Posted on Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Protect small business. Make rapid decisions. Use high quality data.

Thousands of small businesses seek funding to protect workers and livelihoods. What’s needed now is a single set of standards-based definitions to collect, process, and analyze loan and grants data for borrowers, governments and lenders. Financial data standards can help build an infrastructure to efficiently, rapidly, cost-effectively support governments and businesses. We’ve already built the standards and templates to get started (see below for access). Here’s how.

5 steps to build a system that can execute cost-effectively, efficiently, rapidly: 

  1. Create standards-based data requirements and business rules that can be expanded or revised as conditions (needs) change.
  2. Build secure data collection and validation platforms that can be set up in governments and banks, fast.
  3. Build and deploy loan application templates that can be used by any applicant to deliver data immediately.
  4. Use machine-readable data produced through this system to make decisions, minimize fraud and waste.
  5. Review, revise, and adjust as situations change and quick response is demanded.

How does it work:

Submit – data from loan applications is collected in Excel or web-based forms or from accounting packages. Performance can be monitored going forward.

Convert – the collection tools (all of them) convert data to a consistent, standardized, machine-readable format automatically (through plug-ins).

Check – validation (business) rules check the data on submission to alert creators (and users) to errors so data can be corrected before submission.

Why does it work:

  • Leverages a competitive ecosystem of tools to report, process, and analyze data. That keeps costs low, applications competitive.
  • Lets borrowers, lenders, governments, use tools they already know and use.
  • Makes data unambiguously machine-readable, automatically consumable.
  • Allows “rapid response”, standards and support applications can change with changes in reporting needs, fast, with minimal effort (cost).

How do we know this will work: We’ve already built the data standards and a “starter” Excel template to support this effort. It’s all open source (free). Let us show you how it works.

The Loan Application Taxonomy represents data fields required on the SBA disaster loan assistance application.  Our Excel template works with the Loan Application Taxonomy to generate machine-readable loan applicant data that can be automatically extracted into bank or regulator financial systems. Email for a walk-through and access to the Excel template to create your own machine-readable loan data.

Get more detailed information on how data standards can be used during the COVID-19 crisis: Standards Support Small Business 4_7_2020