6 FAQs on the impact of data in times of economic uncertainty - Altares

Reading time 4 minutes | Written by Anne de Geus | February 25, 2021

Data science, the basic element of credit scoring, relies on historical information and data to derive relevant insights and predict future events. Typically, the historical time horizons used in credit scoring do not cover all types of macroeconomic situations. They include large macroeconomic shocks that are inherently rare. Many of these past shocks occurred during periods for which very little or no data are available.

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Download the leaflet: Credit Scores and Ratings in times of Economic Stress

1.   Are the Altares Dun & Bradstreet Scorecards and Ratings still current?

Our models can withstand tough economic times. The past has proven that. In the financial crisis, the world economy came to an abrupt halt. Years later, we tested the predicted bankruptcies against reality. Our predictions turned out to be pretty accurate. You can simply rely on our Scorecards and Ratings, even in today's hectic times.

2.   Can historical insights be used to predict the future?

Our data are still correct and provide a reliable basis for forecasting. But today's extraordinary reality sometimes makes forecasting a little more difficult. Therefore, in addition to our Dun & Bradstreet data and scores, use your common sense and look closely at today's reality. Then look a little more critically at those same data and scores.

3.   How can I confidently assess my current customer and supplier portfolio?

The data, ratings and models are as reliable as ever, but today it's harder to interpret that information. For example, how do you view negative equity or a complex family structure? In the past you may not have thought this was insurmountable, but what do you think about it now? It is wise to make more thorough and critical assessments than you are used to.

4.   Within what time frame can I see which companies are really affected?

Only when the economy gets back on its feet, we can look back at what happened. In the aftermath of the financial crisis, for example, it became clear that many parent companies were relatively quick to remove subsidiaries from the family structure. This was not foreseeable. In order to detect and analyze such developments at an early stage, our data team meets weekly. This enables us to anticipate immediately.

5.   Which sectors are now more at risk?

Transport, manufacturing, construction and wholesale are the most risky sectors. Since the beginning of the corona crisis, the number of bankruptcies has been low, even lower than before the corona crisis. This is a result of government support to ensure that normally healthy organizations stay afloat during the crisis. A side effect of these support packages is that financially unhealthy organizations also do not go bankrupt. There have been thousands fewer bankruptcies to date than Altares Dun & Bradstreet previously predicted based on GDP trends. These bankruptcies are expected to unfold in a tsunami when government support falls away.

6.   How can Altares help us mitigate risk?

By identifying the list of business partners at risk, we can help proactively mitigate business risks. Even in these times. Feel free to ask us for an assessment with a "stern eye. We will look extra closely at things like family structure and equity. We may identify risks you haven't seen yet. A nice feeling of security. If you do a lot of business with countries outside Europe, you can view the current risks per country with our Country Insight Report.

Download the leaflet: Credit Scores and Ratings in times of Economic Stress

Altares Dun & Bradstreet: your data partner

Altares Dun & Bradstreet helps organizations create a corporate culture that prioritizes data as a strategic weapon. Our Dun & Bradstreet data cloudis an inexhaustible source of information, with insights that 90% of all fortune 500 companies access daily. Do you need help setting up a master data management strategy? Get in touch with us.

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Anne de Geus

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