Using data to drive decision-making

Tech London Advocates DataTech Group held their first meetup of Year 2020 by holding the first of their Data Driven series! The series explores the value and techniques of using data engineering to drive decision-making in organisations big and small. The event held 4 February at Mindspace Shoreditch and was hosted by Nas Radev CEO, Infinite Lambda

Talk 1: What is Data Engineering and why should you care?
Nas Radev CEO, Infinite Lambda
His technical talk focused on data engineering as a cornerstone of data-drivenness. He gave practical examples of what data engineering is, what a data engineer does day to day and why you should care.

Key Points

  1. Work for Fintech had a focus on catching ‘Money mules’ to counteract fraudulent activity. Use data to optimize products. Focus on building a Single Source of Truth (SSOT) and apply logic to define a ‘Unified user profile’.
  2. Establish trusted ‘Data sources’ and acquire velocity i.e. the optimum is to analyse data trends in real time as opposed to a batch (static) method. Take the advantage of using regular Tools before applying in-house software (tailored) tools. Data engineers will need knowledge of ‘DevOps domain’ using tools i.e. Sketcher on Cloud. And ‘Ingest data’ using tools 1.e. talend, Airlow etc.
  3. ‘Big Data’ approach was also advocated using Apache, Scala, Python. Again tools referred were Kafka, SnowPlow for ‘Streaming’ and Redshift, Snowflake, SQL for ‘Warehousing’.

Democratise Data Engineering
The salient (take away) point was to democratise data engineering due to the paucity of data engineers in the workplace. The approach would be “Make SQL Great Again”! Training your work force to write simple SQL code would help drive a data-driven culture

Questions were taken from the audience before a break for Pizza and networking before Talk 2 resumed.

Talk 2: Data Driven in FinTech
Nina Anderson Business Intelligence Lead, dozens
dozens is a Current Account & Investment Manager all in One App. Nina shared some of the ways Dozens is using data to grow and differentiate in an increasingly competitive market [circa 600+ in UK].
She has led Dozens data vertical, leveraging a team of data engineers and BI developers to build the data infrastructure and reporting framework, with support from Infinite Lambda.

Key Points

  1. Facebook Ads: Used ‘Looker’ modes for customer lifetime value from the dozens FB Ad campaign. The analysis found the campaigns with a ‘socially responsible’ message achieved the best net customer value.
  2. Know Your Customer (KYC) Failure: There was a high rate of churn form KYC failure when customers were passed through Compliance stage. Analysis found that the failure resulted from the dozens app photo-imaging resolution which rendered customers’ identity cards inaccurtaely. Steps are being taken to resolve this.
  3. Financial Crime: This is an urgent and ongoing issue to tackle. This was taking the time and attention of the data engineering team. The solution was to distribute data tools within the front-line team, which saved money also.

Foster a data driven culture
The salient point here is that dozens, started Jan 2018, was enabled to have a data driven culture by the CEO and the message has been trickled downwards, through actual simple steps of asking for the data behind opinions or decisions.

Questions were taken from the audience and networking before close.