Alternative finance company Growth Street is collaborating with University College London (UCL) School of Management to give students first-hand experience of using business analytics in a fast-moving commercial environment.

The students’ work, which concentrates – among other things – on predicting a business’s likelihood to borrow money over a given period of time, could help Growth Street innovate when it comes to making credit decisions, managing risk and giving businesses more helpful, proactive information.

In the last six months, Growth Street has already hosted multiple students from UCL’s Masters in Business Analytics programme. The students used data science techniques to interrogate anonymised sets of customer information. The data analysed included businesses’ sales and purchase histories, as well as their usage of Growth Street’s flagship financing product, GrowthLine.

Data science is core to Growth Street’s business, and is set to play an important role in Growth Street’s product development in the coming months. The company is taking part in Nesta’s Open Up Challenge, a prize competition designed to help innovative businesses prepare for the launch of open banking in 2018.*

Greg Hinch, Growth Street’s Head of Product, said: “Hosting bright minds from the world’s top universities is a mutually beneficial way to explore product development. We hope that the students’ projects contribute to furthering understanding of business analytics.

“Meanwhile, we’ll continue to capitalise on the students’ findings and develop Growth Street’s product ahead of what’s set to be a busy 2018.”

Alastair Moore, Programme Director for the UCL Business Analytics MSc, said: “Our students have had a fantastic opportunity to explore business analytics techniques in a fast-paced commercial environment. Digging into customer data is always valuable, and we’d like to thank Growth Street for making available a rich set of anonymised information.”

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