The Money Advice Service (MAS) exists to help the UK population be better informed when it comes to finance. Key to delivering that aim is the ability to compare financial products – investments, mortgages, savings accounts and more – based on clear, well-presented information.

Web Technology Group was engaged to help MAS overhaul their public-facing website by reducing the data management overhead and improving the user interface. Integration with financial providers’ APIs and the use of EPiServer CMS mean that data is dynamically pulled into the system and updates to information pages can be made by non-technical staff.

Workshops were used to develop the requirements and agree a new information architecture. A release roadmap was also agreed meaning that features would be deployed with an agile approach. The system was application managed by Web Technology Group, providing monitoring not only of the system but of the data feeds too.

The Challenge

The FSA had been providing impartial online advice on financial products since 2001 through a series of comparison tables. The were expanded  to cover investments, mortgages, savings and annuities. Their aim was to help consumers make informed choices about financial products. Having grown and expanded over an extended period of time, there were some issues with the system including the fact that the financial data was time consuming to manage and the website content was difficult to keep up to date. The system also required technical or semi-technical resource for updating.

The Solution

Web Technology Group was engaged to overhaul the comparison tables, working closely with MAS in the early stages to understand the user journeys and develop an effective information architecture, as well as updating the site’s look-and-feel. EPiServer CMS was selected due to its ease-of-use, scalability and licencing model, forming an underlying technical platform based on Microsoft. Legacy data management issues were addressed by redesigning the system to retrieve data dynamically from specialist financial data providers.

The system was delivered in three phases, meaning that the new system could be transitioned and the improved experience could be live sooner.

The Results

The new system was delivered by Web Technology Group, providing an optimised user experience for consumers and more control over the data and content for MAS. All table data is dynamically updated and table prompts and other elements are editable by MAS staff through the CMS.

Application management of the system by Web Technology Group means that the application and – most importantly – the data feeds are monitored pro-actively. This ensures that operational problems are spotted quickly. In fact, Web Technology Group often notices glitches in the data feeds before the data providers.

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