In a great article on creditunions.com, (Put Big Data To Work For You - 3/25/2013) Jon Jeffreys provides good overview of Big Data concepts and how credit unions can benefit from these ideas.
As Jeffries defines it, “Big Data might be best described as the phenomenon of looking at large amounts of existing data — as well as uncovering new sources of data — and then analyzing that information in order to discover new truths and build more effective strategies.”
Much of the Big Data “buzz” has been about the advantages of analyzing new sources of data, particularly data from outside the organization. Jeffries correctly notes, however, that credit unions can start by making better use of the data they already have.
The first step he recommends is to understand what data the organization possesses today. Second, he points out the need for the Executive Team to think hard about what questions they are trying to answer. This introspective step helps decision makers to focus on creative ways to make use of this data.
At OnApproach, we would suggest a third step is a practical one: bringing all the data together in a way that allows the questions to be asked quickly and easily. What will probably be discovered in step one is that there is lots of data but it is stored in many unrelated “silos”. Step Three connects all these disparate data stores into a logical data model that allows the kind of creative questioning Jeffries advocates.
“Step Three” is OnApproach M360™, a solution more and more credit unions are using to break down data silos to provide a rich reporting and analytics environment that delivers the promise of Big Data.