Data is Good… Analytics Make it Great

October 1, 2014 by Craig Boundy

The power of data is good.

Couple it with analytics and it becomes great.

Derive real and tangible insight from this process, and you are left with a very potent tool to affect real change and do a lot of good in the process.

At Experian, we have deep experience harnessing the power of data, in fact, we have been doing it since 1897. Using our insights to help merchants and consumers by providing an annual credit reference directory, we were using “big data” before big data was a buzz word.

Fast forward to today, Experian is still working across sectors and categories to help business and consumers alike benefit from the intelligent use of data through insight. Our data assets are used globally to help consumers, financial institutions, healthcare organizations, automotive companies, retailers and governmental organizations make more informed and effective decisions.

These days, “Big Data,” however, has become a cliché and often times carries a negative connotation due in part by the activity of some bad actors, but also because people tend to be afraid of the things they don’t fully understand.

We look at “Big Data” differently. I’d like to take this opportunity to help shed some light on why data and the insights derived from that data are actually good. We are, by and large, better when we can make sense of the world around us, and that world today is made more complex due to the vast amount of information that’s out there.

Experian’s business is predicated on the idea that we come to work every day to help society make better sense of the world by sifting through the information and coming up with solutions for real people, partners, governments and clients. Our insights are very often the cornerstone of solutions to real life challenges.

Insight is used to help a consumer secure an affordable loan, understand their credit score, or protect their identity; or for a business to manage risk, help prevent fraudulent transactions, and to ensure they are marketing their products and services to the right consumers at the right time and across the right channels.

Today, insights derived from data are enabling millions to obtain their first lines of credit. For example, by reporting, collecting and analyzing on-time rental payments, more Americans are building the credit histories necessary for financial and economic inclusion. In fact, a new analysis from Credit Builders Alliance recently confirmed the value of credit building for American citizens and the overall economy.

Across the nation, examples like these abound. In each instance, information is helping to solve some of our most vexing public, societal and corporate problems, and at Experian, we celebrate our teams of data scientists and innovators who set out to solve some of these problems using big data and technology.

In fact, this week we are gathering our team of global data scientists at our Future of Information Conference to collaborate and share break through innovations in data science. At the conference, we will also award the inaugural Si Ramo Prize, a global competition in data science named for the extraordinary pioneer of innovation in our industry, Dr. Si Ramo. Among other things, Dr. Ramo was one of the first to envision a cashless society and the data needed to drive that innovation.

The future is bright and there’s still more we can do with data to drive growth and improve national policies. We’re working with the health care industry – and others, from energy to automotive to the multi-family housing community and government – to fully leverage data. We now need others to recognize and embrace its potential.

So, yes, big data is good. The responsible, smart and compliant use of big data benefits people, our society and our economy. I invite you to browse through our site to learn more about what our company does and the programs we have in place. Click here to learn more about how Experian is conquering the world of big data.

Craig Boundy is CEO of Experian North America.