Back in March, during the first edition of the European Finance Summit, Foyer Group’s Data Studio was named “Finance Team of the Year”. We met with Geoffrey Nichil (Head of Data Studio) and Marc Hotton (Innovation Coordination Officer) to discuss the creation and objectives of the studio as well as data protection and the impact of GDPR.

How and why was the Data Studio established at Foyer Assurances? What were its main objectives?

In 2017, Foyer launched a project to overhaul its decision-making information system. In this context, the Data Studio was created at the end of the year with three main objectives: to facilitate access to the data in this decision-making information system, to improve the quality of the data and to extract value from it.


Who are the professionals in Data Studio? (finance professionals, IT professionals, etc.) How many experts are currently working in the studio?

The Data Studio is a mixed team of around ten people, made up of developers (Scala/Spark, SAS, Cobol), business experts (Data Stewards), data specialists (Data Analysts) and artificial intelligence specialists (Data Scientists), who work together agilely on transforming data into information. We also welcome a PhD student from the University of Luxembourg who is writing his thesis on the implementation of recommendation engines.


The financial sector is strongly concerned by the protection of data, especially of its customers. How does Data Studio ensure that this is the case?

Data protection is even more present in the insurance sector. Indeed, all of our customer data is stored on our own infrastructure and not in the cloud services offered by GAFAM.

From 2018, the Group has also decided to launch a strategic project on securing this data at the enterprise level.


How did GDPR affect your work and projects? How did you manage to take advantage of it?

This regulation imposes transparency on the use of data by companies, so it is a beneficial step forward for customers.

The advantage of our "privacy by design" approach makes sense here. It allows us to reduce the impact of such regulations and turn them into value-creating opportunities for Foyer and its clients.


What do you hope for the future of Data Studio? What are the innovations you would like to bring to the insurance sector?

Since 2018, we are focused on simplifying access to data and improving its quality, two fundamental elements of our Data strategy. Although we are not finished yet, we are now also making progress on topics such as:

- the implementation of cross-divisional data governance;

- a "data by design" approach, with the integration of data from the very beginning of projects;

- the multiplication of application cases: we now have the data, tools and knowledge to set up real use cases with high added value, such as predicting peaks in documents to be processed or telephone calls, in order to anticipate, but also to try to implement dynamic pricing on some of our products.

We also collaborate a lot with the Foyer Innovation Hub. Our ambition is to use the resources of the Data Studio to innovate at Foyer, using artificial intelligence and machine learning. To achieve this, we integrate innovation methods as much as possible upstream of our projects.

Publié le 04 mai 2020