"There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies and statistics."
Mark Twain often repeated that quote, although he attributed it to British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli.
In any case, it's clear that statistics are problematic and can sometimes represent two entirely different things.
Case in point: OnDeck Capital, the New York-based small business lender.
Since it was launched in 2007, OnDeck has carved out a nice slice of business, claiming to evaluate businesses on performance instead of personal credit. Its website says its first $3 billion in loans helped generate 74,000 jobs and $11 billion in economic impact in the United States.
Its rapid growth shows someone must like it--and that shows up in its Net Promoter Scores (NPS). The NPS "measures the willingness of customers to recommend a company products or services to others."
In a financial services field riddled with horrible NPS--the average of nearly 70 companies is a paltry 34.8--OnDeck scores a solid 73. That ranks it nearly as high as well-regarded USAA and comfortably ahead of industry pillar Vanguard, both of which are known for being consumer friendly.
At the same time, OnDeck clocks in with a -50 on Alignable's new SMB Trust Index, which is designed to provide small- and mid-sized businesses "with a data-driven analysis of small business owner sentiment towards products and services." That's well below much-maligned Verizon at -14 and just ahead of consumer pariah Comcast and its -57.
So, what's the deal with OnDeck? Is it the "Sybil" of lenders?
This inconsistency is perplexing and begs the question: On which side of the OnDeck love/hate relationship do you fall? Do you have stories to tell, both good and bad?
Are you a fan of their quick decision-making process and general willingness to fund small businesses, or is their lending model a high-priced trap that will ultimately hinder your company's chances for success?
The floor is open for debate.