How Data Science Is Helping Nuffield Health Drive Business Success

by GemSeek

Data analytics and predictive modelling have become the norm. Clients look to their research partners to extract actionable insight from their data and offer strategic consulting to respond to business-critical scenarios. Nuffield Health’s requirements were exactly this when appointing Future Thinking GemSeek as their research partner.
A key challenge for Nuffield Health was that of awareness, both in terms of being top of mind and understanding what is unique about their offer. While they are well known for their heritage in hospitals, consumers are less familiar with their gyms and physios compared with competitors. In conjunction with awareness, ultimately they want to drive the bottom line, get more gym members signed-up and more people using Nuffield Health for private hospital operations and physio.

The research was required to measure and track KPIs for Nuffield Health’s overall brand, gyms, hospitals and physios, benchmarked against key competitors.


  1. Where does marketing spend need to focus to increase market share?
  2. What levers are available to drive incremental growth?
  3. How is advertising impacting on the key levers and how can they be optimised to increase spend?


The mission was to integrate our ongoing research with consumer data collected across multiple service touch-points and Nuffield Health’s own business data. Structured and unstructured data included new patient episodes/joiners, website visits, complaints, web enquiries etc. enabling Future Thinking to tie the findings back to real-world business metrics. Specifically, the aim was to use machine learning to identify which data was useful and which data was superfluous and a distraction.


Machine learning was used to determine which data added value and an Auto Regressive Integrated Moving Average (ARIMA) model provided an initial forecast of gym members and hospital operations. This technique is especially useful when time series data exists, as the integrated part of the model updates as the values change over time, in order to correct itself and improve the model. With an estimated accuracy of 83%, the model incorporated a wealth of data to predict results. Tracking actual data versus the model forecast confirmed the accuracy of the model. Whilst the ARIMA model was crucial for planning purposes it couldn’t highlight how we could grow the number of predicted members and operations forecast. A decision tree machine learning algorithm was applied to identify the key levers which could help grow the initial forecast numbers. We identified three key drivers as having the biggest impact across the businesses to driving conversion, including consideration.

Key to the next phase of research was to understand how to drive engagement across the businesses by examining the contributions made by each element of marketing activity against these key drivers. The key challenge identified was how to increase consideration. We created a graphical model which helped provide a tactical level understanding as to how to influence top-level factors. Three factors were identified as driving consideration. Having identified these factors, Nuffield Health were able to leverage them within their marketing plan to drive consideration.


By integrating and analysing existing consumer data with brand tracking data we have:

  1. Predicted the number of new episodes (procedures in hospitals/ physio) and gym memberships for 2018.
  2. Understood the factors which influence conducting a procedure at a Nuffield Health hospital/physio and/or taking a gym membership and how to help grow numbers.
  3. Identified changes required to marketing/advertising campaigns to positively influence the brand’s in-market performance against competitors, ultimately guiding future brand strategy.
  4. Evaluated performance against KPIs and other criteria, ensuring the business is monitoring the business critical metrics with the greatest influence to success.
  5. Provided strategic and tactical guidance on how to meet their 2019 business objectives.