Technology Helps CUs Become ‘Practically Perfect in Every Way’

Big data and other tools can turn the ordinary into the extraordinary.

February 4, 2014

Mary Poppins, as portrayed by Julie Andrews in the beloved Disney movie, is a character who boldly proclaims to be “practically perfect in every way.”

Mary is not the typical nanny. She carries her bottomless carpetbag and talking parrot umbrella along with a no-nonsense practicality that keeps her wide-eyed charges well-behaved and engaged in daily activities.

You might speculate that like Mary, you have at your disposal all matter of information, data, and processes that at the outset may appear ordinary. But with practical management and appreciation of these resources you can take your daily activities and interactions from the ordinary to extraordinary.

Technology assists with the organization of data and the dissemination of products and services to members, and allows numerous advantages and opportunities—even a creative outlet—when you harness its power with effective management.

Read on to discover how you might make magic.

Let’s go fly a kite!

Take note of the environment and know what will keep you competitive. “Every Business is a Digital Business,” says an Accenture study. “The next three years will be devoted to quickening… organizations’ pace in the race to go digital. Those who take control and move to become disrupters… will emerge as the true digital world leaders.

“Digital has become… operating DNA,” says this report, which identifies six digital trends not to be ignored.

Among them: “Built to survive failure” is the new mantra in an “always on” environment. Also, “Data ecosystems are complex and littered with data silos, limiting the value that organizations can get out of their own data.”

“Unlocking” data requires companies to allow information to flow not only through the organization itself, but also to partners.

“Stop thinking about being disrupted by digital technology and start using it to become a disrupter,” the report notes. “The opportunity is here; what’s stopping you from taking it?”

Do you know “How Technology Enhances Creativity?” “Technology does not quell creativity… there’s a great deal of evidence that technology enhances creativity,” says this Forbes post. “By expanding possibilities and automating part of the creative process, we can all be more creative and productive.”

Technology allows us to lessen costs as we “search domains, mix and match ideas, and test concepts almost effortlessly. That means we can try out a lot more possibilities and increase the chances of producing something truly outstanding.”

This interesting article will help you consider and appreciate the many ways technology will enhance your creative efforts to effectively serve your audience.

Indeed, managing technology is not only an opportunity, but a responsibility that with effective management can reap rewards. “Technology Will Help Boost Some Banks’ Revenue” says The Wall Street Journal.

To grow revenue, banks need to up their “technological prowess” as they continue to produce vast amounts of data of interest to fraudsters. Complex systems will need to not only protect security, but also adhere to regulations, assist with cross-selling efforts, and hold consumer appeal through improved customer service.

Are you prepared to handle the burdens and opportunities technology presents?

‘A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down’

The implementation of effective data management techniques will help you maintain a pragmatic view reminiscent of Mary Poppins in your technological endeavors.

Big Data Shouldn’t Cause Headaches,” says MarketingProfs. “Business analytics and data-visualization software can help you avoid having to double as an engineer to extract value from data.”

No matter your objectives, “you can’t get very far without agile management of huge streams of complex, ever-changing, and unstructured data.”

To realize the most value in your efforts, keep in mind these three tenets:

1. Appreciate the “data scientist” who provides easy access and insight to data through its collection.

2. Realize that intuition can be misleading and “data-driven businesses have the edge.”

3. Share your findings with colorful, compelling representation of information in a way that tells a story.

Here is how to go about finding big data experts, according to Training.

It is not likely that “one person is going to deliver the wide range of skills and mindsets that are needed” to manage information. Rather, “Corporations need to get more realistic and build big data teams.”

You may already have existing staff that “reside in various pockets of the organization, including marketing, actuary, product development, etc.,” and it is important to identify both business acumen and analytical ability.

You may need to recruit for specific technological skills, the article notes.

Once the team is assembled, make sure team members collaborate and understand the expertise each brings to the group. “The big data movement is an opportunity for [human resources] to play a pivotal role in business transformation. The possibilities for what the organization can achieve are vast.”

‘Well begun is half-done’

Your team is assembled. Do they know “The Five Data Management Practices B2B Marketers Are Overlooking?” 

Keep in mind these considerations for data health and resulting engagement:

Finally, know that how you respond to data is critical. “Nearly three-quarters of U.S. marketers thought customer response management on digital channels was important; however, just one-third said their company was doing a good job at this,” notes eMarketer

Here lies an area for improvement, as “only 6% of survey respondents said customer response management would be one of the most important digital marketing areas in the next three years.”

The good news is that “the banking/finance industry was a shining star among sectors, answering 28% of users—the No. 1 response rate—typically in 10.0 hours.”

Life with Mary Poppins was never ordinary, despite her comment that “Enough is as good as a feast.”

Perhaps Mary’s message is that when we apply proper management, forethought—plus a dash of creativity—to our jobs, we will feast upon opportunity.

You can make data storage and dissemination result in consumer engagement with practically perfect results when you have a talented team who effectively and creatively incorporates technology.







Lora Bray is a research librarian at CUNA.