UNIFIED BUSINESS TERMS
As a leader in responsible credit management, Lowell Group was looking to make trusted data more readily available across its organization, so that more teams can help consumers manage their debts in a personalized, affordable way. With Informatica’s cloud platform, Lowell empowers over 1,500 employees with a common data foundation, including a user-friendly catalog, business glossary, and end-to-end lineage that spans both on-prem and cloud data assets.
A Mission to Remove the Stigma Around Debt
Since 2004, Leeds-based Lowell Group has been committed to making credit work better for consumers, businesses, and communities across Europe. With a recent survey finding that nearly half of households want urgent help managing their cash, Lowell plays a critical role in helping people repay their debt and return to financial health, with no interest or fees—a pioneering approach to responsible collections.
When group data manager Robin Miller joined Lowell in 2020, his mandate was clear: make trusted data more readily available across the organization, so that all teams can make better, more confident decisions that lift portfolio performance, personalize consumer service, and improve more peoples’ lives.
“Our consumers don’t choose to be a Lowell customer,” explains Miller. “They often have difficult and complex challenges to overcome, and by drawing on the right data and technologies from different touchpoints, we’re putting ourselves in the best position to support and help them.”
Establishing a Data Foundation for Credit Management Innovation
Lowell has grown significantly in the past decade, as has its data consumption and production. Today, the company manages millions of accounts and transactional records, as well as vast supplier and third-party databases. “We thrive on data, that’s our business,” says Miller. “We needed a rock-solid data foundation to extract value from all the information we collect, get closer to consumers, and improve our governance, which requires greater transparency into our data.”
When it was time to replace Lowell’s data platform, Miller sought a solution that wouldn’t just break down silos, but also make it easier for colleagues to combine and use data from different touchpoints to suit their needs – empowering everyone from the boardroom to consumer-service teams within a shared framework.
“The vision I describe to my colleagues is that they’ll be able to implicitly trust the data that informs them, no matter where in our organization it comes from – that goes for our cloud data stored on Microsoft Azure,” says Miller. “After an intensive RFP, only Informatica met that high trust barometer, and we selected them to be the data management backbone of the business.”
Bolstering Trust with a First-of-its-Kind Business Glossary
With Informatica’s cloud-native platform, Lowell’s various teams can finally collaborate around a common data foundation. Informatica Axon serves as a business glossary, bringing much-needed governance to data across the Lowell group of brands. Informatica Enterprise Data Catalog helps discover and classify data and end-to-end lineage across every department and public or private cloud. Informatica Data Quality uses AI-powered automation to further cleanse and profile assets for greater accuracy.
“Our old approach made it difficult to dive deeper into our data, much less integrate it into our analytics,” says Miller. “Informatica has been a game-changer. For the first time in Lowell’s history, anyone in the company can search for and understand the language of the business and its associated data and lineage.”
Lowell has already uploaded over 800 new terms into Informatica Axon. With the ability to relate business terms directly to each domain, teams can better map the consumer journey, gauge the quality of data they are using, and, crucially, trust that they are drawing on accurate information to make critical decisions about consumers, suppliers, portfolios, and improved outcomes.
Streamlined Compliance Dashboards for Clients and Regulators
The move to a unified data platform promises to accelerate and automate consumer insight and help eliminate human error from Lowell’s data management. Informatica will also act as Lowell’s data visualization tool, giving colleagues clear insight into information from multiple touchpoints in real time.
“We needed to automate processes, approval flows, governance, and data quality. There’s simply no way we could do that at scale without changing our approach and leaning on Informatica’s technologies,” he adds. “Now, we’re developing a clear audit trail and becoming genuine data stewards, which inspires confidence both within our colleagues and among our consumers.”
This approach will also help improve data transparency and compliance across the organization. For instance, if Lowell receives a supplier inquiry or a GDPR request through the UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), Miller and his team can simply check their data dashboards in Informatica and trace the origin of the information in question.
“Our clients audit us regularly to ensure we are both ethical and transparent in our approach and processes on their behalf. With Informatica, we will be able to quickly respond to their questions with accurate data on their portfolio and transactions,” says Miller.
An Ongoing Commitment to Data Literacy and Quality
In addition to technological innovation, Miller and his team are also leading new data literacy programs, empowering every Lowell colleague to become a data champion and leverage Informatica’s technologies.
“Where we previously had SQL teams building data warehouses, analytics teams writing code for decision-science, and business intelligence teams consolidating data into dashboards, all in their own corners, our goal is to bring all of these teams together virtually, into communities of expertise,” says Miller. “We set up a solid data foundation with Informatica, and we need to complement that with an equally robust compendium of knowledge.”
All of these investments are positioning the team and company to deliver on business value in the year ahead, and beyond. “This is only the beginning,” says Miller. “Over the next 18 months Informatica will help us build decision and data transparency directly into the frameworks of our business.”
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