Experian launches ‘Experian Safeguard’ to help protect communities during Covid-19 crisis

Experian launches free service for the NHS and emergency services to help them provide essential services to local communities throughout the UK

More than 50 organisations and service providers have started using the new dashboard which will help them to prioritise those most in need during the pandemic

Experian, the global information services company, has developed a new dashboard which will help public organisations plan their response to the Covid-19 pandemic with more accuracy, helping to ensure the people who are most in need in the community can receive the support they require as quickly as possible.

Experian Safeguard is being provided free of charge to local authorities, NHS Trusts, fire services, and major charities.

Experian has taken datasets it holds together with open source data including census data, aggregated it and imported it into the dashboard to provide valuable new perspective in an easily understandable form to those on the frontline of dealing with the Covid crisis.

Experian Safeguard’s key variables

  • Age 71+ – Population that are 71 plus
  • Single Pensioners – Population that are 65 plus and live alone
  • Lone Person – Population of those that live alone
  • Households with Children – Number of households that have children age 0 – 17 years population of lone people that have a child present
  • Poverty – Number of households that have disposable income of less than £250 per month
  • Fuel Poverty – Number of households that spend 10% or more of income on fuel costs
  • Low Internet Speed – Number of households that have internet speeds below 24MB

The interactive mapping tool enables users to:

  • Choose the relevant indicators required for the specific situation
  • View Output Areas and Local Authorities and their index against a selection of predefined indicators
  • Quickly identify Output Areas that may require the most support

The variables will help organisations to plan and prioritise services; correctly allocate funding; deploy specialist & volunteer resources; create communication strategies to engage local communities; and to estimate future demand and requirements for services in certain areas.

West Somerset, Christchurch and North Norfolk were identified as having a high number of pensioners living alone, which could also be considered a potential indicator of vulnerability amid debate over the length of the lockdown and when it will be lifted for older age groups.

Organisations have used the insight to communicate more targeted public health messages and inform households about support services available in their area if they have been affected by the pandemic.

Colin Grieves, Managing Director of Marketing Services at Experian, said: “We are delighted to be able to use our data analysis expertise to help the most vulnerable in our society. The challenges we are facing during this crisis are new and varied, and we hope any help we can provide to those on the frontline by identifying those most in need will make a positive contribution during these unprecedented times.

“We have worked closely with local authorities and other public organisations for many years, but the Covid-19 crisis has called for a new service so we can better understand where people are most likely to need help. We are glad that more than 50 organisations are using Experian Safeguard to plan and prioritise their services and allocating their resources by using the insights from the tool.”

Users of the dashboard can choose from a series of variables which could indicate vulnerability, for example including identifying areas with a higher proportion of pensioners who may be living alone or could be struggling to meet their monthly fuel costs.

Searches can be carried out at a local authority level and are then divided into smaller areas, providing a rich, granular level of insight on which local authorities and other service providers can base their decisions.

Other Experian initiatives around Covid-19

The Experian Safeguard dashboard is the latest in a series of initiatives by Experian to help support consumers and businesses during the Covid-19 pandemic, including signing the C-19 Business Pledge, which pledges to help employees, customers and communities across the UK get through the crisis. More information on the C-19 Pledge can be found here. Additionally, Experian has set up:

  • Emergency payment freezes: This is a mechanism which will mean businesses who have agreed a mortgage payment holiday with their lender should have their credit score protected.
  • Open Banking Affordability Passport: This has been made available for free for three months and gives organisations a more complete picture of someone’s financial circumstances and helps them identify potential changes in circumstances.
  • Free access to credit reports for consumers and business: Experian has provided free access for consumer and business credit reports in the US in order to help preserve creditworthiness.
  • Enhanced business and consumer education: Experian has expanded its consumer financial education programme, #CreditChat, to help consumers understand how the credit reporting system and personal finance will be impacted by Covid-19. The company has also established consumer and business resource websites to help individuals understand credit and important personal finance topics and businesses manage increased attacks and understand regulatory challenges.