28 Photo: An example of one of the FINclusion Lab’s interactive dashboards, via MIX. JAMES MILITZER Deciphering the Data Deluge: Making Data More Useful for Financial Inclusion The excitement around Big Data in the financial inclusion space is understandable. Imagine a world where an emerging markets consumer can look at Google Maps and see financial access points throughout their local community, with enough real-time data to choose the financial services that best suit their needs. This scenario isn’t that far-fetched, says Camilla Nestor, CEO of MIX. But this enticing potential is somewhat tempered by the challenges of gathering this data, distilling it into a usable format, and presenting it in a way that makes sense— and by the risks it can imply for low-income customers. That’s why MIX manages FINclusion Lab—a data analytics platform launched in 2014, and now supported by MetLife Foundation and other partners—to help market actors make sense of financial inclusion data through interactive dashboards and maps. The platform integrates national and sub-national data points from numerous sources, facilitating insight generation, business planning and financial inclusion measurement in some of the world’s most challenging markets. We spoke with Nestor about this initiative and the impact it’s having on financial inclusion efforts around the world. Check out our Q&A below. James Militzer: Give us your “elevator pitch” for the FINclusion Lab: What needs does it address for the financial inclusion community that other data sources don’t?