Paul Ablack, CEO, OnApproach, joined Mike Lawson of CUbroadcast to discuss the state of the credit union industry, and why digital transformation is imperative. Credit unions have tremedous opportunities now with analytics and collaboration, but cannot afford to wait until banks and fintech disruptors get even further ahead in their analytics and member experience initiatives. As Paul states in the video, "If you don't start engaging with your members digitally, and giving them information that's very useful to them and helping them in their daily lives, you're not going to be able to compete, because there's lots of other people trying to think about that right now.... Now's the time to be really accelerating this strategy."
The term “digital transformation” has been a very hot topic recently, creating new conversations and products across a wide range of industries. This chart below, via Google Trends, displays the worldwide popularity of the phrase “Digital Transformation” in web searches since 2004. As shown in the graph, after remaining stagnant for over a decade, the term’s popularity has exploded in just the last year or so, raising questions about what this means, and how it will impact your organization.
An accepted definition for digital transformation is, “the application of digital technologies to fundamentally impact all aspects of business and society”. The important part of this definition is to realize that digital transformation does not mean just building a website, a mobile app, or obtaining a data warehouse. It means using your digital technology to transform your business processes. It means shifting your company culture to take advantage of your digital data to make informed data-driven decision and stay ahead of the ever-changing expectations of your members or customers.
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.
OnApproach CEO, Paul Ablack, and Mike Lawson of CUbroadcast caught up at the NACUSO Network Conference in Orlando to discuss credit union industry trends and the upcoming 2017 AXFI Conference.
The interview covers credit union collaboration, fintech disuption, enterprise data integration, predictive analytics, data pooling, member experience, Identity and other exciting topics relevant to today's financial services industry.
In the fifth Data Analytics Series BIGcast, Sorting Socks: A Data Automation Conversation with Graham Goble, John Best speaks with Graham Goble of BankBI about financial performance management, reporting, and business intelligence.
The Excel Curse
One primary point of discussion during the podcast is about the use of spreadsheets in comparison to data automation. “The Excel Curse” is certainly not unique to credit unions, but it is absolutely a problem across the industry that requires action. Excel is a powerful tool and serves a number of purposes very well, but advanced analytics for financial institutions is not one of them. Even for a spreadsheet guru, there a several fatal flaws in using such a software as a primary reporting tool in credit unions:
As credit unions begin their journey into the future, they must rely on an industry standard analytics platform to guide them to their destinations.
Google Maps has revolutionized how we navigate our lives. It saves us from headaches caused by unnecessary traffic and other challenges in traveling. My journey from work to home has many different routes depending on traffic patterns. During days with slower traffic (i.e. - winter snowstorms), the Google Maps recommended route will change every 5 – 10 minutes. Using an analytics engine that informs me of the best route allows me to spend extra time on more important things in life. Credit unions have a similar opportunity when navigating their institutions into the uncertain future of financial services. Establishing an industry standard analytics platform will enable credit unions to cooperate on analytics and guide them to their desired destinations.
In a Star Tribune article this week, “Medtronic agrees to share data in patient-safety effort”, we learned that “when it comes to patient safety, the leaders of the two companies are now sitting at the same table to discuss how they can share de-identified patient data with each other, as well as outside researchers and entrepreneurs, to predict health problems.”
The need to share data about patients and customers is hitting the mainstream as companies figure out that the pooling of this data is critical to the discovery of new insights that can help them develop better products that improve the lives of their customers. Competitors in many industries are realizing that they need to “get over themselves” and start figuring out ways to share this data for the greater good.
By now, credit unions are aware of the industry’s changing landscape. Credit Unions are facing Fintech influence, industry disruption, and realize it is no longer an option, but a necessity to capture and optimize every piece of obtainable data to remain competitive in financial services. Large banks have been investing heavily in big data and continue to do so. Unfortunately, these banks are directly competing with credit unions, which don’t have the same resources available to effectively invest in big data. Awareness is step one, but one state is taking action to put the power of big data in the hands of credit unions.