FICO offered a feedback on a Big Data discussion at the third annual Asia Pacific Chief Risk Officer Forum, held in Bangkok and hosted by FICO with IDC Financial Insights.  But it might not be the Big Data you’re thinking about.

For example, participants from Australia were discussing “comprehensive reporting,” which is set to start in 2014 when Australia’s credit bureaus begin sharing positive data.  As FICO research has proven many times, in many regions, positive data makes credit bureau scores much more predictive than negative-only data.

Is positive credit bureau data Big Data? Two-way mobile communications with customers can shut down fraud faster, improve results in collections and create much greater customer satisfaction.

Are texts Big Data? Analyzing data from a customer’s deposit / current / DDA account can yield significant insights in identifying needs.   This data — which includes attrition triggers, salary deposit patterns, actual income, repayment percentages, and markers of relationships elsewhere — can help lenders identify customer needs and make more relevant customer offers.

Is deposit data Big Data? The point here is that Big Data often just means whatever data you’re not already using.   Any increase in data has the potential to be valuable, if you can collect enough of it, often enough, analyze it thoroughly and put that analysis to good use.

What most people call Big Data – including social media data — has big potential. But in the rush to figure out how to use it, let’s not lose sight of the tremendous value in data that’s already within our reach.