Bisnode and the 4 Wonders of Innovation

“Innovation” is a term that is frequently used to describe fintech businesses, whether it’s an innovative culture, an innovative product, or how they’re creating innovation within the industry. With the fintech space dominated by startups it isn’t surprising that innovation is thriving, after all, it’s much easier for new businesses with a small team, developing culture to build innovation within their business than it is for large financial institutions.

Startup fintechs have the advantage of agility over many of the established businesses in the financial industry. But what does this mean for financial businesses with many employees and a long-established culture? Is innovation just a pipe dream? Peter Nyberg, Group Director of Risk & Credit at Bisnode doesn’t think so.

When it comes to innovation, if anyone is in a position to understand what it takes to transition an established business into a digital-forward, innovative organization, it’s Nyberg. As a leader within Bisnode, he’s seen first-hand both the ingredients needed to adopt innovation within the organization and the steps Bisnode’s clients are taking to create innovative change within their companies.

Bisnode — Creating a cohesive mindset to support change

Bisnode has taken an interesting path to become the company they are today, which is one of the most in-demand data bureaus and analytics firms in Europe. In its early years, Bisnode purchased many small businesses to build the data giant that it is today, and Nyberg is quick to point out that creating a united team within an organization that is the child of 70 different entities is no easy task, but it’s essential for the success of their business.

“You cannot be competitive if you have 37 different ways to do the same thing, if your knowledge is found in 18 silos, or your data is stuck in legacy monoliths,” he said.

For Bisnode to succeed in using digitization to drive the business forward it had to take its existing competitive culture and transition towards a cohesive culture. To do this, they created defined business goals that the team could be united around. So, when the usual objections and debates about how things are done occurred, they helped drive innovation instead of creating problems.

Bisnode has worked hard to adopt a digital mindset and to empower their team to innovate, and while this is an ongoing process, Nyberg can identify one key step that became the foundation for all future changes within Bisnode:

There was a key turning point: setting down for the first time a set of key initiatives that align all the forces within Bisnode, and highlighting how those initiatives take us towards being a different company.

This cohesive understanding of core competencies, business goals, and the next step towards achieving these goals helped Bisnode create an organization that was digital-forward, ready to adapt to change, and innovative. It provided the glue that formed one unit out of 70 companies and allowed them to transition from data bureau to leading data analytics business. A change that not only helps them be more innovative but also helps drive innovation within their client’s businesses.

Identify that it’s broken, admit that it’s broken, and commit to making a change

When Businesses reach out to Bisnode it’s normally because they have a question that they can’t find the answer to. Whether it’s simply a question of using data, about efficiency, cost-reduction, risk decisioning, compliance or even the best way to adapt to a changing market, to find the solution it’s essential for a business to commit to making a change. Creating change in an organization is difficult, creating change in an organization that isn’t committed to evolving is almost impossible!

Nyberg has witnessed many financial institutions try to create change by adapting to a digital mindset, and he’s noticed one key point that determines the likelihood of success: whether the business can maintain focus on their goal.

Read Peter’s advice for guiding a financial services organization to a digital-first business here.