What if you could increase the profitability of your organisation simply by changing the way your teams create new insights from data and communicate information? NHBC did just that when they transformed their approach to data science.

The challenge

NHBC – a nationwide, independent provider of warranty and insurance for new homes – wanted to do more with its decades-worth of data and its approach to analytics, recognising this to be the key to unlocking corporate growth and profitability.

Having made the decision to adopt R coding as the basis for its pricing, the in-house pricing team were looking for dedicated guidance and support on how to best leverage the software to meet the organisation’s particular needs. This required an overhaul of their entire data science capabilities and a re-engineering of their end-to-end processes and approach. From programming skills to modelling skills, through to audit capabilities and technical updates, the challenges inherent to this decision were widespread.

"We started out with a gap analysis. Where did we need the most focus? What would help us the most? ... We knew this wasn’t a standalone software that we could easily use in a corporate environment without external help."
Karen Seidel Head of Actuarial, NHBC

A step-change was therefore required to enable their analysts to adopt a high-performance approach, master the tools and deliver genuine value and commercial results across the entire organisation. To achieve these far-reaching improvements, they would need trusted insights and a fresh perspective on data analytics. As a regulated company, they also needed to ensure best-in-class compliance with all governance requirements.

The solution

Working with BW, NHBC was able to undertake a completely bespoke transformation programme, delivering the long-lasting change they needed over just ten weeks.

BW designed and developed a hands-on approach that went beyond training. The programme was geared towards opening up new ways of thinking about and interacting with the software. It was developed to target NHBC’s unique organisational objectives, as well as to fit around the team’s demanding schedules and deadlines.

It provided:

  • The foundation for a joined-up approach to actuarial and data science applications
  • Best-practice learning around R coding, giving the team confidence in their data
  • The ability to automate processes that were once manual and spreadsheet-based
  • A consistent approach to analysis across the department
  • Up-skilling of the analytics teams in productivity and collaboration, so that functions could tackle specific business challenges
  • Commercial support to address any issues and solve them quickly, leading to greater productivity
  • Additional support to ensure R would remain a better choice over proprietary software
"We needed a guide across the Himalayas… to help us through the spectrum of possibilities towards the sweet spot. It delivered in a way that kept us motivated and interested."
Stephen Marriott Head of Pricing, NHBC

The results

The programme certainly achieved the team’s main ambitions, resulting in:

  • Strong confidence across the firm in its data, analytical approach, and resulting insights from the team
  • Improved process and approach to analytics that deliver business value robustly and securely
  • An up-skilled and enthused analytics team with a new lease on productivity and collaboration
  • The ability to deliver fully-documented and comprehensive audit trails for every step of the modelling
  • A suite of tools and expertise that is future-proof and built around proven productivity gains
"It’s revolutionised how we look at R and how we think we should code. As a knock-on effect, that’s going to revolutionise our business… The benefits far outweigh the costs, especially longer term."
Samir Khimani Senior pricing analyst, NHBC

For deeper insight into the team’s experiences and benefits of the programme, watch the full overview here:

How we can help you

Our method involves unlocking an organisation’s DNA – getting under its skin, uncovering what makes it unique and helping the employer identify the information that will help the business thrive in a competitive environment. Applying actuarial science is core to this approach, particularly as it pertains to data analytics and risk analysis.

If you think you could get more value from data and insights or could benefit from our expertise in building high-performing teams, then please contact Allan Engelhardt, who will be happy to help. Alternatively, you can learn out more about the services we offer in management decision analytics.

Stay up to date

Get the latest independent commentary and exclusive insights from a range of experts at the forefront of insurance, risk, pensions and investment – tailored to your preference.

Subscribe today

Unlock your Employer DNA

Businesses share many similarities, but – as with human DNA – the precise way your business operates remains unique. Decoding this DNA can give you the insights and actions that will allow your business to evolve and thrive.

Find out more