At the October 2015 Credit Union Big Data/Analytics Conference (now Analytics and Financial Innovation Conference) in Minneapolis, John Best, CEO of Best Innovation Group and a well-known technology innovator in the credit union industry, presented a compelling vision about the disruptive threat facing banks and credit unions right now:
As economic changes and regulatory winds continue to blow faster every year, credit unions should prepare for the future by effectively collecting and storing their data.
Here is an all too common scenario in today’s credit union: It’s month end and the IT department is scrambling to meet the demand from business units for scheduled reports and ad hoc information requests. All long-term project work is put on hold as the staff works overtime providing information to support the organization’s critical strategic and tactical decision making.
What is the solution to ending this madness? Why not give these very same business users the capability to create their own reports and mine the corporate databases for innovative insights. In other words, provide “self-service” information capabilities to the people who are in the best position to leverage information to achieve strategic goals.
“[CUSOs] provide a means to an end – allowing credit unions the capability to fulfill the financial needs of their members in a cost effective environment through efficient delivery channels. Plus, they attract the brightest and most innovative minds to the board table, bringing best practices of credit unions across the country, which is a priceless experience.” – Doug Petersen President/CEO of Workers’ Credit Union.
Most credit union leaders are familiar with the concept of Big Data and business intelligence, but many fail to fully understand the significance they have on their credit union and its future. Big Data & Analytics can provide credit unions with the ability to make better decisions that positively affect member relationships and ultimately their top and bottom lines. There are several obstacles in the Big Data & Analytics process that need to be overcome in order to achieve success. These obstacles typically take an extensive amount of time to conquer, especially the first time they’re encountered. Credit union leaders should consider the following challenges before implementing a Big Data & Analytics solution:
The credit union industry is on the cusp of significant challenges with the potential to disrupt the financial services landscape as we know it. Big Data and Analytics is driving a new breed of competitor into what has been a very traditional marketplace. The industry will need to envision and build out the “Next Big Idea” for credit unions to stay competitive and successfully navigate the next 10 years.
Big Data and Analytics lessons for credit unions can come from some unlikely sources. Consider the contest between U.S. and European weather-prediction models. The European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) is widely acknowledged to be superior to the U.S. Global Forecast System (GFS). While the GFS has been improved since 2012 when it predicted Hurricane Sandy would not make landfall, the European model is still considered to be the better weather forecasting tool.