The Decision Maker

Big Data Is The New Black (Oil)

Posted by Anne Legg (Thrive) on Mar 24, 2016 11:30:00 AM


Over 150 years ago, oil was pulled from the ground and thus began a shift in the way Americans functioned. With the advent of the internal combustion engine (that solely operates on oil), people could travel outside of the range of trains and horses, could consume goods from other places more quickly, could experience new products /services and new labor forces were created, suffice it to say society changed.

As we embark on the information age, big data is the modern version of oil as it is created voraciously, needs special equipment to mine it, and the insights produced are invaluable. It is these insights that help solve problems better and faster for organizations than ever before.

To clarify, the definition of big data is the accumulation of digital actions.  Big data is produced by every medical procedure, spam email, credit application, social media post, and purchase of any kind. All of these actions are encoded as data and warehoused. According to Big Data expert Eric Siegel, this data grows by an estimated 2.5 quintillion bytes per day.

Big data’s true power comes from the insights gained when information stored in silos are connected and provide a 360 degree view to business landscapes.

Many industries are already benefiting from the 360 degree insights.

*Education Industry

Big data have been used to build mass-customized programs in the form of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) allowing for hundreds of thousands of students to take the same class. Big data has also improved the learning experience in real time which produces nearly individualized learning and reduce dropouts. 

*Healthcare Industry

Big data has been used to improve patient care as it can monitor the behavior of nurses and doctors as well as the patients in real time. It can also be used to prevent fraudulent behavior confirming procedures to patients and reducing illegal prescription activities.

*Retail Industry

It has been proven that retailers who implement big data strategy can achieve 60% increase in margins as well as boost employee productivity by one percent.  In addition they can create personalized shopping experiences, produce incredibly accurate demand forecasts. As well as create innovative optimization that can automatically synchronize pricing with inventory levels, demand, and competition.

So what can big data do for the credit union industry?

Credit Unions sit on incredible amounts of data, not only from their core, but also from their credit and debit cards, payments, mobile and social media, and much more.  The insights gathered from bringing all these data sources together can achieve the following:

Improve loan growth

- Improved loan acquisition via product, pricing, target and channel insights.

Improve efficiency

- Increased production and resources management from pipeline insights and staffing effectiveness analysis.

Increase product and service usage

- Improved onboarding and cross selling with insights created from next product prediction analytics.

Increase the members satisfaction, repurchase and evangelizing behavior

- Detailed and immediate understanding of brand reputation, member perception and resolution generated from sentiment data.

The future viability of the credit union industry lies in the business strategies built from big data insights. Those credit unions that unlock their data and use it strategically will not only survive, but thrive.


*Van Rijmenam, Mark (2014-04-02). Think Bigger: Developing a Successful Big Data Strategy for Your Business AMACOM. Kindle Edition

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Topics: Big Data, Credit Unions

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