Based on our analysis of each product area, market developments or regulatory influences and open discussion with product providers – including our annual roundtable meetings where we have open dialogue with providers about our proposed rating criteria for the coming year – we select a set of features which we consider as ‘core criteria’. These are areas where we believe 4 and 5 Star rated products should offer a minimum level of benefit.
Products which fail to meet these core criteria levels will not be rated as 4 or 5 Star. We then select a further set of features, which taken with the core criteria are used to compare the products available across the market.
Overall product rankings are calculated using a scoring method called Data Numerical Analysis (DNA). Each product feature and benefit is scored from 1 to 5, with a score of 5 denoting that the product has the highest characteristics in the market for that element; a score of 1 indicates it has the lowest.
We use the overall DNA score to rank products in terms of their overall benefit to consumers. We also identify appropriate levels that determine each of the 5, 4, 3, 2 and 1 Star Ratings within each product area.
As well as calculating Star Ratings, these DNA scorings feed into Defaqto Engage - enabling advisers to undertake both qualitative and quantitative comparisons of product features and benefits across a wide range of financial industry sectors.