Crédit Agricole Consumer Finance

Crédit Agricole Consumer Finance

Find out how an agile, easy-to-use data integration solution enabled Crédit Agricole Consumer Finance to work with any data from any source, and react much faster to requests.

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'Data Virtuality is so easy to use that even our business analysts can use it and get the data whenever they need it. Before Data Virtuality only our developers could use the tool and the business analysts had to wait. Now that the developers as well as business analysts can use the solution, we are not only more efficient but were able to cut cost by 80%!'

Fred Dunant, DMO Manager Crédit Agricole Consumer Finance

ABOUT CRÉDIT AGRICOLE CONSUMER FINANCE

With an outstanding portfolio of more than €2.2 billion, Crédit Agricole Consumer Finance Netherlands B.V. (CA CF NL) are the largest financing company in the Netherlands. As a major historic player in the consumer credit market, CA CF offers its customers and partners financing solutions that are flexible, responsible and tailored to their needs. CA CF are part of the French multinational Crédit Agricole S.A. Crédit Agricole is the market leader in France and one of the largest banks in Europe providing services to more than 52 million customers.

THE CHALLENGES

Complex Systems

CA CF used to work with an enterprise data warehouse and a data mart, both of which were originally developed with a financial focus. However, the data mart was a very complex model that required technical knowledge to operate and it was not possible to integrate data from outside the data warehouse into the data mart. And, CA CF also wanted to re-use data from their data warehouse, integrate data, and clean real-time and historical data to use it in their operational services. None of which was possible with the complex systems in place.

Long Time to Market

Every time someone had a request for which no data was available yet, CA CF were struggling to create new ETL environments to get the required data. As a result, it took the company a lot of time and money to give answers. Which had often become irrelevant by the time they were delivered. So, they needed a way to connect their data warehouse with other data sources to get true 360-degree insights.

Sense of Urgency

Data is very important for CA CF and they wanted to use their data for more than just financial purposes, so it has to be up to date at all times. Also, they have several applications in their system that are running on real-time data. One, for example, is an application for loan dealing. Say, a customer wants to get a loan to buy a car. They have to fill out an application which has to be checked by CA CF as quickly as possible.

However, the ETL process they had in place was based on “push”, meaning they weren’t able to simply pull the data into their data warehouse but had to wait for the source system to deliver the data. This proved to be problematic for two reasons. First, CA CF always depended on the speed of delivery of the source system. And, second, their ETL process was also very specialized, which increased the need for valuable IT resources.

Garbage In, Garbage Out

When CA CF started working with data warehouse in the early days, data was supposed to be processed as it comes in. However, this let to poor or incorrect data spilling over into the data mart and into reportings where everyone tried to clean it their own way. The result: different sources of data truth.

GDPR Compliance

CA CF’s handling of data, and especially personal data, has also been affected by the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that came into effect on May 25 this year.

To fully comply with the new regulations, CA CF had (and has) to ensure that all personal data is complete and up to date at all times. And, more importantly, the data must not be physically replicated nor stored anywhere. A difficult endeavour with their existing architecture which didn’t have the technical requirements to process and manage data in a GDPR-compliant manner.

The Action: Looking for a Holistic Solution

Faced with these challenges, Crédit Agricole Consumer Finance set out to find a data integration and management solution that is agile and easy to use, enabling ad-hoc querying and importing as well as the creation of subject-oriented data models for their customers and users. Further to this, they wanted a system that would offer self-service capabilities, multiple databases, data cleansing and enrichment, integration of further data sources, and metadata for impact analysis. And finally, it should also be able to reuse data from CA CF’s already existing enterprise data warehouse, and connect with the active directory to ensure GDPR-compliant data governance and security  as well as stable performance and high scalability.

So, the search was on!

The Result: Enter Data Virtuality

CA CF used the Data Virtuality Logical Data Warehouse (LDW) to build a data virtualization layer on top of their enterprise data warehouse. Thanks to this, the company can now integrate and automate all their data from multiple data sources (such as application system/CRM, customer feedback on website, cloud data, etc.), add new sources whenever necessary, update sources they already have, and present the data in a frontend.

Data Virtuality’s LDW also enabled CA CF to answer questions quickly and cost-effectively. In fact, they were able to cut cost by 80% and reduce the time for building a dashboard by around 75%. And it’s not only their time to market that has been improved! In the past, all the work had to be done by developers, which resulted in a resources bottleneck. But because the LDW is so easy to use, CA CF can now involve business analysts as well who can work independently of the developers. This saves additional time and costs. All that needs to be done now is to provide the users with the data they need in the right format.

With the Data Virtuality LDW, CA CF finally has a strong single source of truth and can focus more on data quality and governance, as they are able to centralize and automate all data in real time in the data virtualization layer, cleanse it in their core layer following pre-defined rules, and re-use it in the data mart. In this way, physically storing data, or working with incomplete/old data in an environment that is not GDPR-compliant has become a thing of the past and CA CF is now fully in line with the new regulations. Indeed, they were even able to implement a reporting feature that would give customers prompt access to their data if they request to view it.

And they can plan ahead: CA CF is thinking about implementing a business-wide Big Data solution. So, they wanted to be prepared and have a data integration tool in place with which they can integrate NoSQL and traditional databases. No problem for the Data Virtuality Logical Data Warehouse!

In short, by choosing the Data Virtuality Logical Data Warehouse, CA CF’s goal to leverage the full potential of their data is now simpler to achieve than ever.

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