News & Views - Savantor

An Unstructured View

Thursday, 09 July 2015
For some time now we have heard, even seen products and services that claim to use unstructured data from public sources such as social media to take a view, in whatever context, on an individual. According to Hello Soda, a new Fintech startup, this can also apply to people's credit-worthiness. Structured data can be hard and/or expensive to come by and widely used, static processes that are based on this data are inevitably costly and time-consuming to adapt, update or replace. It is easy, therefore, to see how social media could be seen as a cheap, inadvertently surrendered source of a variety of information. On the face of it, the idea that a person's online activity – an inherently incomplete and probably skewed picture of a personality – can be analysed to determine whether or not they are a good credit risk in the real world seems questionable at best... but who is to say? On a general note, the amount of unstructured data that is publically available about people, their preferences, views and activities will continue to grow. As we develop the ability to analyse, segment and perhaps even understand this data, we can likely expect to see it play a larger part in consumer finance decisions than perhaps we can foresee (or wish for) today.
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