Repeat after me: There is no such thing as too much data. There is no such thing as too much data. There is no such thing as too much data.
Collection agencies today are swimming, some might even be drowning, in data. Data generated by telephony systems, speech analytics, collection software, call recordings, third-party data enrichment services, compliance management systems, and the copy machine’s logs are overwhelming agencies with tons and tons of data. And each of those data points provide insight: little nuggets of perspective, context, or opportunity. The problem is that agency executives usually don’t have a road map into understanding the data, knowing how to piece it all together so the puzzle looks right, or fully understanding how the data relates to each other. Connections are not always obvious, after all.
The key that unlocks the door to understanding how all of these data fit together lies in understanding how the data correlate and being able to tie the different datum points to the bottom line — how much money are you collecting?
It might be interesting to know that when Jim wears his lucky jeans to work, even though it makes everyone uncomfortable, his average phone call time increases by 90 seconds, but if Jim isn't bringing in more money on the days he’s wearing his lucky jeans, what’s the point? Even if he did bring in more money, is it worth the HR issue?
You need to be able to correlate all the data to understand what is a coincidence and what is actually impacting how your collectors are performing. Maybe there is a correlation between how long a phone conversation lasts and whether a collector is successful at obtaining a payment, or maybe it was because the collector’s tone of voice changes on longer calls and that is what is driving the higher payment rates. Knowing how to connect the dots is absolutely key when it comes to understanding what data points are driving your organization.
Effective data analysis is going to be what separates the successful companies from those on the scrap heap during the next decade. The companies that can identify the trends and changes in their offices then make the necessary changes to ensure their operation keeps flowing smoothly will be the ones that grow and thrive - and probably buy the ones who don’t know how to analyze their data properly. Yep, you're right - consolidation is a thing that's happening right now.
Collections has long been considered to be more art than science. Knowing the right time to call someone and saying the right things to convince them to make a payment has been more subjective than objective. But that is changing rapidly. All of the technology available to collection agencies is peeling back the artful cover of the industry to reveal that data and objectivity are what are driving the most successful companies. Get on this train, folks - you don't want to be left at the station.