Blog » 2016 » February » Our Data Quality Scanner™ Journey

Posted on Feb 24, 2016 12:10pm PST

At the time the Data Quality Scanner™ (DQS) was first contemplated, we had been working with furnisher clients on Consumer Reporting Compliance (e.g., consumer reporting, disputes, and credit report data usage) needs for years. As part of these efforts, we often assisted with Metro 2® file audits for clients. The purpose of this was simple: validate that the Metro 2® files the furnisher was sending to the credit bureau were logical and did not contain discrepancies. This allowed the furnisher to reduce the risk of errors in their files and also provide an ongoing internal benchmark for accuracy and integrity to measure against.

As we continued with these types of projects, the industry evolved—but at a cost. For example, we view the Metro 2® file audit as one of many compliance components required to ensure accurate data-furnishing to the CRAs. It can take nearly two weeks of manual effort to complete this review each time. Additionally, this type of work takes very specialized skill sets and there is a limited number of people in the industry who know Metro 2® well enough to provide credible challenges to the findings. These obstacles all led to an idea—if we automate our Metro 2® audits, this will give us time to help additional clients address their more complicated needs.

Fast forward a year following the completion of our first build of the Data Quality Scanner™. We’d begun to add a scan of our clients’ files in each of our Consumer Reporting Compliance engagements. We could now deliver the same value as in the past, but much quicker and at a lower cost to our clients. This enabled our Metro 2® experts to now focus on helping clients with other strategic initiatives—a critical need given the increased CFPB focus on Consumer Reporting Compliance.

Data Quality Scanner™ Usage Expands

Initially, we had not expected that we would use the Data Quality Scanner™ for anything other than an internal tool to help deliver consulting services. However, clients repeatedly asked how they could continue to use the tool even after the engagement ended. We had not intended to provide the tool separately from our consulting services, but it did make sense. As a risk management-focused consulting firm, our objective is to add value to our clients. Period. If we can add greater value by leaving behind a software tool to help clients complete a Metro 2 file audit independently and with more frequency (e.g. monthly, as part of regression testing), it would be a win-win.

About 12 months later, we installed our first production instance of the Bridgeforce® Data Quality Scanner™ and have improved the tool and will continue to provide future enhancements. We are proud that the tool we initially developed to help our team manage workload can now be shared with all our clients. We are well on our way to our ultimate goal of helping each client become self-sufficient in their own Consumer Reporting Compliance journeys.