Leaders and business intelligence at credit unions are putting a tremendous focus on ways to use advanced data analytics to identify trends, detect patterns and glean other valuable findings from the sea of information available to them. Without question, member data is valuable. But the greatest value lies in the ability to empower each line of business to achieve strategic initiatives and performance goals. When this empowerment is coupled with improving member service, a proven, repeatable best practice results.
There are many challenges to creating a data-driven credit union. One often cited issue is attracting and retaining qualified technical personnel. Hiring a Data Scientist is impossible for all but the very largest credit unions due to cost. Filling the position Data Architect is tough because of the heavy competition for qualified candidates. However, for many credit unions, having full-time employees with these skillsets is probably overkill anyway. There are many qualified vendors and consultants who can provide these services on either a project or retainer basis.
If there is one “truism” that has emerged in the credit union analytics revolution, it is that successful analytics initiatives are usually driven by, or strongly sponsored by, the CEO. Most grassroots efforts to launch such initiatives fail because the amount of organizational change required for success can only be effectively led from the C-suite.
However, it is not enough for a CEO to preside over the launch of analytics. Top managers must also be prepared for a second wave of post-launch complications that threaten to scuttle even the most promising programs.