The Decision Maker

Data Insights – Back to the Basics

Posted by Merrill Albert on Oct 8, 2019 12:51:00 PM

Many people are talking about data insights, or data analytics, without exactly knowing what they mean. They’ve heard that the company will benefit but don’t know how to get there. They might try to “throw money at it” and hire talented Data Scientists hoping they will magically get results, but that’s not the way it works.

Getting the right results all starts with what you do with your data. You collect data on your members based on their business activities. Now you must apply mathematical techniques to this data to obtain analytics. You then apply business knowledge to your analytics to gain insights. These insights will ideally provide you with information about your business that will allow you to act. For example, it might be an insight around payment trends that can help you work with members before there are problems, or it might be an insight into something new happening in the industry that you have to react to.

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Topics: Reporting and Analytics, Data Visualization

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

Why Using Data to Understand Membership Trends is Important

Posted by Stephanie Hainje on Jun 20, 2019 1:28:10 PM

Many credit unions are struggling to retain members and capture the wave of increased credit union membership the industry is experiencing despite paying out a record level of membership dividends, helping members affected by the government shut down earlier this year, maintaining lower rates and fees, and providing stellar member experience.

5M new members joined credit unions Y/Y September 2017 to September 2018, but why aren’t consumers flocking to more credit unions in larger numbers? There are nearly 5,000 credit unions with assets of $500M or less, and some think these are the most vulnerable credit unions who may not survive to serve their membership.  Year over year, credit unions with less than $50M in assets (58% of all U.S. credit unions) have reported negative membership growth, while the top 552 credit unions with assets above $500M have experienced strong membership growth.

If your credit union membership isn’t growing, dig in and determine why. How many new memberships were opened in 2018 versus the number of closed memberships?  There is a lot you can do with your membership trends from data you already have. You can:

  1. Identify your most profitable members and apply strategies to shift low profitable members to highly profitable.
  2. Examine the behavior of long term members. What are your member acquisition products? What other products and services have been added throughout their membership? How many products and services do long term members have with your credit union? Are members using the digital products you offer?
  3. Analyze member attrition over the last 3-5 years and create predictive models to decrease member attrition. What segment of membership has the highest attrition? Do they have similar products? What products do long term members have that short-term members do not? What is the average length of membership and what do you want it to be? Does a change in address to a zip-code more than 25 miles from your credit union trigger a closed membership?

Additionally, credit unions need an internal membership champion who is continuously focused on membership numbers.  Do your employees know how many members you have?  Do they know what your membership growth goals are?  You have one, right?  Have employees been trained on how to retain a member and informed of the conversations to have at account opening, and throughout a membership life-cycle to continue developing member relationships?

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Topics: Reporting and Analytics, Membership, Data-Driven

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

Reports of Reporting’s Death are Greatly Exaggerated

Posted by Peter Keers, PMP on May 2, 2017 11:01:00 AM


In the world of credit union data and analytics, there are hot topics galore:

These subjects fall under the trendy term, Data Science. Yet, when it comes down to the practicalities of everyday business at a credit union, plain old reporting still provides the most information used for decision making. An O’Reilly/TIBCO Jaspersoft e-book released in March 2017 quotes a recent InformationWeek survey that found 88% of organizations are using reports while only 34% use data science.

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Topics: Reporting and Analytics, Data Visualization, Digital

The old way is Dead: Reporting & Analytics for Credit Unions

Posted by Austin Wentzlaff on Nov 2, 2015 12:00:00 PM

If you are the one responsible for report writing at your credit union or have ever requested a report, your pain is not unheard.  The old way of reporting is broken, and it has been for years. Business intelligence failed to deliver on its promise.  IT departments are overloaded and users are frustrated.  Becoming an analytic driven organization is often unobtainable because the majority of the time is spent gathering and organizing the data.

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Topics: Reporting and Analytics, Big Data, Semantic Layer, Data Analytics

Eye on the Prize: Getting to Self-Service Analytics

Posted by Peter Keers, PMP on Oct 14, 2015 10:55:18 AM

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. 

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Topics: Reporting and Analytics, Big Data, Credit Unions

How Credit Unions Can Leverage Big Data [Video]

Posted by Austin Wentzlaff on Feb 5, 2015 11:30:00 AM

 


 OnApproach's Founder and CEO Paul Ablack discusses today's evolution of Big Data and how credit unions can benefit from this increasingly refined information to provide more specific products and services for enhanced value.

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Topics: Reporting and Analytics, Business Intelligence, Big Data, Credit Unions, Data Integration, Marketing, Data Pool, Video, Analytic Data Model, Data Analytics, Collaboration, Podcast, Digital, Lending

The “Yin and Yang” of Credit Union Reporting/Analytics Software: 3 Factors to Consider

Posted by Paul Ablack on Jan 8, 2015 12:34:07 PM

As a veteran of the Business Intelligence (BI) industry, which is now being eclipsed by Big Data and Analytics, I have witnessed many organizations looking for the “perfect BI software”.

For at least a decade now, BI software companies have been striving for leadership in the coveted Gartner Magic Quadrant for Business Intelligence. The Magic Quadrant evaluates BI software vendors on two dimensions: (1) Completeness of Vision and (2) Ability To Execute. While these two dimensions do provide very good insight into the capabilities of each vendor’s product offering, they don’t tell the whole story.

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Topics: Reporting and Analytics, Big Data, Data Integration, Analytic Data Model

Big Data/Analytics Solutions: The Missing Link

Posted by Austin Wentzlaff on Dec 17, 2014 12:00:00 PM

When starting your Big Data/Analytics journey, there are many project characteristics to consider.  The first, before considering analytics, is how to integrate all of the data into a “single source of truth.”  That is, how to design a data warehouse that will fulfill your needs and integrate all the necessary disparate data sources at your credit union.  

A true enterprise data warehouse requires a significant amount of planning and a robust architecture to meet the needs of the end users. The architecture seen most fit for the complex nature of credit union data sources is the star schema developed by Ralph Kimball.  While this might be one of the best solutions for credit unions, architecturally speaking, it presents a few challenges that hinder the desired end result, reporting and analytics.

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Topics: Reporting and Analytics, Data Integration, Analytic Data Model, Data Analytics