[CASE STUDY] Discover How Arrow Global Powers Its Competitive Advantage with NOW Privacy’s Data Discovery Software

[CASE STUDY] Discover How Arrow Global Powers Its Competitive Advantage with NOW Privacy’s Data Discovery Software

July 19, 2022

THE SITUATION

Arrow Global approached NowVertical Group, formerly Exonar, to gain total visibility over a data estate exceeding 160TB. The company primarily identifies, acquires, and manages secured and unsecured loan and real estate portfolios from and on behalf of financial institutions, such as banks, institutional fund investors, and specialist lenders. 

As an organization whose success is reliant on its data, Arrow Global employs a talented team of data scientists with deep analytical roots. But the high volume of both raw and processed data in structured systems and unstructured data repositories was proving difficult to handle and put the business at risk.

Before GDPR came into effect, Arrow Global embarked on a comprehensive data exercise to understand what needed to be done with their data to ensure regulatory compliance. But compliance is never a tick-box exercise — it has to be ongoing because any data estate is always changing and expanding. And for Arrow, in a post-GDPR world, the emphasis shifted from regulatory to contractual exposure.

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THE CHALLENGE

Arrow had already attempted to develop an in-house application to mine its data estate. They wanted to identify what it had and why, what structures existed around it, and who had ownership of the data.

When it came to building a business case to secure buy-in, we approached it by saying, ‘what do we want to do with data in a way that is GDPR-compliant, contractually compliant, and enables us to better service our clients?’ These are black and white tests of data governance but applied in a way that enables us to commoditize data and use it to drive the business forward. With 160TB across the company in production data alone, we couldn’t achieve the scale we needed to handle the sheer volume of data within the estate,” he says. “And the volume of data was just the start. You also need to be able to categorize the data and tag it to put it into a structure, so the business can analyze that data for specific use cases. We needed top-down, bottom-up, left to right visibility over our data, in order to make informed decisions.
— Dave Parker, Group Head of Data Governance at Arrow Global

Needing a scalable, industrial strength product that aligned to the company’s IT and change strategy, Arrow went to market to find what they needed. However, the company didn’t take a traditional approach in looking at data simply from a risk perspective. Instead, they approached the business case by thinking about how to use data as an asset.

As a data-hungry organization, Arrow not only recognized the importance of securing and protecting data, but also the opportunity to distill its value – for example, how it can be used to help the business create value-based pricing for its portfolio, which can be applied in its commercial contracts.

[NOW Privacy’s] approach is really refreshing, and everything they promised was released during the proof-of-concept. From the start, I’ve liked how they’ve talked to us about the software and services they offer. The fact they are our ‘strategic partner’ has made all the difference to our experience, which is why we’re now looking beyond simply discovering data and are partnering to build out a product that finds the value in our data.
— Dave Parker, Group Head of Data Governance at Arrow Global

THE SOLUTION

NOW Privacy allows organizations to discover their data in ways that haven’t been possible until now. Enabling users to find out what data they have and where it is at scale, means that appropriate remediation actions can be taken against data as a risk. This permits organizations to start using their data more effectively with search, workflow, and analysis to start treating data as an asset.

From pilot to full roll-out 

Initially used by the data governance team, we focused on delivering the minimum viable product to prove NOW Privacy’s worth to the wider business. When this delivered everything as promised, the business then looked to other functions that would benefit from a deeper understanding of their data.

Simple interface for non-technical users 

Lightning-quick and super-accurate search means users can find the answers they need, in their data, when they need them. Considerable investment has been placed into user friendly workflows to create a clear data overview via the dashboard with the ability to click through for greater detail. 

Strategic partnership for more than the technology 

Arrow needed data discovery software that could deliver unprecedented visibility of data at scale. And to create that technology, it’s reliant on the insights gained from how its customers use the product and feedback on how to improve its functionality continuously.

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THE RESULTS

Commercializing Data

“The ability to commercialize data is the future for us, and [NOW Privacy’s] technology enables us to combine data in highly complex ways and in a visual format. It’s been a big win across the whole business.” - Dave Parker

  • 160TB of data classified, tagged and structured to create top-down, bottom-up, left to right visibility of everything.
  • Unsecured PII held outside of policy is uncovered and remediated.

Compliance 

*“Our focus has always been on how to optimize and store data in a contractual and compliant way. When it comes to compliance, there are no ‘ifs’ and ‘buts’. We need to be GDPR-compliant, we must deliver against what our clients are asking for, and [NOW Privacy] is producing very real and tangible results.”  - Dave Parker*

  • Using accurate classifications, security and remediation is enabled, safeguarding customer information.

Cost savings 

*“In gaining visibility over our data, it’s enabled us to restructure how it’s stored. As we roll [NOW Privacy] out further across the business, we expect the ROI to be ongoing as we identify new areas to improve.”  - Dave Parker*

  • Complex data sets are linked in a single view of data for commercial insight, powering competitive advantage.

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