LFP093 – Data: The Realpolitik Beneath the Hype and Marketing Spin with Max Pell CEO Validis

Data is the new oil ‘innit. Fintechs use it by the bucketload don’t they? Incumbents are slow off the blocks aren’t they? What if a lot of this is simply not true? What if its hype and spin? What is the reality?

We are joined today by Max Pell CEO of Validis a Fintech based in London and Austin Texas who seamlessy connect data in SME end systems to your hot sexy Fintech or solidly engineered incumbent. Clients include Barclays, RBS, most of the Big4 accountants and a number of Fintechs so Max is well placed to talk about what is actually going on.

What if the world isn’t as we have been led to believe? What if the reality is that many Fintechs are focuse don being marketing machines and are not that data rich? Eg and esp in P2P. Well that hooked me as I have long felt/intuited/been winked at that all these quotes complex unqotes credit models are not actually – er – complex.

What if the reality was that in new FS and old FS organisations have actually, away from the PR froth and hype, only started putting their toes in the shallow end let alone actually swimming?

What if (as Louise Beaumont was saying in LFP087) most organisations haven’t grasped the strategic implications of data?

Can we (as Snowden and more senior ex spy-industry have argued) have too much data? Can we then start to lose the wood in the trees?

Topics discussed on the show Include: 

  • cycling from Bangkok to Saigon (!)
  • the recent US 10-part TV series on The Vietnam War
  • Max’s career from drama, through catering, charity, insurance through to Fintech
  • cashflow and business
  • the gap between what one reads about data and the reality
  • all existing business processes are built around having the historically limited small set of data
  • the first question when being served up with far more data is “what can I do with it?” followed by not having the IT or business processes in place to deal with it
  • even Validis’ best customers at this stage can only use around 25-30% of the data that Validis can give them due to the bottleneck of technological and operational processes needed to consume all the data
  • even accountants don’t consume all the data from their clients
  • perhaps only 5-10% of available data is consumed right now; this in turn is a tiny fraction of all existing data
  • one recent client had 4 million transactions in a years’ worth of data
  • packages to consume this volume of data
  • can you have too much data?
  • the importance of value exchange – clients are more likely to share data if they get insights in return
  • data in facilitating better client relationships
  • how much can be automated in FS?
  • expert systems in the 1980s
  • tension between customer journey and richness of data
  • Fintech as a whole is tending to focus on speedy customer journey and hence, so eg in P2P lending they are looking for the minimum number of data points (as opposed to incumbents who want to maximise data in order to get the best decision)
  • automation of core business tasks
  • AI/ML can be inhibited by not having enough data to fuel the packages
  • implications for HR in terms of training of existing staff and recruiting new staff to move up the value chain as more menial work is replaced by more value-added
  • Validis’ aim is 50% market share in their market
  • Validis as data provider
  • FS data journey has only just started…

And much much more 🙂

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