. Big data comes in different ways and can be divided in structured data and unstructured data.

21 December 2016

10 ways financial services organisations are preparing for the GDPR

By Rav Hayer and James Drury-Smith The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will put individuals in control of their personal data, empowering them to choose how (and whether) businesses use their data. Where personal data is not treated correctly, individuals will have increased rights to legal recourse and can, in some instances, claim compensation. Regulators across the EU will have unprecedented power to enforce the legislation and impose hefty fines in instances of non-compliance.

16 November 2016

How insurers can make still make use of “personality” data

By Paul Delbridge In early November, a leading UK personal lines insurer announced the launch of an app that would use Facebook data to “better understand first time drivers and more accurately predict risk”. This was intended to award discounted premium rates to safer drivers, who would be identified on the basis of specific personality profiles. Shortly afterwards, Facebook announced that this contravened its privacy policies, triggering a change of plan for the insurer.

31 October 2016

Is there Art in Artificial Intelligence?

By Robert Guidi Picture the scene: the movie executives, producers and the director sit as the audience in a horse-shoe. At the centre, a humanoid robot “pitches” an idea for a feature film. Within seconds one of the producers rejects it as “too fluffy” and the others agree. Rejected. The robot thinks again, and produces another plot on the spot, modified to take the feedback into account. By the end of the one hour meeting, the director has three new scripts in development; the Artificial Intelligence (AI) engine driving the robot has already produced the 120 page drafts.

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