In the fourth Data Analytics Series BIGcast, From Questions to Answers: Becoming a Data-Driven Organization, John Best speaks with Brewster Knowlton of The Knowlton Group about data-driven decisions, data warehousing and successful data integrations.
The Six Characteristics of a Data-Driven Organization
According to Brewster, there are six characteristics to determine whether your organization is really data-driven:
- A data-driven organization uses data to make decisions, rather than gut instinct. For example, if you are determining whether or not to open a new branch, data should drive if and where the branch is built. Rather than thinking it’s a good idea, you should know it’s the right decision.
- Be proactive. Rather than just asking what happened last month, ask what will happen next month. A GPS is only helpful if it tells you to turn before you miss the exit. Credit unions should looking forward and making decisions to positively affect the future.
- Replace Excel worksheets with dashboards and visualizations. According to Brewster, the human brain processes visuals 60,000x faster than text. Massive efficiencies are gained from utilizing dashboards rather than analyzing spreadsheets.
- All data should be in a centralized location (such as a data warehouse).
- Data should be used to automate reports and processes to optimize efficiency.
- You should have good data governance where you can ask six different departments a key business question and receive the same answer.
The Future of Data Warehousing
As discussed on the podcast, data warehousing in the future will not just be a static database. Credit unions need to utilize big data and ask “big” questions of their data, but this will not be possible without a data warehouse. Data warehouses will continue to evolve to manage true big data, which incorporates both structured “little” data and big, unstructured, data. There is a lot of valuable data in sources such as social media and call centers, which doesn’t easily fit into columns and rows, but should not be ignored by credit unions. The data warehouses of the future have to take this data into account and maximize data usage.
In addition to the warehouse itself, Brewster explains that credit unions will have to consider the warehouse environment. Traditionally, credit unions have built their own data warehouses, which is very expensive and takes a long time to construct. Alternatively, credit unions today now have the option to take advantage of the collaborative community and join a platform that has already been developed by a number of credit unions, CUSOs, and other industry experts. This significantly reduces the time and cost per credit union and advances the credit union movement as a whole.
To listen to the entire podcast, visit http://www.big-fintech.com/Media/BIGcast/ArticleID/266/From-Questions-to-Answers-Becoming-a-Data-Driven-Organization