Helping Australian Finance Group achieve architecture success through data discovery

1 Jun 2023

About Australian Finance Group

Australian Finance Group (AFG) is one of Australia’s most secure and prosperous mortgage aggregators. Established in 1994 to help create a fairer financial future for Australians, AFG is one of the country’s largest mortgage broking groups and leaders in financial solutions. With over 3,700 brokers nationally, offering more than 7000 products across 70+ lenders, AFG managed $59 billion in residential finance last year.

To continuously support its ever-evolving business demands, offer exceptional customer experience and reduce operational costs, AFG identified the need to improve their legacy analytics and insights (A&I) system. As an organisation with critical dependency on data, their first step was to review the data landscape of the existing A&I system.

Reviewing AFG’s end-to-end data architecture

AFG needed a technology partner to review its complex legacy analytics and insights platform. Further support to this existing platform or a move to its newest version would likely result in additional operational costs and disruption to the business.

AFG engaged Telstra Purple, Australia’s largest technology services company, to review its architecture, identify opportunities, improve efficiency and reduce costs. The engagement began with a series of internal one-on-one interviews to gain a rapid understanding of its data landscape. This was built upon several user workshops across a broad audience to learn about the business pain points and uncover unique insights.

Throughout the discovery engagement, the Telstra Purple team worked with the AFG team to create an architecture and migration strategy which could be implemented in parallel to its existing data architecture. This approach helped to ease the transition from proprietary tooling to modular, scalable and reversible components that would form the new end-to-end data architecture.

A design-led approach to discovery

Telstra Purple executed a comprehensive discovery that identified key themes that shaped a new proposed data architecture. This architecture was designed to improve key areas like performance, demand on specific skillsets and vendor lock-in - all identified through the design-led approach.

Telstra Purple’s modular, scalable, and reversible ways of working provided total flexibility for AFG and made them future-ready should further changes be required for tooling and demand. AFG now have greater control of their A&I data processing capabilities to address their budgets, and both internal and customer requirements. Telstra Purple reviewed leading data tools, provided key recommendations and comparisons with functionality and price estimates specific to AFG’s business demands.

As part of the process, the Telstra Purple team also reviewed AFG’s IT systems, analysed processes and documentation, conducted internal SME and user workshops and worked closely with external vendors to identify and improve the business-critical functions.

“Telstra Purple have done a great job throughout the engagement, providing detailed and considered recommendations for our future state A&I architecture. The attention to detail has been pivotal in the success of the engagement,” said Vanessa Robinson, Head of Analytics & Insights, AFG.

Future-ready and data driven architecture

One of the outcomes of this engagement included a complete end-to-end data architecture report that was presented to the IT team’s Architecture Review Committee. This report documented the entire engagement to showcase methodologies, key insights and pain points discovered, and how these insights drove the decisions in the proposed new data architecture.

Telstra Purple’s collaborative work with AFG ensured that the proposed data architecture could be implemented within their existing environment to help save operational costs. By analysing and understanding AFG’s requirements and recommending solutions that focused on known key internal processing pain points and internal user feedback from a broad audience across AFG, Telstra Purple framed the looming deadline into an exciting impetus for change.

Telstra Purple recommended an end-to-end architecture solution that will empower AFG to utilise the full extent of its A&I data, increase its internal operating efficiencies and opens the door for innovative, strategic and data-driven decisions.

The team were supportive, responsive and went above and beyond to answer any queries or concerns. I have really enjoyed working with them and hope we can work together again in the future,” added Vanessa.

AFG is at the beginning of their new data architecture journey and Telstra Purple is delighted to help guide them in a successful direction with its team of experts.

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