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Unlocking the Promise of Big Data to Promote Financial Inclusion

Believing in data’s potential to provide both social and economic benefits, Accion set out to conduct research with the goal to develop a practitioner’s guide, building on the existing literature, to provide financial service providers (FSPs) with actionable insights and first steps on how to better leverage data for financial inclusion.Introducing data-driven innovations is a multi-dimensional challenge for any FSP, requiring the talents and coordination of teams across the organization. This guide to unlocking the promise of big data to promote financial inclusion  sets out to help FSPs begin to address these complex challenges by providing a case for change and outlining the initial strategic and tactical steps an FSP can take to first assess and then enhance its data capability. This guide breaks down the multiple components required for a FSP to strengthen its data capabilities, while referencing the growing number of specific use cases for data-driven innovations in fostering a financially inclusive world.


Our vision is to build a financially inclusive world with access to economic opportunity for all. Our mission is to give people the financial tools they need to improve their lives. Accion has proven time and time again that financial services can be made available; that individual lives and the prosperity of communities can be significantly enhanced; and that this can be done at scale and sustainably. Our work helps people, small businesses, and communities grow and thrive. We challenge and engage the industry, its leaders, and its regulators to achieve a financially inclusive world.

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