Author: Rhodri James
If I was to compare financial institutions to the sailor in The Rime of the Ancient Mariner you’d probably think I was crazy, but bear with me, because that’s exactly what I’m going to do. Let’s talk about data: structured data, unstructured data, third party data, and your own data. Data is one of the most powerful tools a business can use to evaluate risk, identify fraud, make predictions, and get deeper insights into business activities. Yet accessing and using data sources, whether they’re structured, unstructured, external, or even internal, can be a challenge for many businesses in the financial services industry.
Provenir empowers risk teams to rapidly integrate to a wide variety of data sources, learn how the Provenir platform makes integration easy in our video below.
Water, water, everywhere, and not a drop to drink.
Coleridge’s sailor was surrounded by water that he wanted to drink but couldn’t, much like businesses are surrounded by data they can’t easily access and use in their decisioning processes. Without a simple and effective way of integrating to sources, identifying the right data, and utilizing the information, all of the data a business collects becomes a burden instead of an opportunity. So, if your business wants to utilize data to improve decisioning and business insight, how do you go about making sure that your team has access to the information they need when they need it?
Perhaps financial institutions are actually more like the boat in Coleridge’s poem, adrift in a sea of data that’s unusable in its current form, and employees are the sailors who can see the data but don’t have the equipment to separate the useable data from the unusable data.
Finding the right data in data stores is a slow and difficult project that often impedes business processes, including risk decisioning. To combat this issue businesses need to identify which data is needed for particular tasks and store this information in a specific location that is easily accessible to any process that needs the data. For example, the Provenir Platform can store specific data, gathered by risk-decisioning processes, in one location for a business. This staging post makes it quick and easy for the business to access, use, and analyze this information in the future when they need to make data-backed upgrades to risk models or other business processes. It’s important that businesses ‘desalinate’ their data—by removing uneeded data points and storing required data in an accessible location—to make the data they actually need useable.
Integrating with data sources
If a business wants to create sophisticated risk models it not only needs a clear understanding of the data needed, but also the ability to integrate to a number of data sources. While business tech teams are capable of creating these integrations, the integration process can often take months.
With the ongoing experimentation of using new and alternative data sources, the need for multiple integrations for a single risk model is growing. This is a problem for a wide range of reasons, including high cost of integration, use of limited resources, and long lead times for implementation. The integration process will quickly weigh a business down and prevent the risk team from making timely updates to product offerings and risk decision strategies.
To empower innovation a business needs to enable their team to test incremental changes to risk decisioning processes. By eliminating the barriers that prevent rapid deployment of risk models, namely slow integrations to data sources, a business enables the risk team to not only make necessary changes when they are needed, but also to test innovative methods for analyzing risk without heavily investing in integration and deployment. Instead of waiting weeks for a new risk model to be active, the new decisioning criteria will be in place almost immediately, and the risk team will see instant results that provide important business insights and more dependable risk decisioning.
Learning from data
In today’s financial industry, innovation isn’t optional, it’s the boarding pass to the new digital marketplace. To compete with challenger banks and tech-forward businesses, organizations not only need to use data, they need to learn from it in real time.
In many businesses the process can take a few months, which includes the time taken to deploy a risk model, months gathering data from that model, time to find the data needed for analysis, development of a new risk model, then finally deployment of a new model. Innovative businesses have lowered this period down to a few weeks or days, which gives them an advantage before their competitor catches up. At this point they’re ready to deploy another new model, and the cycle continues with the knowledge gap growing each time.
Accessible data, easy integration, and ongoing improvements
If your business wants to stay competitive you’ll need accessible data, a way to rapidly create integrations, and the ability to make timely changes based on the results of data analysis. Your competitor has the power to quickly make iterative updates to their risk decisioning process. How will your business respond, by keeping its existing process or by making changes that empower the risk team to learn from existing data and deploy new risk models in minutes? In other words, are you going to continue to drink from the ocean, or is it time to invest in access to fresh water?