Using data to enhance evidence and insight

What does an organisation like the Prince’s Trust have in common with a large enterprise like Dun & Bradstreet?

This unusual pair took to the stage at Whitehall Media’s 4th biannual Big Data Analytics event in London to discuss how a comparable appetite to innovate and transform as a business led them to implement solutions to leverage big data and drive growth in their organisations.

Data analytics can be used across all manner of enterprises

Mark Aryaeenia, from D&B’s Enterprise Development Unit, and Dermot Finch, the Prince’s Trust Regional Director for the South of England, spoke at length about how their respective organisations, in partnership with Guvarin, have implemented big data analytics software to allow them to use data in innovative ways, and improve the quality of their output.

Dun & Bradstreet possess some of the largest data sets in the world. As one of the leading providers of commercial, political and economic data for 132 countries worldwide, the organisation holds information and insight on over 220 million businesses.

The potential to unlock insights, manage and monitor this data presents real challenges for analysts and the organisation moreover given that each business record can individually contain between 10,000 to 15,000 data elements.

Combined with a variety of third party information and customer data, these large and complex data sets must be harnessed effectively to derive predictive forecasts of future events, risks and opportunity assessments on cross border trade.

Expanding on how previous business models could not meet market potential nor customer expectations, Aryaeenia explained that D&B embarked on an ambitious 15-month long project to build a robust platform that was both scalable and sustainable. Each country risk analysis report is up to 35-pages long, and where previously analysts had to use packages like Microsoft Word and Excel to meticulously detail statistics, now Aryaeenia explains:

“These reports are produced by the technology – there’s no manual intervention [anymore].”

The system itself incorporates charts, graphs and all other content – allowing greater efficiency and employees to devote their time into new areas of work. Overall, the output of the organisation has enhanced with reports being produced on a quarterly basis, where previously they were produced annually.

In similar vein, the Prince’s Trust has leveraged big data technology to enhance its recruitment, outreach and engagement with young people. As £60 million revenue business, the Trust devotes its focus to getting young people back into work, college or training – a mammoth task in today’s economic climate.

Since implementing technology from Gavurin, the organisation is better able to predict and monitor its performance, and able to speedily find answers to questions like: “where is the largest concentration of unemployed young people?”

Finch added:

“So you might not have thought there was a connection between a report on Brazil [by D&B] and a map about Burnley [depicting the number of young unemployed people], but the thing that brings us together is the fact that data and evidence based approach to helping young people get a job is exactly the same requirement as needing to report to clients on what’s happening in Brazil.”

Whitehall Media’s 5th biannual Big Data Analytics conference will take place on 19 June 2014. Please find more details on how to register for the event here: