Opinion Piece: Moving from data to intelligence
The credit bureau of the future
Big data is not simply a buzzword, but a trend that is possibly shaping the world we live in today. The vast volumes of data that are generated from a growing variety of sources at a rapidly increasing pace offer the ability to tap into greater intelligence than ever before. However, this data also has the potential to trap organisations in mires of unnecessary and irrelevant information. The trick is to turn data from information into insight, and as such, aid in the decision-making process enabling a more agile, efficient and proactive approach to business.
Using the same practices and procedures as have always been used in the past will not serve organisations well in an increasingly intelligence-driven world. The world is changing rapidly, and businesses need to evolve to keep pace. This statement is true of big data in any industry segment, but particularly in information-based organisations such as credit bureaus. With the wealth of information at their fingertips, these businesses are poised to play a greater role, moving from credit bureaus that simply provide stacks of data to risk information solution providers that add value for their customers.
Credit bureau clients are looking for more from their service provider than ever. They want to be able to make better decisions, be more competitive and take more calculated risks, all in an effort to drive greater efficiency. They are looking for intelligence, and service providers need to deliver on this. The credit bureau of the future is about creating new, value-added solutions, and not simply about credit reporting as it always has been.
In order to remain relevant in a changing world, credit bureaus need to become more nimble, more proactive and more scalable. Reporting needs to be made relevant and meaningful to each customer – the ‘one size fits all’ approach no longer fits the bill. Not all customers want the same information in the same way: the approach needs to be tailored to their specific needs. Reports must also deliver more intelligence faster, dynamically and provide better linkages and relationships between disparate data sets.
Value-added solutions and next-generation products require the delivery of consistent data and intelligence that provides a complete and actionable view of customers and prospects. Incorporating new data streams from the ever-growing world of big data, leveraging advanced analytics to improve insight, and dynamically updating this to remain relevant, are critical. The key to meeting customer needs lies in providing robust insight for evaluating current and future risk and enabling better decisions to be made faster.
Ultimately, data is not what drives decisions. Data simply fills in the gaps and requires transformation to information and then knowledge, which is the basis of delivering actionable insight. Customers need the ability to drive profitable growth by making the right decisions at the right time, and the credit bureau of the future is working to enable this ability with solutions that customers need.
The provision of quality, reliable information, built on a set of comprehensive, up to date data and content with fast delivery and turnaround times should be at the heart of any commercial information bureau’s solution. Layered on this foundation should be innovation and progressive products that deliver competitive value and return on expenditure. The end goal should be to transform data into insight and move beyond insight into foresight and action, using the power of analytics to accurately predict future trends and patterns for agile, competitive decision-making ability. By harnessing the power of information to automate certain aspects of the decision-making process and flagging specific areas for individual attention, the credit bureau of the future enables the routine to be handled routinely so that the exceptions are handled exceptionally.