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Atos and NS&I - Data Quality Management

Case Study11/06/2015

“Good insight can only be gleaned from good quality data. NS&I, TransUnion (formerly Callcredit) and Atos work together to ensure the best knowledge, expertise and technology are used to achieve this. A regular three way monthly meeting plays a key part in continuing to maintain or improve our data quality as well as ensuring all parties are kept up to date with the latest industry best practice or developments.”
Head of Business Insight - NS&I


“NS&I is one of the largest savings organisations in the UK, with over 25 million customers and more than £123 billion invested.  NS&I is both a Government department and an Executive Agency of the Chancellor of the Exchequer. Its origins can be traced back over 150 years to 1861. When customers invest in NS&I products, they are lending to the Government.  In return the Government pays interest or prizes for Premium Bonds.  NS&I offer 100% security on all deposits.”

Source: NS&I Annual Report and Accounts 2014/15

NS&I takes its obligations to comply with the Data Protection Act 1998 and other relevant legislation very seriously. Therefore, holding reliable and up-to-date personal information is vital to fulfil its commitments to its account holders, the Government and the British taxpayer.

Data Quality Management is an essential part of NS&I's future business strategy: which will increase customer use of direct sales channels and improve technology and processes to deliver cost savings.

To assist with this strategic objective, TransUnion (formerly Callcredit) delivers a single customer view to NS&I across its account level customer data (organising multiple account records by customer to give a better understanding of their interactions at a customer level). The single view holds over 60 million account-level records which are then standardised, cleansed, updated and consolidated into the Enhanced Marketing Customer View (EMCV).


Data accuracy is paramount to the success of the single customer view as marketing and reporting activity is driven from it.  The whole concept of Data Quality Management is central to NS&I’s data strategy as great care needs to be taken to ensure the correct accounts are being grouped together under the correct customers.

All customer-focused marketing communication activity is driven from the single customer view, so the EMCV database is a business critical element of NS&I’s data management.

Holding reliable and up-to-date customer information is vital for NS&I to achieve its objectives.


TransUnion's (formerly Callcredit) proprietary name and address matching software, enhanced with bespoke NS&I matching rules, is used to create a single customer view from all the NS&I account level data provided.  Callcredit work with Atos, NS&I’s chosen Business Process Outsourcer (BPO), to securely receive the latest customer account data and then following processing, securely return the resulting person-level single customer view, so that Atos may load this enhanced data into the NS&I Data Warehouse solution, which they host.

Over a number of years, complex business rules have been established, evaluated and tweaked to determine which records should, and should not, be pulled into a single customer view group, where historic name and address links are always maintained. Ongoing enhancements are made to these rules to ensure updated records lead to the correct accounts being grouped or conversely split out and separated.

During the single view creation, data cleansing is undertaken against industry suppression files for deceased, goneaways, Mail Preference Service (MPS) and Telephone Preference Service (TPS) etc. whilst TransUnion (formerly Callcredit)  data and matching is utilised for ongoing customer verification and enhancement.

Every two weeks, TransUnion (formerly Callcredit) processes an average of 300,000 new or updated records, which are then loaded into NS&I’s existing database of 60 million records.  Significant activity can cause huge spikes in the number of records requiring processing.  Over one million additional new and updated records were successfully processed following product launches or changes.

With each update, detailed reports are produced, that track movements in variable populations, customer verification status, industry suppressions, model and segmentation distributions and a wide range of potential data quality concerns.  Using these reports TransUnion (formerly Callcredit) , NS&I and Atos work collaboratively to instantly identify any potential data quality issues.  Any issues are investigated immediately and appropriate action is taken.

Data Quality Management is just one part of the NS&I data strategy, which also involves the use of bespoke models and customer segmentations, data enhancement, the appending of demographics and geo-demographics and customer status verification.  All these elements work together to help NS&I understand its customers so it can provide cost-effective financing for the Government, while providing the best possible customer experience.  


Through the use of the EMCV database, NS&I has an up–to-date, accurate and compliant view of their customers, across all of their account holdings.  This is used to produce reliable management information, which in turn can be translated into better and more informed business decisions. 

In 2015 TransUnion (formerly Callcredit) , NS&I and Atos won an award for Data Quality Management based upon the EMCV database and the cleaning and screening used during its creation.