To steer better internal decision-making and to give lenders deeper insight into their investment portfolios, Quion looked to shift its reporting up a gear.
Quion sharpened its business-intelligence capabilities by working with IBM Business Partner KVL to standardize reporting on IBM® Cognos® Analytics.
Boostsemployee productivity by empowering internal users with self-service analytics
Deliversvalue to investors through DMPM, providing enhanced insight into their portfolios
Helpsproduct managers identify improvements, such as how to they can reduce churn
Business challenge story
Connecting investors with borrowers
Blauwtrust Group is an organization offering a pioneering way to bridge the gap between investors and consumers. It does this through its subsidiaries De Hypotheker (mortgage advisor for consumers), Conneqt (distribution manager), Quion (mortgage intermediary and lender advisor) and DMPM (portfolio manager). By gathering funds from investors and lending them to borrowers in the form of residential mortgages, homeowners can benefit from competitive rates while investors receive a healthy return on their savings.
Even ten years later, the shadow of the 2008 global financial crisis looms large in many countries, and interest rates remain at historical lows. With banks offering smaller returns, a growing number of parties are switching to alternative forms of investment. With this trend comes a valuable opportunity for Quion to grow its business, recruit more investors with DMPM’s assistance and help more people to buy their own homes.
Determined to capitalize on this development, Quion is exploring new ways to boost its appeal among potential investors. Firstly, the company set out to give lenders greater transparency over how their funds are invested. At the same time, Quion aims to become more customer-centric – for instance, tailoring the timing and form of its communications to suit each customer’s unique preferences. To meet its goals, Quion needed to take its reporting capabilities to the next level.
Jan van den Berg, Manager of Business Intelligence and Control Funders at Quion, explains: “Right now we have two reporting environments, a situation which arose over time. That approach was not particularly efficient, and it also meant that we paid two sets of licensing fees. What’s more, there’s an ever-present risk of inconsistencies between the two BI systems. Only by standardizing can we ensure that every report and dashboard could be trusted.
“We selected IBM Cognos Analytics as our intended single reporting tool. Personally, I have relied on Cognos for many years and at various companies, and I have consistently found it to be an excellent solution. I’ve also witnessed first-hand how the product is constantly evolving. For example, the latest version now offers even better visualizations, greater support for self-service, and makes it easier to incorporate additional data fields in reports.
“Cognos Analytics also includes an authorization feature ensuring that each division and subsidiary can only see its own data. In a climate where concerns around data protection are multiplying, that was a big win. We can also establish a clear security structure for each investor.”
He continues: “Of course, selecting Cognos Analytics wasn’t my decision alone, and we needed to make sure that the new solution would support the diverse reporting needs of the other divisions in the Blauwtrust Group. KVL built PoCs to showcase the solution’s capabilities to each division, and demonstrated how easy it is to access information when you rely on a single BI environment supported by a team of experts. With the right technology and approach, adding a new report really is a piece of cake.”
KVL helped Quion implement Cognos Analytics and migrated its existing reports from IBM Cognos Business Intelligence to the new solution – with the entire project completed in just two weeks. Now Quion is looking to improve its business reporting, build drill-down dashboards and roll out self-service capabilities to users.
For its analyses, Quion relies predominantly on data from operational systems, particularly the platform that supports its mortgage activities and a financial software package. The company also harnesses some external data, such as indexation rates from the Statistics Netherlands agency. In future, Quion hopes to incorporate additional external data sources in its analysis to enrich its insights – for instance, by assessing the current value of its mortgage securities, as well as data from other sources such as Hypotheken Data Netwerk and Calcasa.
Cashing in on golden insight
Thanks to the new Cognos Analytics solution, Quion can report to investors on the status of their portfolios at a much more granular level.
“Previously, we tailored our investors’ reports towards helping them fulfil their compliance requirements,” recalls Jan van den Berg. “Now we are launching new reports to help investors manage their portfolios in a more strategic way – in this way we really can offer added value. Larger investors get ready-to-use data files which can go straight into their own data warehouses, while we send reports to the smaller investors.”
Quion is also taking advantage of Cognos Analytics to enhance its internal reporting. Jan van den Berg adds: “We regularly report on the profitability of our services, giving managers instant insight into how the company is performing. With Cognos Analytics, we aim to replace static PDF reports with easy-to-use interactive dashboards that support drill-down capabilities and self-service. By empowering our users, we can enable them to adopt a more data-driven approach to decision-making.
“We have already come up with new ideas for reports. For example, KVL built a PoC for our Conneqt division to assist product managers in customer retention, revealing which people might consider getting a different mortgage and why. Equipped with this insight, we can build targeted marketing campaigns to secure customer loyalty and reduce churn.”
In future, Quion plans to migrate its Cognos Analytics solution to the cloud, as part of a new cloud-based BI cloud environment that gives investors easy access to all the dashboards they need. The company has already embarked on the first step of its journey by trading its on-premises hardware for a private cloud solution.
Soon, Quion will be able to extend Cognos Analytics to various target groups within Blauwtrust Group and its subsidiaries, making relevant data available to them with clarity and speed. The enterprise reports that the solution is future-proof and easy to use, and will offer enhanced value to decision-makers with and outside Quion.
Jan van den Berg concludes: “Sometimes it can be difficult for mid-sized companies like ours to partner with large vendors, but we actually found it very easy to work with IBM. The team were friendly, communication was effective, and the Cognos Analytics technology is superb. For us, standardizing on Cognos Analytics is a major milestone on our journey to fine-tuning our analytics, and we look forward to seeing what we can achieve in future.”
Quion is the Netherlands’ largest independent third-party provider of mortgages and consumer credit. The company belongs to the Blauwtrust Group, which gives foreign investors access to the Dutch market and manages over EUR 50 billion in mortgages.
Take the next step
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KVL provides expertise and a broad palette of services around data and analytics. Based in Rotterdam in the Netherlands, the company is an IBM Business Partner. To learn more about KVL, please visit: www.kvl.nl