The Decision Maker

Lou Grilli

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Do You Know Where Your Report Data Is? Security for Your PCI Reports

Posted by Lou Grilli on Jul 16, 2019 11:56:00 AM

A typical credit union downloads its report bundles, daily from its processors. Usually the only option is to store those highly sensitive PCI report bundles on a network drive, with some level of appropriate user access controls. The reports contain 16 digit card number, transaction-level details, and PII of credit union members. However, the network drive is not in a PCI compliant environment. Does this sound familiar? More importantly, do you know where your processor reports are being stored?

More and more Board of Directors and Auditors are getting involved in this area of security and asking pertinent questions regarding storage of information. Even if you do not believe that a data breach is a possibility (which is a false sense of security) this is still not the proper way to store and secure your reports.

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Topics: Reporting and Analytics, Security

Data Use Cases for Credit Unions: Chapter 2

Posted by Lou Grilli on Jun 6, 2019 10:09:00 AM

Getting Out from Behind The Curve

Chapter 1 of this series considered the importance in establishing a specific goal to solve using data analytics and proving the ROI in order to justify automation and decisioning using business intelligence in a credit union. Chapter 1 also highlighted two real use cases of success credit unions have had using data analytics to solve real-world problems. According to a recent study conducted by Best Innovation Group (BIG) and OnApproach (now Trellance), 45 percent of credit unions don’t currently have a strategy in place, and those that do have a strategy still say it will take three to five years to implement. Credit unions that aren’t making the most of data analytics today could be in even bigger trouble if an economic downturn occurs, as some economists are forecasting. “As we go forward there will be a significant performance difference between those that have invested and those that have not,” says Kirk Kordeleski, senior managing partner at BIG. “We think any downturn in the economy will highlight the advantage that data-oriented FIs will have over their competitors.”

How Much Will It Cost

The survey revealed that more than half of the 85 credit unions surveyed have budgets in place for data analytics. Of those, one-third plan to spend more than $200,000, the other two-thirds plan to spend between $50k to $200k. In addition, credit unions need to consider on-going costs. A rough rule of thumb is that a CU with $500 million in assets should budget between $150,000 and $300,000 per year for three years to cover software/hardware, analytic applications, and strategy. Smaller credit unions can find some savings by relying on a CUSO to provide the analytics and associated services.

The following paragraphs are real use cases that credit unions have shown to prove out their investments.

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Topics: Business Intelligence, Credit Unions, Data

Unlock the Data in your Reports

Posted by Lou Grilli on May 16, 2019 11:07:36 AM

Simple Steps To Make More Informed Decisions And Enhance Member Experience

There is a lot of buzz about big data and data analytics, but all the data in the world does no good unless it is utilized. Credit unions are behind retail and online companies in using data to make informed decisions. For example, if your forms, such as a HELOC application, do not have the fields for name, address, etc. already filled in for your members, that indicates that you are probably not using your data. You should already know this information about your members. Save them the hassle and give them the option of updating if necessary.

There’s so much more data than was available in the past that can be collected and used for purposes that can benefit the member. There are also better tools than previously available to aggregate the data to help decision makers. These two factors are bringing a wave of data analytics to credit unions. More importantly, it’s a matter of survival. Credit unions must take advantage of these opportunities to guide their sales initiatives. For example, the data can help you to decide who to target, like a new member who joined the credit union to access an auto loan, should be offered your credit union-branded credit card to maintain a sticky relationship. Or, who not to target for a specific product, like a member who already has your credit card but accessed a new loan, should not be sent another offer for the same credit card. Rich data helps you to determine who your target is for specific products and services, which helps to enhance your member experience.

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Topics: Reporting and Analytics, Business Intelligence, Data Visualization

Data Use Cases for Credit Unions: Chapter 1

Posted by Lou Grilli on Apr 29, 2019 11:53:00 AM

Data Use Cases is an ongoing series showcasing real use cases of success that credit unions have had using data analytics to solve real world problems. Data analytics was once the sole domain of giant tech companies – Amazon’s suggestions “If you bought that you might like this”; Facebook’s algorithms that determine which of your friend’s posts you most want to see on your timeline; Google’s ability to propagate data about you so that when you search for something like “hotels in San Francisco” you start seeing ads for restaurants in San Francisco on other sites. With the proliferation of data across multiple systems, the increase in computing power at a decreasing price, and tools to extract and harness data, the science of data analytics to create solutions to business problems, also known as business intelligence, is being increasingly used by credit unions to make better decisions. And it’s not just the biggest credit unions introducing business intelligence through data analytics to their staff. Credit unions with under $500 million in assets are realizing that use cases for data analytics drive ROI, better member experiences, and increased product penetration across their member base. Almost ironically, it is the smaller credit unions that absolutely need to embrace the use of data analytics – they are the ones that need to remain competitive or be merged out of existence.

Data Just For Data’s Sake – NOT!

It’s important to keep in mind that no company, regardless of what industry, invests in data analytics just for the technology. The cost of the tools, the hardware (or more commonly, the cost of cloud storage), investment in staff such as business analysts and possibly a data scientist, consulting services to help get started, can represent not just a significant up-front investment, but an on-going cost that must be justified. The justification comes in the form of use cases – individual examples of data-driven decision-making that makes a difference in how members are rewarded, or sold-to, or what products are offered, or just making a member feel more connected to their credit union through targeted, meaningful campaigns. In fact, for a credit union that’s just embarking on the data analytics journey, the best way to start is with the end in mind. Pick a single use case, a single vexing problem to solve, ideally one that has a fairly high payback if solved correctly. There are many articles that talk about the intangible benefits of business intelligence. But credit unions, especially their CFOs, want to see a return on their investment. The following paragraphs are a few real use cases that credit unions have shown to prove out their investments.

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Topics: Business Intelligence, Data Analytics, Data-Driven