Improving data and the quality of decisions are two of the top strategic priorities for credit management professionals in the next three years. A new study of credit management professionals from Equifax Ignite reveals nearly three quarters (72%) believe there is scope for future improvement of data analytics at their current companies.

The study, in collaboration with Coleman Parkes, takes a deep dive into the views of credit management professionals across retail banking, finance and debt management/recovery sectors. The research reveals Artificial Intelligence (AI) is considered to be the most important investment for these sector specialists in order to improve the quality of decision-making. Two thirds (66%) said they are currently using or are planning to use AI to improve credit decisions.

The study also revealed AI and machine learning (46%) is a top three technology investment for credit businesses in the next three years followed by mobile/5G (44%) and blockchain (42%).

The need for more accurate decisions is a central priority for credit management professionals. The study found more than a third (36%) of respondents said they want better data analytics to make more accurate future predictions. Nearly a third (32%) said they wanted the ability to report on real-time activities and 31% want to augment traditional analytics with contextual information.

Credit management professionals are confident that the investment in improving data will deliver dividends to their businesses. The study found three quarters (74%) of respondents believe enhanced data analytics has the potential to dramatically increase product innovation rates.

Paul Heywood, Chief Data and Analytics Officer at Equifax, said “The credit management industry is in a state of progressive flux, with improved decision-making processes and models being rapidly evolved through the implementation of technological advances. The quality of data will be central to credit companies’ business strategies in the coming year. There is an explicit understanding within the industry that investing in AI will deliver more accurate decisions and better efficiencies at an individual businesses level.”