Matt Maguire joined CO-OP in September as Chief Data Officer. Below he shares thoughts on his role within the firm, and the role of data within the larger credit union movement.
Chief Data Officer is a fairly new C-suite role in corporate America. What do you see as the main contribution of these leaders to their organizations and the clients they serve?
More organizations are rightly identifying data as an asset. As such, they have created a position dedicated to its stewardship. The emergence of the Chief Data Officer is recognition that data is a strategic and competitive advantage that needs to be protected, controlled and governed.
An effective chief data officer drives information and analytics strategy that serves a business purpose. He or she has chief responsibility for enterprise-wide information strategy, policy, protection, privacy, data quality and life cycle management.
Which of your past experiences do you think will most inform how you advise CO-OP colleagues and clients to leverage data going forward?
As a six-sigma greenbelt, improving, transforming and creating different ways of doing things is both a strength and a passion of mine. Having the right mindset is critical. Combine that with the support and empowerment of the CO-OP leadership team, and I’m confident we’ll bring new value to the organization and its credit union clients.
This is the type of environment in which most data strategists thrive. It reminds me of my time at Domino’s corporate, which has become something of a pioneer in digital transformation. My contribution there was the transformation and building of a consolidated technology environment that was flexible and aligned with the organization’s strategic objectives.
Oddly enough, my experience at Domino’s pizza has prepared me well for the credit union movement. Already I see a lot of similarities between the two environments. The majority of Domino’s stores are owned and operated by independent franchisees. They look to that corporate entity to lead innovation and establish an enterprise-wide competitive advantage for the entire network. In many ways, CO-OP is this leader for credit unions, empowering its clients with the tools, data, strategy and insights to compete in a rapidly-transforming digital environment.
The enablement of seamless and secure banking experiences is a key strategy CO-OP digital transformation journey. What role do you believe data plays in the execution of this strategy?
Data is the foundation on which CO-OP is built. Such a critical asset must be managed in a way that matches our business vision and products.
Delivering safe, secure and easy-to-use platforms is our objective. Data plays a huge role in the development and maintenance of these platforms. Getting it right allows both the employees of our clients and the consumers who have chosen them to focus on what’s important to them.
The great thing about data is its you’ll never run out. As real-time data flows into the CO-OP ecosystem from platforms like ATM, credit, debit, digital wallets and shared branch, we can leverage it to further improve client and members experiences. Our expectation is CO-OP’s data strategy will facilitate, complement and make the financial lives of credit union members more productive, easier to navigate and fun.
What are the most untapped, yet most attainable, data and analytics opportunities in the credit union space today?
Large amounts of data capable of supporting core business functions are within arm’s reach of most credit unions. What’s more, much of this information is already secure, contained in safe, and controlled environments.
Where the movement currently faces challenges is in bringing all of this information together dynamically for insights. The ultimate goal of any data strategy is to uncover the relevant, actionable information that can help create sought-after products and services in the market.
As data technology progresses, it will become democratized, or in other words, more accessible. Robotics and artificial intelligence are good examples of the progression credit union platforms will soon be able to incorporate to better develop and evolve financial services.
There are a lot of ideas and technology in the marketplace, the winners will be the ones that can focus, execute and deliver.
What drew you to CO-OP?
The executive management team communicated a clear vision, strategy and growth plan. They also shared their high expectations, which is a motivator for me. It’s an exciting time for CO-OP employees, clients, business partners, and the credit union members in our ecosystem.
The passion and empowerment within the organization is energizing, has purpose and is fun to be part of.
Because credit unions are member-focused, there has to be transparency in both the use and protection of data. How can CO-OP achieve a good balance between delivering predictive, hyper-personalized (and fun!) experiences with protecting member privacy and security?
Members expect protection and privacy of their data. They are trusting the credit union, which is trusting CO-OP, to use their information with caution, integrity and for their benefit.
The key is delivering real value. Let’s say, for instance, a member likes using the CO-OP ATM and Shared Branch Locator app to find nearby ATMs when they travel. What if, based on usage patterns, we could also populate that app with the member’s favorite places based on where they had made recent purchases. Add Starbucks, Domino’s or Target locations, and suddenly the value of the platform expands, potentially becoming the ‘go to,’ trusted app of choice any time they are in a new city.
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