Big Data Could Mean Big Opportunity: Why We Should Stay Excited for Data Analytics in Smallholder Finance

A new framework to understand the economics of data analytic investments

This Learning Brief, the fifth in the Mastercard Foundation Rural and Agricultural Finance Learning Lab's research series, aims to provide a high-level understanding of how data analytics is used for smallholder farmers, introduce a new framework to understand the economics of data analytic investments, and highlight key innovators in the space.

With a $150 billion smallholder finance gap, the use of data analytics could be the game change we need to serve smallholders profitably and at scale. And while early signs are promising, there is still a lot of work to be done. To bring data analytics to the next level, it will require a concerted effort from all players. Financial service providers and digital service providers will need to work together on a commercial scale to prove the business case and develop blueprints of success. Meanwhile, donors and investors will need to continue funding more and better innovative solutions to increase the possibility of innovation.