Rise in alternative data sparks demand for drag and drop integration tools

By Michael McCaw | 11 March 2019

While integrating data has long presented challenges for firms, the significant rise in alternative credit data has led to an even greater need for fast, effective, data management and amalgamation, according to Michael Shurley, global director of industry solutions at Provenir.

“There’s a lot of new data sources have sprung up that look at alternative data such as instead of just how much you use your credit card, do you have a mortgage like the traditional bureaus,” he says. “They look at things like, do you have a utility account, do you have a cell phone account, things that people who don’t use credit will actually have – and it can ultimately be a really useful way to determine creditworthiness. That trend has created demand for a bunch of new integrations out there that companies are looking to do.”

Previously in the US, Experian, Equifax and TransUnion dominated the credit rating markets, but with digitisation, the new alternative data providers offer significant competitive advantage through the information they store. However, with those opportunities come risks, such as not making use of the data before a competitor does: with digitization new risks are constantly emerging, so businesses need to quickly deploy new risk models that can make assessments in real-time to meet consumer demands. Crucial, then, is integrating new and existing data sources quickly and intelligently.

"You can have incredibly sophisticated risk models, the most talented risk and data science teams, and industry leading technology, but if it takes your business months or even a few weeks to integrate to new data sources, you’ll always be a step behind competitors that have nailed integration down to a few days or less," says Shurley.

Data integration – while crucial to any business - can cause massive delays to the deployment of new risk models and the assessment of customer information, and has been a thorn in the side of many businesses over the past few decades. Shurley – who will be speaking on the topic in a webinar - points out that as computer power and technology have developed in recent years, the integration process has become much simpler, though there are still many firms out there using archaic systems that can slow the process.

Financial services firms tend to rely on limited internal tech support, so being able to map the data easily can be fundamental to a quick and efficient integration. Many firms will attempt to hard code the integration using development language – such as Java – which can make changes difficult and require in-depth work from both tech and business analysts. Provenir’s solutions are set up so the mapping technology is maintained in the backend, meaning any business changes to the data alignment as the integration takes shape can be done quickly and with the business’s end-goal in mind.

“It’s point and click, drag and drop, low code, visual,” says Shurley. “You can actually see there’s little green lines that drag across the screen. You can see where the data is coming from and where it’s going to, very intuitively.

“That allows for more rapid completion of the integration. Whereby a code-based custom integration might take weeks or a month to complete for a medium or large size integration we can cut that down to less than a week – often just a single day or a couple of days. That includes testing cycles as well.”

Join Michael on March 27 at 11am EST for a webinar on the simplification of data integration. Click here to register.

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