Data and analytics are having a profound effect on business transformation in the APAC region. With the recent release of Sisense's Future of Data Analytics Report 2022 - Asia Pacific Edition, which surveyed more than 1,000 APAC data professionals, Sisense APAC Channels and Alliances Director Rohan Persaud, and Credit Clear Chief Product and Technology Officer Jason Serafino sat down at a recent Corinium's CDAO event in Sydney to discuss the findings of the report.
Data: the key that unlocks success
A key finding in the Sisense report reveals that data is, essentially, ‘gold' for boosting product price and customer loyalty. Nearly half (45%) of respondents agree that offering personalised, customised data and analytics to customers could allow them to increase the average selling price of their products or services. At the same time, 43% of respondents also agree that data and analytics would help build loyalty and retain customers.
Serafino agrees that embracing data analytics is key to a brighter business future. He's seen it firsthand at Credit Clear. “Data has been key to our success,” he says.
Credit Clear, an advanced customer accounts receivables platform, providing financial wellbeing through frictionless repayments, manages more than 835,000 active customer accounts across a range of industries, including transport, financial services, insurance, government, and utilities.
Thinking back to Credit Clear just three years ago when he joined, Serafino shares that they were “a scrappy FinTech” getting great results. Credit Clear had great talent, a disruptive product in the market, and many early adopters on the platform, ranging from financial services to progressive collectors. There was one problem though — it wasn't sharing this success story with customers.
“We were doing great. But we weren't great at telling our clients about it and engaging them on that story,” he recalls.
A journey towards success
The debt collection space is a conservative space. In trying to move the dial, Credit Clear had an “aha” moment. “We were sitting on this really interesting data, but it was kind of locked up at the moment in the system,” Serafino explains. “So we started this journey of developing analytics offerings and engaging with our clients, showing them what we were doing and talking to them about the results.
In just over a handful of years, the company has made incredible strides in the debt-collection space. A true pioneer, Credit Clear is setting an industry benchmark by demonstrating how critical a data-driven approach is to succeed in a competitive and increasingly uncertain landscape.
The outcome was amazing. “We immediately saw a dramatic shift in our engagement with clients,” he says. “Suddenly, they were very engaged with what we were doing. I credit analytics and the extraction of value, that monetisation, to our growth.
As a hybrid, end-to-end provider of debt collections services led by award-winning artificial intelligence (AI), Credit Clear has been disrupting the traditional debt collections industry with enhanced collection rates and an improved customer engagement and experience. The company has grown rapidly in the past year, increasing revenue through a string of material new client wins; several of which the company expects to become top-ten clients by revenue, as well as achieving significant growth through existing clients giving the company more business.
With a team of 200 staff, including data scientists and software engineers, the company has set new revenue records each quarter and is currently on a revenue run rate of $37.44 million.
Extracting value from data
Interestingly, Sisense's report reveals that when it comes to rating their organisation's ability to maximise the value of its data, respondents across the APAC region gave, on average, only a six out of 10 rating. For Credit Clear, clearing that hurdle was all about data democratisation.
“We wanted to unlock that data and make it available to both our internal teams and our external customers in a way that would enable them to ‘slice and dice' and find insights in it,” Serafino says.
“It sounds simple, but it can be really difficult to do. But that's the essence of it. If you have all this data locked up that's only accessible by one very technical person, you're shortening your window of opportunity.
That's because data is, in a way, perishable. It has a shelf life. Organisations have to use it before it's not relevant anymore. Even more, Serafino says, that data has to have meaning. And that's achieved by getting it into more people's hands.
Risk management simplified
According to the report, data transmission, analysis, and risk management remain top concerns with almost two-thirds (61%) of respondents saying they are concerned about data transmission. Furthermore, respondents also shared that effective analysis of data (58%) and inadequate systems in place to manage risk (58%) are also a concern.
Serafino concurs, saying those challenges resonate with Credit Clear as well. But it's something they've navigated well. “Risk management and security management are things I'm very committed to simply because of the nature of our platform,” he says.
“My best advice to others is to keep it simple. In FinTech, there are benefits in simplifying the infrastructure. If you can simplify, then everything gets easier.
Credit Clear leveraged Sisense in its platform to provide access to internal and external analysts. “Since it's all on one simplified platform, governance controls and risk management have become so much easier,” Serafino says.
When proof is a game changer
When it comes to business resilience, Sisense's report finds that 59% of APAC data professionals say leveraging data future-proofs business performance. However, 15% are fearful of change, risk-averse, say change is too risky, and would prefer to keep the status quo.
Serafino admits he's not entirely surprised. To an extent, he saw a similar aversion when trying to get Credit Clear customers to embrace digital solutions. “In the beginning, our customers were naturally reluctant to change the way they were working and had always worked,” he says. “But what really moved the needle was proof. We used data to produce proof points via case studies. That was a game changer. It was enough to actually move the market in our favour.
In summary, advanced analytics is one of the most powerful tools for business. There's a treasure trove of information available to any company that's willing to cast any and all fears aside and unlock it. That's information that can provide a clear path to growth and profitability.