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DATA ANALYTICS: Don’t Take a Leap of Faith – Sensible Strategic Planning for the Advanced Analytics Imperative

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BY STEVEN D. SIMPSON

Does your credit union have a solid plan in place for leveraging advanced data analytics? If not, you’re already behind the curve. Read on for an explanation of why initiatives that encompass strategic mining of member data are a CU priority when it comes to competitively differentiating oneself in 2016.

The topic of advanced analytics has propelled itself to the top of agendas, industry conferences and trade publications this past year. Data initiatives are quickly becoming strategic priorities for many credit unions. It’s no longer a question of “Are you ready to leverage data analytics?” The time to prepare for the advanced analytics imperative is right now. A solid plan will be your best guide.
As automated analytics takes flight, credit union leaders know that using key metrics on member data will become an increasingly important point of competitive differentiation. Credit unions hold massive amounts of data on their members – a goldmine of insights – and mining this data strategically will provide transforming impacts to member services, operations, compliance, revenue generation and much more.
Even with many credit unions being data ready, my observation is that some are not only leery but simply unsure of how to proceed with implementation, how to align big data with their institution’s mission and vision, and who will manage the entire process. With year-end approaching, now is the time to make a plan to be data ready in 2016. It may sound obvious, but too often the missing initial step in deploying any new innovation or technology initiative is developing a strategic plan first. Embarking on an advanced analytics program is a critical component of your credit union’s future. Therefore, it’s necessary to determine your priorities, establish goals and assess your budget, technological capabilities and talent to formulate an effective, clearly defined roadmap that your team can follow and track. Starting this systematic process now compels leadership and management to ask and answer the most critical questions. And it will empower the credit union to pinpoint and plot both the right course and end destination – so you can maximize your data analytics investment payoff right away.

The Big Question:
Where Are You and Where Do You Want To Be?

As you dive into your strategic planning process, take a step back to appraise your readiness for an advanced analytics imperative. Key questions:

Does your credit union currently use a system that enables your team to take prescribed action based on identified data segments that are statistically evaluated to create recurring best practices?

Does your credit union currently have a process in place to identify untapped potential and uncover meaningful insights from related, integrated and cleansed data from many systems and external sources?

Does your credit union have a process to assess internal resources and capabilities and has it begun gathering data into a centralized data storage to develop an advanced analytics platform?

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