Improving data and the quality of decisions are two of the top strategic priorities for credit management professionals in the next three years, research by credit reference agency Equifax Ignite has found.
Almost three quarters, 72 per cent, believe there is scope for future improvement of data analytics at their current companies.
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The study, in collaboration with research firm Coleman Parkes, revealed that artificial intelligence (AI) is considered to be the most important investment for specialists in retail banking, finance and debt management/recovery sectors, in order to improve their quality of decision-making.
Two thirds said they are currently using or are planning to use AI to improve credit decisions.
“The credit management industry is in a state of progressive flux, with improved decision-making processes and models being rapidly evolved through the implementation of technological advances,” said Paul Heywood, chief data and analytics officer at Equifax.
“The quality of data will be central to credit companies’ business strategies in the coming year.
“There is an explicit understanding within the industry that investing in AI will deliver more accurate decisions and better efficiencies at an individual businesses level.
“Equifax Ignite enables firms to make smart decisions faster, providing advanced tools to deliver more predictive insights.
“This enables companies to improve the quality of decision making based on quality data.”
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The study also revealed AI and machine learning (46 per cent) is a top three technology investment for credit businesses in the next three years followed by mobile/5G (44 per cent) and blockchain (42 per cent).
The need for more accurate decisions is a central priority for credit management professionals.
The study found 36 per cent said they want better data analytics to make more accurate future predictions.
Nearly a third, 32 per cent, said they wanted the ability to report on real-time activities and 31 per cent want to augment traditional analytics with contextual information.
Credit management professionals are confident that the investment in improving data will deliver dividends to their businesses.
The study also found three quarters of credit management professionals believe enhanced data analytics has the potential to dramatically increase product innovation rates.