Editor’s Note: This post previously ran on CUInsight.
By all measures, analytics can be a game changer for your credit union, giving you valuable insights into your members’ behaviors and preferences. With the right analytics technology and strategy, you can ensure a superior member experience, minimize the impact of fraudulent activity, and make your sales and marketing initiatives more efficient and effective.
While the power of analytics has been widely touted across the credit union industry, there are several common roadblocks that can prevent you from making the most of your member data.
“There is tremendous hidden potential in your credit union data that analytics technology can help you uncover,” said Ryan Zilker, business manager, product development for CO-OP Financial Services. “However, like many organizations, you may just be scratching the surface of what these tools can do. There are many reasons why it can be difficult to optimize your analytics solution – and many benefits to overcoming those hurdles.”
Make Systems Integration a Priority
According to Zilker, one of the main factors preventing credit unions from optimizing their analytics technology is poor systems integration, which can make it difficult to obtain actionable information. “Having a seamlessly integrated environment for your debit, credit and ATM transactions makes it easier to construct a comprehensive member view and to spot trends in member behavior,” he said. “When these systems are not integrated, identifying all the many ways your members use your products and services can be an arduous manual task. Fraud detection can be more difficult as well.”
Take Advantage of Turnkey Reporting
When it comes to presenting the data, Zilker recommends selecting an analytics solution with reporting options included for key departments such as management, sales, marketing and operations. “Employees are busier than ever today, so the reporting process needs to be as simple as possible,” he said. “Turnkey reports based on industry best practices can make it easy to provide your organization with valuable information that can help employees make more informed business decisions.”
Bring in the Experts
Outside resources can help as well. “Every organization is different,” said Zilker. “Make sure your provider offers consulting and training services. Tapping into the expertise of an experienced industry partner can help you develop a strategy based on proven results while positioning your credit union well for changing consumer trends and technologies.”
Engage Your Colleagues
For the long term, Zilker emphasizes the importance of cultivating company-wide support for analytics initiatives – from the C-suite on down.
“Your employees may not fully understand what data exists in the systems, what that data looks like, or what they can do with it,” he said. “So the key is getting broad-based input on what type of information is important to isolate. It doesn’t take a whole new department to accomplish this, but it does take collaboration across departments to make sure you deliver the right information in a format that makes it easy to understand.”
He continued, “Remember that member information is both a unique asset for your credit union and a strategic advantage you have over competitors. This information teaches you how to talk to members, what to do in your branches, and how to serve members with the right products and services at the right time. Analytics can help you move your business forward in profitable new directions, reduce expenses, minimize fraud, and increase your value proposition to members.” For insights on how to put your data to work to combat fraud and better serve your members, click here.