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Making a decision and sticking to it sounds simple, but that’s far from a reality for businesses across the world. While many industries already collect data and use the very latest analytics capabilities to manipulate this data, many are not reaping all the rewards expected from their Big Data deployments. The future of how businesses should use Big Data to make decisions was explored in the keynote addresses at FICO® World 2016, the Decisions Conference that took place last month in Washington DC. Here are some of the key highlights from the event:

Better predict the future with additional data sources

FICO knows that to get the best insight into a potential customer, you need to look at their past as well as their present, because it’s the best indicator of what they’ll do in the future. For example, to measure a person’s credit risk, you can’t ignore their credit history, which is the single most predictive factor. FICO’s approach blends proven data while adding the power of other data sources, such as rental history and utility payments, to help lenders extend credit to more people responsibly and profitably. In the words of FICO CEO Will Lansing, “alternative data for underwriting isn’t actually an alternative at all, it’s a useful addition”.

FICO World 2016 - Will Lansing
FICO World 2016 – Will Lansing

Fintech faces a rocky road ahead

Lansing also noted that fintech start-ups could run into difficulty in the coming years due to tightening capital markets and other macroeconomic factors. Although the fintech revolution has been growing positively until this point, FICO believes that the biggest rewards in this sector will go to “businesses focused on improving risk management and making credit more accessible to everyone”.

Maximise your data

During his FICO World speech, Stuart Wells – FICO’s chief technology and products officer – explained that complexity and lack of collaboration are choking business performance and competition: “Sixty percent of IT budgets are spent maintaining outdated legacy systems, 85% of organisations aren’t able to exploit Big Data for competitive advantage, and cybersecurity problems are rampant”.

Wells emphasised that businesses need to treat their decisions like any other asset – they need to be codified, managed, stored, and used – only then can a business make the right decisions for their future.

Focus on data-driven decision making

Advances in decision management technologies are helping innovative firms worldwide improve customer service, according to a number of panellists at FICO World 2016. In a discussion chaired by Wayne Huyard, FICO executive vice president for Sales, Marketing and Services, representatives from Hewlett Packard Enterprise, payments processor Vantiv, Australia’s Yarra Valley Water, and Italy’s UniCredit, described their use of cloud-based analytics and decision management technology to manage risk, shorten time-to-value for new applications, and protect customers from fraud.

  • HP Enterprise: Integrating insight into business decisions

Hewlett Packard Enterprise is one of FICO’s Platform Partners, helping customers deploy FICO solutions within their business. Ken Elliott, global director of analytics at Hewlett Packard Enterprise believes “analytics provides little value without action.” Elliot explained that many companies with great analytic capabilities report that they are not realising the benefits they expected from their big data and analytics investments.

“The FICO Decision Management Suite is key to the integration of insights into business decisions. Together, FICO and HP Enterprise are able to help our customers exploit the full value of analytics, which drives better decisions and ultimately superior business outcomes” Elliot said.

  • Yara Valley Water: Automating decisions

Automation using the FICO® Decision Management Suite has enabled Yarra Valley Water to handle considerably more service applications per year without increasing the staff responsible.

“By managing our business rules systematically, we have been able to aggressively scale our business with full confidence that we are complying with industry regulations,” said Stuart Squires, systems manager at the Australian utility firm. “In addition, our staff can use the FICO decision management tools to make changes to business rules without needing to rely on specialised IT people.”

  • UniCredit: Increasing revenue

For Italy’s global banking and financial services company, Unicredit, building a customer origination system on state-of-the-art FICO technology was just the beginning: “Our business case was based on increasing revenue, reducing operating cost and improving risk cost,” said Ivan Cavinato, head of credit risk management at UniCredit. “We were also looking beyond the current project to how we can improve decision management across our banking network. FICO’s strategy and vision for the Decision Management Suite set it apart”.