In my role at Experian, I am constantly surrounded by data and fascinated by the ways it can be applied to some of the world’s most pressing problems.
So, when my bosses asked me to meet with the marketing team at Good Shepherd Microfinance – Australia’s largest microfinance organization – to explore synergies between their work in affordable financial programming and ours in data analytics, I jumped at the opportunity.
I knew Good Shepherd worked across sectors to promote the economic wellbeing of low-income clients through loan programs, insurance policies and educational programs, and was excited about the opportunity to take part in social impact work. I had no idea back then that my team’s discussion with Good Shepherd would evolve into such a rewarding and impactful project.
Working with Good Shepherd provided an opportunity for my team to use data as our contribution to Australia’s push for financial inclusion. We applied our demographic targeting systems and analytics processes to Good Shepherd’s data and existing work, improving their ability to engage with clients. This work helped Good Shepherd positively impact the lives of those most in need of a financial lifeline.
This project was a real milestone for my team. It was the first time we had been asked to apply our skillsets as analysts to a corporate social responsibility project. Knowing that our work was affecting the lives of fellow Australians was incredibly motivating for us.
Toward the end of our project, we delivered an analytics report outlining how Good Shepherd could expand the reach of its financial inclusion initiatives, which the organization then had the opportunity to present to the state government.
Intrigued by Good Shepherd’s presentation and excited about the potential to deliver fair, sustainable investment products to a greater segment of the population, the government reached out to Experian and inquired about working with us to learn more about our data analysis techniques.
Knowing my team’s work might influence government policy was extremely gratifying, and we felt immense pride that we’d likely helped countless more people gain access to basic and affordable financial programs.
In retrospect, Experian’s work with Good Shepherd opened my team’s eyes to the harsh realities of economic inequality. Simultaneously, though, it offered us an opportunity to address the problems we saw through the power of data – and to collaborate, think critically and deliver exceptional work.
Now, the project stands as a testament to the power of data to facilitate social impact. Working with Good Shepherd was highly fulfilling, and I am proud of Experian’s role in promoting financial inclusion across Australia.