Start to leverage and analyze members’ data to unlock significant potential and remain competitive with your financial industry peers, advises Steven Rick, chief economist for CUNA Mutual Group.
“When it comes to effectively using data and analytics, the secret of getting ahead is getting started,” says Rick, who delivered the opening keynote address of CUNA Mutual Group’s Discovery Conference on Tuesday.
Many credit unions don’t prioritize developing a data and analytics strategy, and they’re losing out on valuable insights that can enable more informed decisions, according to Rick.
“Most business decisions are surrounded by a cloud of uncertainty,” Rick says. “Data and analytics are a way to disperse this cloud and increase the probability your business decisions will be successful.”
On the positive side, even credit unions getting a late start on analytics are better positioned than many other organizations, because they’re “awash with data”—including deep records of member transactional and lending behavior.
“The real value of data is how credit unions use the findings to drive better member experiences,” Rick says. “Specifically, credit unions can harness the power of data to define more accurate member segmentation, response rate modeling, and marketing campaigns, to name a few examples.”
Rick points to a 2016 CUNA Mutual Group study of credit union executives that reveals important considerations for success, including:
Begin your data journey by using analytical tools and techniques readily available to mine existing data, and then look to more advanced tools, Rick advises. Keep in mind, even simple Excel spreadsheets or regression models allow credit unions to discover patterns and relationships buried in the data.
“To maximize the data journey, credit unions must have a system in place to measure and monitor their progress, and make updates accordingly,” Rick says. “It’s easy to get distracted by the shiny new tools, techniques, and facts that come with data. Remember to keep your eye on the prize and use insight to drive actions that achieve business goals.”
To learn more, watch Rick’s Discovery Conference keynote address , “Credit Union Data & Analytics: Knowledge IS Power.”