Over the past twelve months, many of our lenders have asked how they can access and drive more value from the data in their Dancerace system, and how to simplify their reporting processes. Some have considered hiring a data scientist to do just that. We suggest using data warehousing or our API instead.
For lenders, data isn’t something that’s good for business. It is business. Whether you’re tracking debt turn, liabilities outstanding, drawn percentages or otherwise, data is the key to understanding your clients’ performance and your lending risk.
Transparency is everything. A bank treasury team or back-to-back funding provider might require daily reports on total availability. Your board will need to know your total portfolio performance each month (and probably more besides.)
Your team must find the relevant information in your system, compile it in a spreadsheet and send it to relevant party. The result may define or restrict what you lend, when, and to which businesses. Getting this right is critical. But processing data this way is difficult, for three reasons.
First, complexity. Finding datapoints in your system and compiling them into an easy-to-compare format can be tricky.
The Dancerace operating system produces 50 types of reports, with details on hundreds of data variables. Even the most ‘vanilla’ lending operations can be minefields of complexity. Many of our lenders use more than one lending system. Some fund group clients with more than one balance sheet, in a single aggregated facility. Others provide complex, combined product matrices for clients.
Reporting therefore takes time. To build high-quality KPI packs, lenders must uncover the most relevant datapoints from across their system, on a daily, weekly or monthly basis.
Mistakes follow. Finding, interpreting, posting and sharing data creates opportunities for error. Small reporting mistakes mean big problems for lenders.
Some lenders consider hiring data scientists to solve these issues. The good news is that they may not need to.
Most lenders’ data reporting requirements can be answered with one of two tech solutions:
- A data warehouse, which pulls information from your lending system and visualises it in a dashboard
- A reporting API, like the one we offer at Dancerace
Both options are relatively cost-effective and can get your data operation up and running in days. But there are subtle differences between the two.
With a data warehouse, you’re required to build a bespoke reporting dashboard in a third-party BI system like Microsoft’s Power BI, point it at your lending system and tell your data warehouse what information you want to ‘pull’ into your dashboard, and how often. The Dancerace OS provides this data via a Secure File Transfer Protocol (SFTP), and the data warehouse presents it in your dashboard.
Working with an API is a more technical, involved option. Lenders must first build an interface to ‘receive’ information sent from the lending system, and then support this solution on an ongoing basis. APIs can offer a live, continuous feed of high-value data from your lending system, but if you don’t have a need for high-velocity reporting, data warehousing is likely to offer a simpler, more robust solution.
Both solutions are capable of handling complex reporting requirements, and both enable your team to save time on reporting, every single day. And the probability of reporting errors will be reduced or removed completely.
Lenders can also enable both solutions to pull data from more than one lending system into a single place, dashboard or report. This aggregates and simplifies reporting for even the most complicated facilities.
Reporting for duty
At Dancerace, we support lenders to implement both options: data warehousing, or reporting via our unique open REST API. We’re constantly expanding our API to include new endpoints, according to our lenders’ data requirements.
Many of our lenders have reported significant results from making the switch to automated reporting, in terms of time, hassle and risk saved.
Our technical team are ready to use their experience to help you choose the right reporting option and get you up and running fast.
Or you could always hire a data scientist. We know what we’d do.
To find out more about our API and data warehouse solutions, contact me here on LinkedIn, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
This post was originally published by our Head of Business Development, Chris, on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/feed/update/urn:li:activity:6958376590070145024/