TransUnion Gift to Fund Groundbreaking Data Privacy Research
New collaboration between McCombs and national credit reporting agency will focus on financial data privacy and transparency.
In a new collaboration of industry and academia designed to push the frontiers of financial data science, TransUnion has initiated a multi-year gift and embedded partnership with The University of Texas at Austin McCombs School of Business.
The global information and insights company, best known for its credit monitoring and reporting service, will enter a three-year partnership with the McCombs Center for Analytics and Transformative Technologies, with a goal to advance research-and-development, talent recruitment, and deep collaboration with others who are shaping this dynamic industry.
The center’s researchers will help TransUnion explore transparency and consumer privacy in the context of AI systems, according to Venkat Achanta, TransUnion executive vice president and chief data and analytics officer. Achanta will serve as executive-in-residence at the center, officing at the McCombs School and interacting daily with researchers and students.
“Through this partnership, we’re organizing and revolutionizing the next step in data science and analytics,” Achanta said. “TransUnion has a passion for future-proof privacy and for financial inclusion, and McCombs offers the skill set to change the landscape around these areas.”
Michael Sury, McCombs finance faculty member and director of the Center for Analytics and Transformative Technologies, cited multiple areas of synergy: “We anticipate collaborative research projects with TransUnion across the McCombs School, including in our departments of information, risk, operations management, finance, and marketing. We’re also excited about what the partnership means for student mentorship, including the chance for teams of graduate students to put their data science and machine learning talents toward solving applied business problems.”
The center also offers cross-disciplinary collaboration with UT’s departments of engineering and computer science, along with opportunities to team with other blue-chip companies at the center investing in AI, analytics, and data science research.
“At TransUnion, we believe that information can help people around the world access the opportunities that lead to a higher quality of life,” Achanta said. “The research we’re fostering here ties directly to how we can safeguard privacy while enhancing consumers’ access to opportunity.”
“We’re thrilled to join one of the world’s largest analytics and credit reporting agencies in their effort to improve their consumers’ experience and forge new paths in this vitally important field,” said McCombs Dean Lillian Mills. “This seamless fusion of academic and industry interests is the genesis for groundbreaking work.”