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The Guardians of New Zealand Superannuation is a Crown entity charged with managing the New Zealand Superannuation Fund. The purpose of the Fund is to reduce the tax burden on future New Zealanders, arising from the increasing cost of New Zealand Superannuation – the retirement benefit paid to all eligible New Zealanders. This is a long-term responsibility important to all New Zealanders.
Having a top-quality information system is one of the building blocks that the Guardians need to assist them to fulfil their important, multi-generational job. They chose to collaborate with ClearPoint.
The journey: multiple data sources to ‘One Touch’
When Greg McHugh joined The Fund in 2008 he assessed the IT environment the Guardians were operating with and identified a small-range, short-term focus, rapidly being outpaced by the growth and requirements of the $19 billion fund. As Greg says, “the infrastructure was not going to be able to scale to support the growth of the business”.
Greg approached ClearPoint to help him to create a strategy to deliver a world-class information management platform. ClearPoint’s first task was to understand what the business needed in order to grow. “Their initial role was to talk to the heads of business and other key people to find out what they wanted to do over the next three years” says Greg. As an independent organisation, ClearPoint was able to provide an environment where the management team articulated what they wanted without being concerned about the solution at this early stage. Greg adds, “they weren’t constrained by what our systems currently could or could not do. They could be completely open with the ClearPoint team about what they wanted”
“ClearPoint came up with innovative solutions to help me map out the next three years,” says Greg.
“One of The Fund’s goals is to manage and load data with One Touch” says Phil Pietersen, “which means automating the load of multiple data sources into a secure central environment and removing double-handling”. The vision was to use modern business intelligence methods and information management technology, in the process delivering the Fund’s goal of being ‘powerful users of technology’.
Ever mindful of getting the best value for taxpayers, Greg looked around for the best provider to create the platform. He came back to ClearPoint. “The quality of the people they brought on to do the build, and the advantage of having people who helped write the information management strategy meant they already had an in-depth understanding of what we needed,” says Greg.
The initial core data platform was built in just over 60 days using the latest Microsoft technology for the data repository, development language and reporting. ClearPoint followed an Agile Software Development approach called Feature Driven Development (FDD) that delivers tangible, working software repeatedly in a timely manner.
The outcome: powerful users of technology
- – Rapid loading of multiple data streams into a secure central environment.
- – A scalable management information platform to support the Fund’s exciting growth plans.
- – The ability to deliver consistent slice and dice information from the central ‘source of truth’.
The end result was a flexible data platform that enables a significant amount of automated processing which provides great operational efficiencies and as Greg says, “allows the investment analysts to focus on what they do best”.
“After the initial Go-Live in early 2010, we have continued to work with The Fund on enhancing the core platform and on how to leverage the data in new ways to extract the information they need” says Phil. “At ClearPoint we relish building platforms that are deeply technical, but engaging for the end-user that deliver great results for their business.”