Across the numerous sectors and markets we support and operate in there is one common theme that keeps arising… and don’t worry it’s not Brexit.  Banking data is the hot topic on everyone’s lips and one I’ve personally been asked about on numerous occasions over the last few weeks and months.

So why is banking data the latest point of discussion? After all it is not a new phenomenon and has been around in one guise or another for the last few years with some banks, operators and markets having more accessible data than others.  No doubt the increased general awareness of new datasets and technologies has helped, spread through the conversations we all have across the spatial/location planning world we operate in; the desire to unlock additional insights and gain an edge through new data and analysis has always been there.

The availability and development of new banking data has also been a major factor.  Here in the UK the presence of banking data has grown over the last 12 months driven by our partners in the Barclays Market and Customer Insights team.  Barclays now provide an analysis service powered by over 250 million monthly credit and debit card transactions.  This service is quickly starting to transform the retail data industry by enabling retailers to access aggregated consumer, spatial and store level data (by channel) on their own brand as well as their position in the market they compete within as a whole.

For us, working in an industry where data is key, being able to use actual known transaction data (within the privacy rules below) has expanded the level of insights we can provide. Naturally some industries and retailers benefit more than others, those retailers with no customer loyalty schemes are the obvious winners, however even retailers and industries who are rich in data have still been able to benefit from the increased knowledge banking data can provide.  The benefits of having a more rounded understanding of consumer profiles and their shopping habits, through to sector wide information particularly on market size and share is clear to see.  Time series market size based on a sample of around a fifth of the market, segmented by consumer age, affluence and geography, yes please!

Like any dataset banking data needs to be representative and the impact of any skews assessed and taken into consideration before working with the data.  With the current volume of transactions, and the general migration to card spending, the sample size with banking data shouldn’t be too much of a problem nationally, unless you are a very cash heavy business of course. Geographically there are some challenges to be aware of, like most retailers banks too often have regional variations in market share, so understanding the impact this spatial distribution could have on the data has been an important element for us.

As we all know, no one data source provides all the answers, but we’ve found embedding known transaction-based data into our models and analysis has expanded the level of insights we can provide.  It has also crucially enabled us to both validate and challenge the way we think and operate in certain sectors.

We look forward to continuing to explore and understand the added value banking data can provide.

The banking data provided by Barclays is reported in line with Barclays privacy criteria:

  • 50+ customers in any aggregated data
  • 5+ clients in an aggregated competitor set
  • No one company in a competitor set can have more than 50% market share

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