Be intentional with data analytics, auto finance panelists say

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Digitization amid the pandemic introduced an influx of data that lenders must now decipher to determine what is important versus what to ignore.

When making the shift to data operations, it’s important to have an intended reason for collecting data, Chris Urban, senior vice president of risk management at Westlake Financial, said at the Auto Finance Summit in Las Vegas.

Lenders need to ask themselves “What would I do differently if I had access to the information,” he said. If the answer isn’t clear, then that data may not be worth collecting.

Lenders must prioritize which data will deliver a specific experience that supports the vision of the company, industry experts said at the Summit.

“What we invest our time in are things that we definitively want to be known for,” said Landon Starr, chief risk officer at subprime lender Arivo Acceptance, noting that companies do not want to analyze data that does not have a clear purpose.

Arivo focuses its data-driven operations on improving customer experience, Starr said. “Knowing your aims as an organization, knowing what your initiatives are trying to accomplish and having clarity to that end goal … is really important,” he said.

Equally as critical as the data is having companywide understanding and support of data analytics, Starr said. “Make sure that [executives] have a front-row seat at the table where decisions are being made and where value can be created because data has truly become one of the biggest differentiators in our world today,” he said.

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