Drilling through a mountain of data to the insights that really count

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Claire Catchpole 8th February 2019 5 minute read

Drilling through a mountain of data to the insights that really count

In our latest edition of Intelligence, we outline how we helped our client, a major general insurance provider, to better understand their MI data and subsequently wipe out almost £50m worth of aged debt.  Claire Catchpole, Capita Business Improvement Consultant, explains the steps to take to help clients regain control of their data, improve the customer experience, and make substantial savings.

Stage 1: get to grips with the data they already have

Data is something that clients can struggle with, and usually at one of two extremes. There can be too much so they can’t manage it and it rapidly goes out of date, or too little because they are coping with legacy systems and relying on manual spreadsheets that aren’t telling them what they need to know. The best operations will have data that is fit for purpose, and often at quite low levels so they can manage it well and actually do something with it.

Stage 2: test the integrity of the data

One of the first steps we take when going into a client is to ask for all the data they have available. We look at the key aspects such as volumes, unit times of processes, performance metrics, complaints, telephony stats, etc. That’s the standard MI we would expect an operation to give us.

With this particular client we were there for around nine months in total, but the first six weeks were about manually collecting the data that we thought would add real value to the operation. For example, drilling down into complaints data to see if it was really a complaint and whether the data was being recorded correctly.

Once we had that, we were able to compare the manual data to what the client’s MI dashboards were telling them, and test the integrity of that information. That revealed which bits were fit for purpose and genuinely reflected what was happening in the organisation.

Stage 3: use the data to drive productivity

One of the most common themes we’ve seen across clients for the last five years has been productivity. It’s the first thing we explore when a client is looking for cost savings.

It was a challenge for this client too, mostly in back office areas. We tend not to see productivity issues as frequently in front offices because the teams are driven by calls coming in. But in back offices there are pipelines of work to fill, and productivity can be more of a problem.

For example, it became clear that the team managers did not have a good understanding of what their teams were doing, or how the individuals within them were working. There was a bucket of processes called General Enquiries, but it amounted to 80% of all cases… Some could have taken five minutes, others two hours, and without a further layer of data it was impossible to tell who was performing well and who wasn’t. They also didn’t have very good categories for reasons to call, so you couldn’t easily tell from the MI whether it was an avoidable contact. 

Stage 4: recommendations and results

We came up with a suite of recommendations for the client that included changing categories within the work management tool, revising unit times and having robust controls in place that get revisited regularly, and creating dashboards that could report on the performance of individuals.

We also delivered a new MI solution to measure productivity. This was built in-house and provided the client with all the MI they needed to run the organisation effectively and efficiently. It required minimal input and we trained a team of people in how to manage that data.

How quickly those recommendations take effect often depends on this maturity of the operation. With this client they happened very quickly and the results were literally huge savings on the back of fresh and experienced eyes looking at the data in ways they couldn’t.

To learn more about the power of data, the secret to speech analytics, and the new rules of operating in a post-GDPR world, read our latest edition of Intelligence here.

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