The National Collection Agency in Norway

In order to leverage Big Data for revitalizing and digitizing its services, the Norwegian National Collection Agency (NAC), with help from Affecto, has revised its BI strategy, built a new data warehouse platform and reorganized the way it works with analytics. The result is increased efficiency and adaptability, and the ability to create innovative analyses.

– In the future, the National Collection Agency may resemble a bank, both outside and inside, says CEO Per Waage. – The growing digitization places ever-greater demands on us. We really don’t know that much yet about how people will act online, and therefore we must have a business intelligence strategy in place, in order to learn. This strategy is a management responsibility that must be firmly rooted in the executive team, and it is a prerequisite for becoming digital in a good way. The better our business intelligence solution, the easier this learning process will be.

Major improvement requires strong commitment. In order to face the information explosion of digital channels and the ever greater pace of change in society, the State Collection Agency with Affecto’s help decided to revamp its business intelligence strategy. A consequence of this strategy is the installation of completely new data warehouse technologies that promise to dramatically increase performance and capacity, adding new analysis capabilities for users, including big data applications.

– Our existing data warehouse is still working well, but it is not capable of delivering the new types of Business Intelligence and e-service’s needs. The main purpose of the new solution is enabling us to make analyses and forecasts in connection with online services, says Waage.

The collection of licenses, fees, fines, claims, and other charges from the Norwegian public generates a massive stream of data. An annual 1.2 million new cases with 194 types of claims, for 36 state clients, for a total value of approximately 3.8 billion NOK. In 2013, the agency sent 2.8 million outgoing letters, took 25,000 inbound calls, and 35,000 unique users visited its website. In 2014, the collection centre had 40% self-service via the Internet, resulting in a significant reduction of telephone and email handling. Debtors can even handle self-service tasks by logging on to the NCA website and granting themselves certain payment extensions when necessary.

Improving reporting and analytics

The process of becoming more digital puts the Norwegian National Collection Agency in the forefront of the modernization of the public sector.

In addition to traditional, historical reporting, the new data warehouse solution enables the Agency to perform predictive analyses for future development and a better basis for decision making, for example regarding user behaviour and mobility, as well as emerging user needs. This in turn will allow the Agency to become more proactive, to segment its claims more effectively, and eventually be better able take over claims management from new clients.

– We try continually to understand our clients better, and predictive analytics can help us to that, and allocate internal resources accordingly, says Per Waage. – For example, an increase in our self-service ratio from today’s 40% up to 70%, would enable us to reduce staffing in that respect instead relocate resources to enforcement. In case of impending poor trends in the economy, we can be better prioritize our resources and prepare for an increase in bankruptcies and debt arrangements, two thirds of which will involve the Agency.

In another example, analyses based on data from the agency website, case management system, telephone system, and collection center , could enable the agency to predict how a “Reply within 2 days” campaign could work: How many and who would visit the website, how many would call the call center, and where would we need to increase staffing? Data from debtors’ payment histories could also be used to personalize the collection center and increase segmentation of claim amounts.

The new data warehouse solution also enables the agency’s 36 governmental clients access to their own data, saving significant amounts of communication.

– I think that in many ways, the Norwegian National Collection Agency will resemble a modern bank more and more, says Per Waage.

Across the silos

– Public organizations today must answer more questions, says executive advisor Anne Brit Reite in Affecto. – They must be accountable not just for their results but also for how they achieved them, and they must also be able to predict the future. They are expected to be able to see and explain changes in society and their consequences.

– For the Collection Agency, the priority was to get “real numbers that we may agree on”: parameters of measurement, definitions, how to use data across the
organization, says Anne Brit Reite. – In order to build a greater mutual understanding between the business side of the agency and its IT functions, it was necessary to reorganize its business intelligence strategy. This made it possible to compile and use data from what was previously “data silos”.

– The business side must learn what they can ask for, and the IT side must understand what the business processes need, and then together they must learn to raise their gaze and think in a holistic way, says Anne Britt Reite.

Solution

  • SAP HANA BI-appliance
  • SAP Business Objects
  • Informatica

Benefit

  • Increase performance and capacity in the new data warehouse
  • Increased efficiency and adaptability to changes
  • New analysis capabilities for users, including big data applications
  • Analyses and forecasts in connection with online services
  • Perform predictive analyses for future development and a better basis for decision making
  • Better prioritize our resources
  • Clients access to their own data

About the National Collection Agency (NCA)

The NCA was established in Mo i Rana in 1990. In 2012, the NCA had 370 employees. The annual amount collected from the Norwegian public through various state claims is approaching NOK 4 billion. NCA is a subordinate agency organized under the Ministry of Finance. The NCA’s task is to collect on various state claims, debt and manage accounting for their clients. In total, the NCA has more than 30 clients in the government administration and collects on more than 160
different types of claims. Read more at www.sismo.no