A state-of-the-art online data portal with aggregated financial services data and selected socioeconomic indicators for the country has been launched by Karandaaz Pakistan.
The portal data covers segments such as demographics, national economic data, agricultural finance, financial access and individual behaviour, banking infrastructure and transactions, micro, agribusiness and SME financing, housing finance, non-bank financial institutions (NBFIs), mobile money and statistics on telecommunications.
Interactive, intuitive, visually enticing and quick to use, the portal is. It also provides the ability to create personalized dashboards of data and has functionality for filtering and layering.
A webinar was recently hosted by Karandaaz to highlight the different features of the data portal and the importance of reliable and easy-to-access financial data for decision-makers. Drawing on publicly accessible information from reliable sources, with the inclusion of new data categories and metrics followed by ongoing backend updates, the scope of information found in the portal can expand over time. You can access this portal at https://karandaaz.com.pk/karandaazportal/
Speaking about the importance of reliable data for policymakers, Dr. Shamshad Akhtar, Chairman of Karandaaz Pakistan, said, “Good quality and open and easy access to statistics and data is critical for the sound policy making and project design of Pakistan.”
As we emerge from the shadows of the pandemic, digital connectivity has emerged as a sustainable option for reducing poverty and rejuvenating the economy, including deepening financial inclusion.
Pre-COVID disparities have been glaring in financial inclusion. In order to realize the vision of the National Financial Inclusion Strategy and achieve the goals of improving financial inclusion through gender and geography, KRN partnered with the government, regulator and all stakeholders.
KRN has funded the growth of the digital financial inclusion core infrastructure, including technology and payment solutions. KRN programs to institutionalize vehicles to fund micro and small enterprises and institute supportive credit enhancement strengthen these efforts. In this context, a timely and accurate statistics and data portal will play a key role in the implementation of futuristic policies and in tracking progress on the ground. Develop strategies that can contribute to sustained financial success for the country.
Policymakers, development partners, businesses, analysts and scholars, and entrepreneurs all need financial sector statistics to recognize trends, learn from milestones, identify gaps, and chart the required course of action to take action that will yield the best dividends for the economy. The best decisions are educated decisions supported by metrics, evidence, and figures, and that is precisely why we at Karandaaz thought that it was important to have a sophisticated data portal where knowledge is accessible for sound decision making.
Sima Kamil, Deputy Governor of the State Bank of Pakistan, said, “As a regulator of any country’s financial sector, the reliance of the central bank on credible data to develop policies that are likely to trigger growth and progress is critical.” While there is a ton of data available out there, a centralized source that is viewed as impartial, reliable, and pro-growth is certainly required. We hope that this Karandaaz-developed data portal can serve as a reliable platform for government agencies, the financial sector, industry associations and development agencies to gather useful insights and evidence on the most relevant planning and policy-making indicators. I look forward to working with Karandaaz to further enrich the platform as a go-to financial inclusion resource.
In Pakistan, Annabel Gerry, Head of Development of the Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office (FCDO) of the United Kingdom, said, “Good, reliable and easy-to-understand information is essential for measuring the impact and formulating evidence-based policies.” I congratulate Karandaaz on setting up such a robust and visually appealing data portal for small and medium-sized enterprises that will fill a big knowledge gap in Pakistan. I hope that a broader range of market participants, including financial institutions, companies, regulators and senior policy makers, will find it useful to better understand Pakistan’s SMEs.
“The importance of data to make informed decision making identify effective public and private actions, set goals and targets, monitor progress, and evaluate impacts cannot be stressed enough. We have endeavored that Karandaaz data portal offers a host of macro, financial and sectoral statistics in a user-friendly interface that can also be customized by the users. We have painstakingly collected the most credible information in order to ensure that users have confidence in the quality and integrity of the data and the information we present is of practical utility. Therefore, in addition to developing a one-stop aggregator tool, in the future, Karandaaz aims to continue adding more information in the portal and add features that allow users to generate more nuanced learnings and insights.”It can not be sufficiently stressed the importance of data to identify effective public and private actions in informed decision-making, set goals and objectives, monitor progress, and evaluate impacts. We have endeavored to provide a host of macro, financial and sectoral statistics in a user-friendly interface that can also be customized by users.
The most up-to-date data storage and visual representation technology has been used by the Karandaaz data portal and allows users to quickly sort through various indicator categories and flexibly import data choices in formats such as excel and .csv. The portal also includes keyword search features and is browser-agnostic to ensure that all users can quickly access, benefit from, and import the information they are searching for for future use in the format of their choosing using visualization tools such as line, bar, and pie charts. For a meaningful review, the platform also provides the option of layering various indicators over each other.
A panel discussion was also held during the webinar to highlight the different features of the Karandaaz data portal and the importance of data-driven decision-making, especially in the context of financial policy planning in a developing economy like Pakistan. Ms. Mehr Shah, Director of Information Management and Communications at Karandaaz, moderated the panel discussion and the panel discussion participants included Ms. Raeda Latif, Head of Marketing and Business Growth at the Pakistan Stock Exchange; Mr. Blaine Stephens, Inclusive Finance Advisor; and Dr. Syed Zahoor Hassan, LUMS Professor and Former VC.