CUNA Mutual Group created AdvantEdge Analytics LLC to answer a pressing concern: Help credit unions understand data analytics.
Through a survey of more than 700 credit union executives, CUNA Mutual found that although a majority understand that data analytics can be a game-changer, only 26% actually know how to use analytics.
Blesson Abraham, director of analytics at AdvantEdge Analytics, a CUNA Strategic Services alliance provider, views data analytics as a tool to see and understand member behaviors.
“It can parse data in many different ways, providing fresh insights into member behaviors,” he says. “The iPhone revolutionized member behaviors and expectations, so apps became the main way for members to keep in touch.”
Website enhancement was no longer enough, he says. “This was a digital transformation that required credit unions to understand how members think, where they click or don’t click on a screen, what channels they prefer to use, and what products they focus on.
“Properly used,” he adds, “data analytics can answer such questions as which members are leaving, whose CD is nearing maturity, and whose debt is approaching delinquency.”
Before delving into the data, credit unions first have to answer an important question: What are we trying to do with our data?
“Sometimes, credit unions will approach this backwards: They’ll build a data house first and then ask themselves what to do with it,” Abraham says. “Or they’ll buy a tool without knowing how to use it, and then wonder why it doesn’t deliver hoped-for insights. Extensive data is already there; you just have to learn how to segment it and see what it tells you.”
One educational tool is the 70 prebuilt visualizations—charts, graphs, and dashboards—AdvantEdge Analytics can provide clients, each addressing a specific concern.
“Data analytics helped one of our clients see how it could approach members differently to address their reasons for leaving,” Abraham says. “Those insights helped it turn around the situation. The credit union is now $1.5 million more in the black from successful member retention.”