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5 lessons from hundreds of data benchmarking exercises

When it comes to reducing data bureau pricing, what matters most isn’t what you paid last year, but how you can get the best price for the highest quality data and scores.

We have worked with hundreds of organisations across a huge swath of the credit industry, helping them do just that. Over time, we’ve learned to recognise a number of important lessons. 

In this post, we’ll focus on these key lessons. Then, you can apply the lessons when you next need to renew or negotiate bureau data contracts. 

But before we delve in, we need to go over… 

What is data benchmarking: A quick recap

Data benchmarking allows credit providers to use evidence-based benchmarks to gain data quality and accuracy with complete pricing transparency. This creates fairness in pricing and ensures quality data is input into credit risk programmes. 

But what actually is it?

In short, our data benchmarking process is composed of three basic elements: 

  • the metric, 

  • the benchmark value, 

  • and the comparison group. 

Essentially, it provides key performance indicators for each of the bureaux, so that credit providers, like you, can choose the optimal solution–whether measured against industry peers or by an entirely different industry. 

With this in mind, in the following sections, we’ll share tips based on performing data benchmarking exercises with literally hundreds of lenders and other credit providers. 

Lessons learned from data benchmarking

Before we delve deeper, here’s a quick summary of the key takeaways.

Key takeaways

  • Improving data quality and reducing costs can take many paths. A trusted partner can be essential to choosing the right one – saving 25%-50% on bureau data fees.

  • Understanding data pricing transparency across all CRAs will help build that path quickly.

  • Find those quick wins to jumpstart the journey to significant cost savings.

For most lenders, comparing data pricing with competitors and peers may seem like an obvious quick win, but this is far from the status quo for most firms. 

A solid majority, at least 90% of lenders have inflated pricing - paying more than their competitors and peers. 

As these firms had no idea they were paying more, I want to share my experience on the starting points I have seen to be most successful:

#1: The size of the lender doesn’t matter

The first lesson is that the size of the lender or credit provider really doesn’t matter. For instance, some smaller customers get better pricing than larger customers, mainly due to larger customers not being able to move easily and a potential lack of competitive leverage. 

They also are unaware that lower pricing is available. The key learning is not to assume that having a large spend provides additional discount and there is a way of reducing pricing even when locked into a certain supplier.

#2: Look for flexibility, pricing options, and discounts

In the main, pricing is complex. Individual product and data elements can make up the pricing of a search with tiered discount offered for volume. 

A portion of lenders have simplified their Bureau pricing, where price is fixed for a bundle making up the main and associated search with even lower costs for higher volume. This can be a much better approach and often attracts a better discount. 

Additionally, some customers are offered flexible pricing to allow for a multi-bureaux approach.

Whereas others have pricing which sadly locks them in and pricing would go up if they moved volume to another bureau. If you know your options, you can avoid this common trap.

#3: Always question additional fees

We have found that a proportion of lenders do not pay additional fees for new scoring models when introduced or setup/licence fees on new products and services. 

So, always question additional fees – especially if the future transaction fees favour the bureau.

#4: Understand all the options available

Some lenders and credit providers are receiving improved terms over others, which may include:

  • usage flexibility between contract years

  • rebates or money pots to invest in new product fees or IT setup costs

  • improved SLAs

Knowing these are available allows the customer to ask the Bureau to mirror these beneficial terms.

#5: Look out for quotation search discrepancies 

Aggregators (such as CompareTheMarket) offer consumers a shopfront for finance and insurance etc. And the bureaux offer credit providers soft quotation searches on the visiting consumers – however, they charge very differently for some providers. 

This is giving some brands an unfair advantage over others by allowing wider marketing given the cheaper price. Plus, you could argue that it is also unfair to the consumer – as their choice is limited. The quotation search should be much cheaper than a normal search cost. But this is not the case for many providers.

Negotiate the best deals with data benchmarking

The most common approach to negotiating bureau data is based on trusting the information you’re provided by the bureaux. Ditch that. It lacks transparency, fairness, and inclusivity. 

The better way is to use a data benchmarking approach, which provides complete transparency into data pricing, quality, and accuracy. After all, you need to ensure you are getting a fair deal, especially in today’s market.

 

 

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Nick Green

Nick Green

Director

Purple Patch Broking Ltd

Member since

07 Dec 2020

Location

Stratford-Upon-Avon

Blog posts

64

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