The Decision Maker

Alex Beversdorf

Alex Beversdorf was an intern for OnApproach in the summer of 2018. Now he is a writer that covers just about anything that relates to the credit union industry. He is currently a Senior at the University of Minnesota Twin-Cities at the Carlson School of Management double majoring in Finance and Accounting. His interests include photography, drawing, school and various sports (golf, football, and basketball).
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Recent Posts

Collaboration, CUSOs, and Credit Union Opportunities: Partnering for Advanced Analytics

Posted by Alex Beversdorf on Nov 13, 2018 1:30:45 PM

In the 4th and final Data Lake Series BIGcast, Your Data: The Ultimate Toy Box, John Best speaks with Karan Bhalla (CEO) and Suchit Shah (COO) of CU Rise Analytics. In this podcast they discuss how their strategic partnership with OnApproach came to be and how they have been continually shaping the collaborative nature in the credit union industry together.

Collaboration is Key for Credit Union

The banking industry is currently dominated by big commercial banks like JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America, and Wells Fargo (to name a few) with assets exceeding $1.5 trillion. Financial institutions this big, serving millions of customers per year, possess an unparalleled amount of data. Credit unions’ local and more communal feel have given them the reputation of being much smaller and “weaker” than commercial banks. However, there is one thing credit unions possess that differentiates them from their “stronger” counterparts, and that is collaboration. Karan Bhalla explains:

Every credit union that I’ve talked to, talks about collaboration. Every vendor I’ve talked to mentions it, but none of them really do anything about it. What I’ve found is that there is more of a competitive spirit within the vendors than there is collaborative. OnApproach is one of the only places that I’ve interacted with that is truly trying to create a collaborative workspace for credit unions... That is part of the reason why we’ve partnered with them. We want to be really collaborative and we want to bring the power of numbers/scale to credit unions. And that’s what really excites me about this [Caspian] Data Lake.

The relationship between OnApproach and CU Rise has proven to be a great start to the era of collaboration. They are currently laying the very complex road maps to allow for greater and greater collaboration and predictive analytics across the credit union movement.

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Topics: CUSO, Collaboration

In the Thick of Disruptive Innovation: Credit Unions and Collaborating for Analytics

Posted by Alex Beversdorf on Nov 6, 2018 11:06:00 AM

In the 3rd episode of the Data Lake BIGcast series, Disruptive Data, John Best speaks with Allied Solutions’ David Hilger and Michael Bryan, Senior Vice President and Head of Digital Strategy respectively. The discussion features a very interesting conversation with Allied Solutions about the drastic changes taking place in the financial services industry. They also discuss their partnership with OnApproach and how the implementation of a collaborative data lake for credit unions will completely change the landscape of the industry.

Technology-Driven Business

The worlds of business, financial services, and even our daily lives are constantly changing because of increasing technological capabilities. One major discussion point lately has been the introduction of autonomous vehicles. Leading the charge are large car manufacturers like GM, Ford, BMW (to name a few) and the well-known tech giant, Google. How would this change the insurance industry and how could big data and analytics impact this massive change? David Hilger explains:

Some say it’s a threat to the individual insurance market. At some point when everyone has an autonomous car, where does insurance fit into that? When people stop lending for cars then they will have to stop worrying about the insurance for the cars. The goal of our product is to make sure that the financial institution is protected if there is an accident. For autonomous cars, it depends on the ownership model. Predictive analytics could provide us with more insight. What type of cars, people, borrowers are a greater risk to the institution? Our client is the institution and that’s who we are trying to protect but there is a whole lot of other things that play into this. We don’t have the perfect insight, but we have the scale of data that can help achieve this.

Meeting Consumers’ Expectations: Not Easy but Essential

There have been successful and unsuccessful stories with the use of big data in the past decade or so. As discussed in the Disruptive Data podcast, a primary example is the clear difference in data integration capabilities across companies like Amazon, Netflix and Domino's, compared to the once promising Blockbuster. Being able to analyze and better understand where consumers’ tastes lie is very important to the financial viability of an organization and the community. Consumers have come to expect excellent, personalized and consistent customer service behavior from the merging companies like Amazon, Netflix and Domino's. Michael Bryan explains:

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Topics: Collaboration, Strategic Partnerships

A Credit Union Industry Data Lake: Gearing Up for the Future

Posted by Alex Beversdorf on Oct 30, 2018 11:07:00 AM

This week’s BIGcast brings in OnApproach’s CEO, Paul Ablack, to talk with John Best about his vision for the credit union industry. The second episode of the Data Lake BIGcast Series, Data Lake: What It Takes, discusses how the creation of an industry-standard data lake could completely revolutionize the credit union industry. Paul goes into depth on the capabilities of a data lake and how this transformation is not only beneficial for credit unions, but the entire community.

Laying the Groundwork for the Future

OnApproach is a credit union service organization (CUSO) that is focused on collaborative analytics for the credit union industry. OnApproach provides credit unions with a middleware solution for efficiently organizing and maximizing the full potential of that data. Paul goes on to explain:

Data is extremely valuable for all the initiatives underway. The big challenge for credit unions is the integration of that data and putting it to the correct use. Our mission is to bring all that data into one place and make it easily accessible for not just credit unions, but the industry as a whole. We call this the CU App Store, where app developers and vendors can come in and create an app that credit unions can use to perform analysis (i.e. models of attrition, outreach, and predictive analytics).

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Topics: Data Lake, Data Standards, Collaboration

Giving Credit Unions a Sustainable Competitive Advantage with an Industry Data Lake

Posted by Alex Beversdorf on Oct 22, 2018 12:03:00 PM

Tips to Secure Your Data Lake is the first of four episodes for the Data Lake BIGcast Series. John Best, the CEO of Best Innovation Group, brings in Rojin Nair, General Manager of Fintech Solutions at Celero to discuss data lakes and how a collaborative credit union data lake could revolutionize the industry. Celero is a well-established Canadian fintech company that provides a wide variety of services to the banking industry. By managing financial transaction processing and offering leading technology solutions, they successfully maintain over 80 credit union banking systems.

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Topics: Data Lake, Collaboration, Podcast