Have you performed a Google search lately for say, a new ladder, and later when looking at other sites, notice that the advertisements are suddenly from Home Depot, Lowes, or maybe even some site like “Ladder Warehouse.”
Surely you know that it’s no accident, since the sharing of searchable information (your search for ladder info) is added to your profile in real time, and if the highest bidder for your demographic profile is a company trying to sell you a ladder, these ads appear almost instantly.
It’s a data-driven world and the financial services market is fully immersed in it as well. Perhaps the most dependent company to this evolution are the three large (and dozens of small) companies that sell data: Experian, Equifax and TRW.
How do I know the significance of these changes? Sitting in a sports bar a few days ago, I glanced over to a few pitches in a baseball game. Selling the adverting banners behind home plate is nothing new, and generally hawks a beer company. Last week I saw “Experian.” Really, a credit bureau advertising?
While we know them best for being a credit bureau, they’re really a data company. The race for data aggregation and distribution is growing for all kinds of information that details much about your life. Consumer payment histories are really old school now and can be augmented with literally hundreds of other types of information to build a profile around parties seeking to do business with you, be hired by you or with whom you are considering soliciting business.
Listening to several speakers talk about data at AltLend last week, it’s really an art still in creation. With so much information available, many of the innovative financing companies are still researching data to ‘find the risk’ in it and discover what combinations of information form better decisioning for their credit operations.
And there’s disagreement about how much is enough or too much, but that question will undoubtedly be sorted out over time.