The Decision Maker

Comparing Credit Unions to Craft Beer: What Can Your Organization Learn from a Brewery?

Posted by Mark Portz on Mar 20, 2018 12:14:00 PM

As collaborative community-based institutions, credit unions are very unique organizations. For many that have not been exposed to credit unions, it is difficult to see what makes this community so special, or even how a credit union differs from a bank, for that matter.

Since my time as an undergraduate at the University of Minnesota, I have been highly involved in another industry, or “community” – that of local craft beer. In fact, discovering the parallels between these two unique industries sparked my initial interest in the credit union movement, and is ultimately what has led me to my current role at a collaborative credit union service organization (CUSO).

In very recent years, the nation has witnessed the craft brewing community explode. In fact, according to the Brewers Association, the craft beer industry has been experiencing years of steady 10-15 percent growth, and now boasts over 6,000 U.S. craft breweries, for the first time in history. Despite the parallels between these communities outlined below, we are all aware of the declining number of U.S. credit unions, shrinking from over 7,200 in 2011, to less than 6,000 today. For community-based institutions focused on quality service, why do these trends differ?

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Topics: Collaboration, Data Pool, CU Analytics Ecosystem

CuOS – A Platform for Credit Unions Similar to Apple iOS

Posted by Austin Wentzlaff on Jul 31, 2017 9:02:00 AM

Apple has made a tremendously successful company off of one thing… Is it the iPhone, iPad, iPod, or Mac series? No.  What makes Apple so powerful and successful is not its products, but rather the ecosystem it’s created through its standard operating system, the iOS.  An operating system or “platform” that enables its users to connect with the rest of its users as a community and its developers.  With this common platform, all users are on a level playing field with a similar access to all “apps” and services that have been created on the platform – rather than each user building everything themselves.

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Topics: CU Analytics Ecosystem, Insight Platform, Collaboration, Data Analytics

Leveraging the Data Advantage

Posted by Peter Keers, PMP on Jun 26, 2017 12:03:00 PM

Credit unions are awash in data, but until recently there were few options for leveraging this data for better decision making. That has changed with the emergence of two major innovations. 

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Topics: Data Standards, CU Analytics Ecosystem, Data Analytics

Credit Union Service Organizations and Platform Analytics with Paul Ablack

Posted by Mark Portz on Mar 27, 2017 12:02:00 PM

In the sixth and final Data Analytics Series BIGcast, That’s a Wrap, John Best speaks with Paul Ablack, OnApproach CEO, about key themes and trends we are experiencing in the credit union industry, and how credit unions can get started with data and analytics.

CUSOs for the Industry

Credit Union Service Organizations (CUSOs) are very unique organizations that credit unions can form to solve difficult problems where there is no market solution and it cannot be handled internally. Great recent examples of CUSOs are shared branches, card processing, and ATM networks. These innovations have been significant to the financial services industry, and would not have been possible without the collaboration enabled by credit union service organizations. Today, analytics is a major, but necessary obstacle for credit unions, and the vast majority of credit unions are not large enough to tackle the challenges of data optimization alone.

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Topics: CU Analytics Ecosystem, Podcast