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Continuous monitoring – open data use cases

In this edition of open data use cases, we look at how permissioned data feeds can power a business’ capability to continuously monitor customers, partners, and more. The value of pulling always-on consented data streams, broadly falls under two buckets: engagement personalization and powerful risk mitigation.

In what types of scenarios would a business look to monitor their customers?

Continuous monitoring is a key use-case for businesses where servicing customers post-purchase is an important part of the business model. This applies most to businesses operating in the tertiary (services) sector of the economy — compared to the primary sector which covers agriculture and farming, or the secondary sector which covers manufacturing. Financial services, technology companies, and professional services would be the keenest candidates for an open data solution. One that allows for continuous monitoring of data to streamline and enhance services.

What is the role of continuous monitoring?

The ability to monitor customers and business partners serves two primary goals:

  1. Deliver greater value by personalizing engagement
  2. Minimize the financial and regulatory risk businesses face when conducting normal business operations
How does open data enable continuous monitoring?

Consumers and businesses have their data stored across a host of digital and non-digital services. The previous decade saw the digitization of previously-offline records — and so the proportion of non-digital data stores has significantly decreased. Open data is the key to connecting varying datasets to not only each other, but to entirely new services in development. If a business is looking to continuously monitor the health of their customers as part of daily operations, they only need to gain consent to connect specific datasets into their business’ own system. This will unlock an ongoing view of their customers’ business and financial health – specifically filtering the datasets for information they care about.

Continuous monitoring in banking and financial services

Continuous monitoring will be a prized capability in banking and financial services. Take the example of a small business applying for a financial product e.g., a term loan or a revolving line of credit. During the pandemic, traditional lenders found that their underwriting models were not suited for an economic shock as large as we experienced. Businesses closed under lockdowns and cash inflows dropped to zero for many, almost instantly. Under these conditions, many (if not most) loan applications would have been evaluated as too high-risk — and therefore rejected. Putting even more financial stress on the business owner. One way to reduce the risk is to enable the continuous monitoring of successful credit applications after approval.

As part of the credit agreement, an applicant would provide consented access to their business financials via connectivity to their bank account feeds or accounting software. This live feed of data enables the lender to proactively act should any key financial metrics trend in the wrong direction. Risk is significantly reduced. Similarly, if the data indicated that the business is doing better than expected, the lender might be compelled to offer a reduced interest rate on the loan to reflect the latest information. This is an example of how continuous monitoring delivers greater personalization and engagement opportunities – without it, flexible loan services of this kind wouldn’t be viable. This logic naturally extends to banking and financial services, and their direct consumers and small business customers.

Continuous monitoring powers businesses and customers alike

As infrastructure for open data develops and matures, permissioned customer data that feeds into the service sector will be considered table-stakes. We see continuous data monitoring serving as a great financial enabler for businesses and their customers. Empowered with greater clarity on the risk they are taking, financial businesses can scale up their efforts — while customers can access previously inaccessible services and support to help drive their business forward.