Case Study


March 26th, 2020
L-R: Matt Willis pictured accepting his Unsung Hero Award with Larissa Joy, SBT Chair

One of things we get asked here at Social Business Trust all the time is about our value, what we add and what we bring to our corporate partners and our portfolio. When HILS met Matt Willis through our partnership with Refinitiv, it sparked exactly the kind of relationship that we like to shout from the rooftops about.

Matt Willis is Global Head of Data, Analytics & AI Capabilities at Refinitiv and recognised as a DataIQ Top 100 most influential data and analytics practitioners in the UK. He focuses on using data, analytics and AI to drive strategic decisions, business operations and customer experience. He’s been a Trustee of HILS since 2015. In 2019, Matt decided to get his feet under the table and took part in a secondment with HILS for four weeks.

“I wanted to dedicate time to projects I was advising on as a Trustee and help build their data capabilities and culture.  I passionately believe in what they do and I wanted to dedicate time to advance their cause”.

Matt Willis

During that time, Matt committed much of his time to data analytics, training the new data analyst and working with the Executive team to explore their data. This exploration led to discussions with the Board about expanding services and generated around 20 ideas to be prioritised for future work. Several of these ideas centered around the potential of digital transformation in their back office systems and to improve client facing interactions, such as updating Meas-on-Wheels menu selections. Digital transformation has now become a 2020 goal for the organisation.

Matt also worked with teams in house to look at IT more broadly, looking at their application estate in preparation for the recruitment and training of the IT Manager, who started in December 2019. The most memorable part of Matt’s time with HILS was accompanying the frontline staff, delivering HILS services, to better understand the work that HILS does and how IT in those areas could be improved. “Joining a session of chair based exercises with a client in their home and hearing how much their mobility had improved, and the impact it had on their quality of life, was amazing.”

Matt took some valuable lessons back to his day job, “I was exposed to different styles of leadership and learned from those. For example, Sarah [HILS CEO] is an inspiring leader and a excellent public speaker. I can take these learnings back to my team at Refinitiv.”

It was fantastic having Matt working alongside us and to tap into his expertise. With his help, we have made huge strides in understanding the impact our work is having on the lives of older and vulnerable people living in the community – and we are using that knowledge to help improve and grow our services even more.  In the short time he spent with us, he worked alongside our data analyst and business development team to identify how we can use the data we collect to understand our clients and evaluate our services better, and to feed this information into our strategic decision-making.  We are hugely grateful to volunteers like Matt, and to Social Business Trust, for making it possible for small and medium-sized social enterprises such as HILS, to access the knowledge of industry leaders – so that we can continue to deliver social good in new and better ways.

Sarah Wren MBE , HILS CEO

In 2019, SBT awarded Matt a ‘Unsung Hero Award’ for his work with HILS. Matt: “The award ceremony was a great opportunity to share stories with other volunteers. It was an honor to receive the award.”