Why ClearScore replaced their home-grown platform with Segment's customer data infrastructure

Reduced costs and preserved engineering resources by partnering with Segment to expand into international markets

The Company

As one of the leading financial technology businesses in the UK, ClearScore’s mission is to help everyone achieve greater financial wellbeing. Since their start in 2015, ClearScore has helped over six million people access their credit score and report for free. By combining a brand which people trust, a product which is beautiful to use, amazing technology and deep analytics, they deliver a unique experience that helps people take control of their financial future.

The Challenge

Data has been central to every business decision at ClearScore since its launch. Analyzing and tracking user behavior to drive rich customer analytics helped ClearScore build an industry-leading product in the UK market. In their early days, this was achieved using a robust home-grown system that extracted event data from a number of different sources and pushed it into a centralized database.

Fast forward a couple years, and at the end of 2016 ClearScore was ready to begin expanding globally. However, they had concerns about the amount of investment it would take to maintain and scale a home-grown solution that would support new markets. “We started looking at the current version of our integrated database and wondered whether it was suitable to grow globally with,” recalls Klaus Thorup, Chief Technology Officer at ClearScore. That’s when ClearScore decided to explore options for a next-generation analytics system that would propel them into years of future growth.

The Solution

ClearScore found Segment to be the only software solution that was completely suitable to their needs. Following a thorough build-versus-buy evaluation, it was obvious to ClearScore that Segment was the right partner to support them during their high-growth stage.

The cost of a Segment investment completely beat our in-house options out of the water. It was a no-brainer in terms of cost,” says Thorup. In fact, an investment in Segment was three times less than the cost to scale their existing in-house tool.

A key requirement for each market that ClearScore expands into is data segregation and the ability for each country manager to adopt the tools necessary to analyze local data. Segment fast-tracked this by providing the ability to quickly set up separate workspaces and then flexibly integrate with marketing and analytics tools.

By offering a consistent method of collecting data across back-end systems, websites, and mobile apps, getting data into ClearScore’s analytics platform has become significantly more simple with Segment.

"Rather than extracting data from multiple platforms, we now take an ‘integrate once, extract to anywhere’ approach. This reduces the maintenance overhead of gathering data and ensures that quality exists further up the data stream,” Thorup says.

In any build-versus-buy evaluation, the decision to buy is much easier when the technology vendor is a cultural fit. ClearScore found Segment to be of a similar mindset — agile, forward-thinking, and innovative. Segment made it seamless to work quickly and collaboratively by setting up a dedicated Slack channel and ensuring rapid response times to ClearScore’s questions.

Thorup states, “There’s been a really great communication channel from day one. It gave us a lot of comfort going into new markets knowing that we’ll receive really good service and transparency from Segment.”

The Results

ClearScore tested their first international market with Segment in June 2017 when they launched into South Africa. Following the success of this pilot, the team decided to expand into additional markets with Segment. “All delivery teams use the tools that Segment integrates with, so it’s the entire company at large that benefits from Segment,” explains Thorup.

The benefits for ClearScore are significant:

  • 3x cost savings by leveraging Segment’s platform instead of building in-house.
  • 25% of engineering resources can now be preserved for building and innovating the ClearScore product instead of the ongoing upkeep required of a home-grown data system.
  • Company-wide insights are delivered in real time. Less code burden on engineers and faster data routing means real-time customer insights are available to teams across ClearScore, including marketing, product, and analytics.

Bruce Wood, Data Principal at ClearScore highlights, “We didn’t really have real-time data available until Segment. We used to have to wait 24 hours to be able to get our hands on the data and analyze it. Segment surfaces any issues in the customer experience that might hurt monetization and has allowed us to make better business decisions faster.”

Industry: Financial Services
Location: London, England
Employees: 200

The cost of a Segment investment completely beat our in-house options out of the water. It was a no-brainer in terms of cost.

Klaus Thorup

Chief Technology Officer

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