Sink or Swim: Top Takeaways from the ‘Ride the Alt. Data Wave or Get Swept Away’ Webinar

The Alt. Data revolution is critical now, more than ever, for decision-makers and stakeholders within lending organizations, financial institutions, and fintechs.

Joining this revolution can provide valuable insights into the power of alternative data throughout the customer credit lifecycle. In the engaging webinar, “Ride the Alt Data Wave or Get Swept Away“, hosted by GDS Link and Equifax, participants had the opportunity to explore critical aspects of the lending process, understand the challenges involved, and recognize the pivotal role of data and risk analytics in making informed lending decisions. 

This insightful session delved into various topics, including the significance of The Work Number in providing employment and income data and exploring other valuable data sources like DataX and Teletracks. Attendees gained a comprehensive understanding of how alternative data can be leveraged to build effective models and improve lending outcomes. 

Moreover, the webinar showcased Equifax’s cutting-edge consumer lending tool, One Score, shedding light on how their data can revolutionize lending practices. The hosts also discussed real-world success stories, demonstrating the significant enhancements in lending decisions and the new possibilities that Equifax’s data, combined with GDS Link’s solutions, can offer to both borrowers and lenders. 

If you want to delve deeper into the alt data revolution, we’ve compiled the top questions asked during the webinar and the expert speakers’ responses. Check them out below:


How do you see the role of alternative data in credit decisioning evolving in the future? 

Speaker: Nathan Petrie, Analytics Account Executive at GDS Link

Alternative data will fundamentally change how lenders make decisions. By utilizing alternative data sources, lenders can differentiate themselves and find new opportunities to say “yes” to more borrowers. Traditional credit scores and risk thresholds can limit competition and result in uniform offers. Including how alternative data layers help lenders uncover hidden pockets of creditworthiness, allowing more consumers access to the credit they need and promoting financial inclusion.

How does the use of alternative data affect the consumer experience? 

Speaker: Jose Cerqueira, VP of Product Management at GDS Link 

The adoption of alternative data sources significantly enhances the borrower’s experience. Through automation and digital journeys, traditionally, manual steps can be streamlined. Alternative data sources, such as device verification or real-time income and employment validation, reduce friction in the digital onboarding process. This enables lenders to onboard customers more quickly, providing a seamless experience. As lenders become more comfortable with digital journeys, including alternative data sources becomes more prevalent, benefiting both lenders and borrowers.


What are the concerns with using alternative data in credit decisioning? How is adverse action handled if a borrower lacks sufficient data for approval?

Speaker: Nathan Petrie, Analytics Account Executive at GDS Link 

When using alternative data, there are two aspects to consider. Firstly, alternative data sources are FCRA approved, meaning they comply with regulations, allowing lenders to generate reason codes directly from the data. However, when using non-FCRA approved sources, lenders must address concerns regarding borrower disputes and adverse action requirements. In such cases, lenders often rely on adverse notifications from traditional credit data sources. Nevertheless, alternative data can help lenders identify lower-risk borrowers who may not meet traditional credit score thresholds, enabling more inclusive lending practices.


What is Equifax’s approach to educating consumers about using alternative data in credit decisioning?

Speaker: Sharla Godbehere, VP Sales – FinTech at Equifax. 

Equifax prioritizes financial inclusion and consumer education. They have launched campaigns to educate consumers on credit-building best practices and the availability of alternative data sources. Equifax’s FCRA-regulated databases, such as The Work Number, DataX and Teletrack, allow consumers to access and dispute their information. Consumers need to understand the value of data and how it can positively or negatively impact their credit. Equifax aims to empower consumers to make informed decisions and manage their credit responsibly.


How do you determine which alternative data sources to use?

Speaker: Jose Cerqueira, VP of Product Management at GDS Link 

Selecting suitable alternative data sources can be daunting, given the numerous providers available. GDS Link focuses on identifying partners and sources that provide value to their customers. They prioritize data sources aligning with their customers’ needs and offer consulting and expertise on well-established partner products like Equifax. GDS Link maintains expertise in their partners’ products while fostering connections with new alternative data providers. They aim to offer their customers a comprehensive range of data sources, ensuring effective model-building and informed lending decisions.


The Power of Alternative Data: Key Insights and Solutions from Industry Experts 

The webinar discussion generated intriguing questions that shed light on various aspects of alternative data’s evolving role in the lending industry. Participants sought insights into topics such as the impact of alternative data on the consumer experience, concerns related to data usage and adverse action, efforts in consumer education, and the selection of appropriate data sources. 

The experts from GDS Link and Equifax provided comprehensive and insightful responses, emphasizing the potential of alternative data to revolutionize lending practices and drive positive outcomes. Their expertise showcased the transformative power of alternative data and custom decisioning solutions. 

To gain a deeper understanding of this transformative power and explore the valuable insights shared during the webinar, we invite you to watch the replay by clicking here. It’s an opportunity to dive into the world of alternative data and its impact on the lending landscape. 

Remember, embracing alternative data is key to unlocking new possibilities, driving innovation, and staying competitive in the evolving lending landscape. Start riding the alt data wave today! 

Request a Demo

From loan originations and decisioning, to customer management and beyond, GDS Link helps thousands of clients manage risk while driving growth.