Avant Democratizes Data Science with DataRobot

Avant

Personal loans platform Avant completes data science projects faster, delivering predictive models and underwriting processes that are more in tune with how consumers actually behave.

The Situation On its mission to lower the costs and barriers of borrowing, Avant has provided access to personal loans to more than 600,000 customers.

The company prides itself on using data and machine learning to make the smartest loan decisions possible. Although Avant already used internal platforms and tools for their data science functions, Avant wanted to scale its business without sacrificing the quality or sophistication of analytics. Avant needed to find a way to provide analysts and business users access to data science tools that the business teams could leverage.

The Solution

Avant evaluated data science solutions to find the one that would be:

  • Easy to use
  • Statistically sound
  • Supported by a responsive, reliable, smart company
  • Simple to integrate with production systems

“Before DataRobot, it was a constant strain between answering product requests and developing in-house, longer term data science solutions.” –Stefan Hansel Senior Manager of Risk, Avant

Avant has deployed DataRobot’s Cloud platform, powered by Amazon Web Services (AWS), to allow business analysts to perform data science work via its easy-to-use interface, empowering the company to make a larger number of predictions – from likelihood of receiving payments to marketing response to potential fraud – faster. The powerful DataRobot platform allows Avant to quickly build models, do analysis, and evaluate new data sources, saving scarce data scientists’ time. And direct access to DataRobot APIs make it easy to integrate with Avant’s in-house production system.

“What struck us about DataRobot were their rigorous implementation of the algorithms, the user-friendly interface, and the really hands-on customer support.” — Deena Narayanaswamy, Head of Data Insights, Avant

The platform serves three primary functions:

  • Establishing a rigorous, robust benchmark that validates off-the-shelf solutions for a given data set
  • Delivering fast and effective visualizations of new data sets
  • Quickly answering questions from product and strategy teams so data scientists can spend most of their time on valuable long-term development work

“The better the quality of your data, the more value you will get from your process. And from that perspective, DataRobot allows us to understand the data that’s being fed into our models without blindly feeding whatever we get into our system. DataRobot makes my team very effective.”
–Deena Narayanaswamy Head of Data Insights, Avant

Results

By applying machine learning to its business, Avant’s models and underwriting process are much more in tune with how consumers actually behave, making them more accurate than traditional risk or propensity models. With DataRobot, Avant’s data scientists are more focused on doing work that contributes to the business’ bottom line. They more efficiently evaluate the impact of new data sets on existing models, quickly push new or updated models into production and easily visualize the results of those models. They’re no longer diverted by doing exploratory research.

“DataRobot helps me understand how far a model would push our profits higher than a simple set of business rules. That’s actually the number one reason we use DataRobot.” — Stefan Hansel, Senior Manager of Risk, Avant

About Avant

Avant is an online lending platform that is the leading provider of credit alternatives to middle income consumers in the US & UK. Avant offers access to unsecured personal loans ranging from $1,000-$35,000 with funding as soon as the next business day, and has served more than 600,000 customers worldwide. Avant offers its technology solutions to bank and non-bank partners via its “Powered By Avant” product to provide an innovative digital lending experience to their customers.  Avant, founded in late 2012, has raised over $600 million of equity capital and originated over $4 billion of loans through the platform.