The Making of Data Science Superheroes at Crest Financial

Become a Data Science Superhero!
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See how Daniel & Ryan of Crest Financial acquired their superpowers.

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Become a Data Science Superhero!

Daniel Hinkson and Ryan Thorpe are the data science department at Crest Financial, an alternative lending firm providing borrowers with “No Credit Needed” financing.

One of the nation’s largest and fastest growing “No Credit Needed” lease-to-own companies, Crest Financial offers technology-driven instant approvals for items like furniture, appliances, tires, and personal medical devices on transactions up to $5,000. Crest is committed to providing more opportunity for customers, more success for retailers, more service to the community, and more growth for employees than any other company in their industry.

Underwriting decisions are based on basic data supplied by the customer, and supplemented with payment histories like rent and utilities. Crest relies on predictive models created by Daniel and Ryan to help present a solid option to consumers with no access to traditional credit or financing.

Data science is mission-critical for the company, and Daniel and Ryan are vital to Crest’s future success. When it comes to underwriting and repayment predictions, the stakes are high – bad lending decisions impact the company’s bottom line. The quality, accuracy and volume of data science results generated by this dynamic duo are critical to Crest’s decision-making process.

The Quandary

Become a Data Science Superhero!

Despite their heroic efforts, Daniel and Ryan were hampered by traditional data science methods, where building and testing machine learning models manually often took months, and deployment delays were common. To keep up with the ever-increasing workload, and to deliver faster, more accurate lending decisions, Crest needed a vastly-improved predictive modeling solution that would be not only accurate, but lightning-quick as well.

Become a Data Science Superhero!

Looking for help, Daniel and Ryan sent out the DataRobot Signal.

Become a Data Science Superhero!

Daniel and Ryan worked with the DataRobot team to evaluate DataRobot’s platform. Crest wanted to see how DataRobot could help them improve risk analysis, better identify marketing targets, and improve and expedite detection of fraudulent applications.

The results from less than an hour of proof-of-concept testing showed DataRobot models delivering better accuracy than the hand-built models developed over many weeks. Crest Financial was all in, quickly becoming a part of DataRobot's data science superhero universe.

DataRobot’s automated machine learning platform captures the knowledge, experience, and best practices of the world’s leading data scientists to deliver unmatched levels of productivity and ease-of-use for machine learning initiatives. With DataRobot’s help, Daniel and Ryan supercharged their efforts, providing more accurate underwriting decisions, and more timely support for their retail partners and the customers they serve.
Become a Data Science Superhero!

With DataRobot, Daniel and Ryan quickly discovered their data science superpowers and transformed into data science superheroes. With their newfound abilities, Daniel and Ryan have the power to develop and deploy predictive models with lightning speed. Now they can:

  • Pinpoint the right type of consumer for Crest in a high-risk and highly-competitive market.
  • Quickly identify instances where applicants are attempting to obtain financing through fraudulent means.
  • Accurately predict the likelihood of default for applicants.
Data Science Superhero vs Mortal
Data Science Superhero vs Mortal
Traits & Capabilities
Traits & Capabilities Data Scientist Mortal Data Scientist Superhero
Enterprise Readiness
Bottom Line Business Impact
Bottom Line Business Impact $100K+ per year $M's+ / Year
Model Engine Tested
Model Engine Tested No 200,000,000+ times
Model Sharing
Model Sharing No Yes
Enterprise Readiness
Enterprise Readiness Manual Automatic
Security
Security Manual Automatic
Standardization
Standardization When there's time Every time
Multitasking
Multitasking Single model Multiple models
Package installation and dependency management
Package installation and dependency management Manual Not needed
Risk of coding errors
Risk of coding errors Substantial None
Model Accessibility
Popularity with business users
Popularity with business users
 Somewhat Very
Business user engagement
Business user engagement
 Too busy Always available


Helped with guardrails
Helped with guardrails None Yes
Skills Needed
Skills Needed Significant - PhD-level
 PhD not required
Model Operationalizing
Model deployment effort
Model deployment effort Significant Effortless
Model Quality
Model iteration
Model iteration
 Manual & slow Automated
Accuracy
Accuracy Time consuming Guaranteed
Helped by other Data Scientists
Helped by other Data Scientists No 85+
Workflow
Workflow Manual Automatic
Tuning
Tuning Manual Automatic
Ensembled models
Ensembled models Manual Automatic
Algorithms and libraries
Algorithms and libraries A comfortable few Many
Feature engineering
Feature engineering
 Manual Automatic

Model Quantity
Number of models / month
Number of models / month
 Very Few
 Thousands
Speed
Speed Sometimes Blisteringly Fast
Model Transparency
Model Transparency
Model Transparency None X-Ray Vision
Explainable Models
Explainable Models
 'Black Box'
 Automatic

Next steps for Crest Financial?

DataRobot will allow Daniel, Ryan, and the Crest management team to continually refine models and enhance customer experience and retention. Since DataRobot provides an easy-to-use platform to iterate and update predictive models, Crest Financial can stay ahead of the competition by rolling out new models faster than ever. And with Crest’s help, credit-challenged consumers will find themselves able to get what they need and when they need it the most.

“What DataRobot was able to accomplish in the first hour was more thorough and accurate than models we had built over the prior month.”

Dave Truzinzki

Dave Truzinzki

Chief Digital Officer

Become a Data Science Superhero!

DataRobot

See how Daniel & Ryan of Crest Financial acquired their superpowers.

Watch Recorded Webinar
DataRobot

Take your first step toward becoming a Data Science Superhero

See DataRobot in Action!
DataRobot

Learn about the DataRobot automated machine learning platform

View Product Sheet