Other data points to consider and why the woods may not always be filled with your trees

I have been constantly intrigued by the concept of exploring data resources that credit unions can act on. Part of this intrigue has led me to research how other industry professionals are using data and more importantly how are they analyzing the data for action. One of the documents that I recently read was “Almost 99 Credit Union Small Data Hacks Guide” (https://cu-2.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/CU2-Ebook-99-Small-Data-Nov-2017-5.pdf). The title in and of itself was especially intriguing because if the data hacks are small, it will be easy for all credit unions to participate with very little expense associated with the effort. The goal with the guide is to promote opportunities within your own data today and how it can be used to promote awareness and opportunity to your membership.


Some of the ideas are just no-brainers that I have never even thought of. For example, the concept of a minimum balance fee is meant to assess a fee to members who do not meet the requirements of the product. Although, it may be profitable to assess a fee to members, it may not be the wisest action. So, how about a monthly review that identifies all members that have had consecutive minimum balance fees assessed, and then reaching out to members to let them know of a product offering that better fits their lifestyle. Total no brainer. This concept utilizes data and provides an opportunity for credit unions to extend good will to their members and owners. What other fees do we assess to our members that could be reviewed for an educational opportunity? You could develop a routine for almost any fee on your fee schedule. Talking and communicating with members that have either been assessed their first fee or members that have consistently been assessed a fee is an opportunity for us all.


There was another idea that got me really excited. The idea of using data outside of your core production data to market to your members. For example, if a member request a change of address what do you do today? Do you simply just have the member fill out a change of address request or ask them to submit the request online? This could be an opportunity to use data from other places in an effort to combine that information with your member information. So, you may take the change of address information (or any new address within your database for that matter…) and then perform some research on any one of the real estate websites that exist, in order to determine what type of opportunity you could provide to the member. If the member was increasing their home size, it may mean that they are in a position to upgrade the products and services that they have with the credit union (platinum checking, platinum money market, etc.). A very simple approach that uses core production data combined with outside data sources.


Now these outside data sources may also be eventually opportunities for utilizing custom fields as well as an external data warehouse. And both of these solutions are available or soon to be available to you.


What outside data sources have you referenced or have a desire to reference for your future data analysis? Do you have a database administrator who monitors for new data opportunities?

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Yesterday’s Data? What would I do with that?

Recently, a new data warehouse was put into the hands of our Data Boot Camp participants. This new data warehouse is an exact copy of all production data as of end-of-day from the previous day. By creating a new data warehouse we are capable of not only allowing database administrators to have a new set of data to work with, but we are also increasing the amount of time that our operations team has to produce data exchanges.


What I am mostly interested in is studying how a copy of production data from yesterday can become the next greatest library for database administrators to begin dreaming up new routines to calculate insight and to promote credit union products and services. A very simple approach to study may be to look at the members balance today compared to last night and to communicate with the member. If I knew today that the members balance last night was $5,000 greater than it is today, would I have a message for this member? Or vice versa, if the members balance is $5,000 below their balance from last night, would there be a specific message for this member? This is a great new landscape for all of us to study and to understand how we can push each other to move.


In speaking with other industry experts who have created external data warehouses, one of the main goals has always been to create marketing automation routines. And in my opinion the SnapShot library is the perfect solution for this. Given that the data is produced every single day, it gives me the ability to quickly react (think punch – counter punch…). So, you may have a desire to look at all members who did something yesterday that requires an action. And that action should be a message that is conducive to the products and services you offer. Should I be communicating with members who received an ACH deposit yesterday that was greater than X dollars? And should I automate this database of members to be refreshed every single day for my marketing/outreach team to send a message?


Do you have a plan for how you will use a copy of yesterday’s data?


Did I really go into the weeds?

Recently I stood in front of 70+ credit union CEOs to present tools that may help them and their team analyze data in new ways. We took a look at new tools for credit union board members and credit union executives to review data points about their credit unions in comparison to other data points from any device that has a connection to the internet. We took a look at how credit union executives can use the concept of dashboard style tools within CU*BASE to review where members are spending their money and how much their staff has refunded in fees to their members.

Speaking to a group of CEOs is different than speaking to a group of credit union employees. Interacting with credit union employees is where I have spent the majority of my career at CU*Answers. Whether it be from a client support role or from a project development role, it has most of the time been an interaction with a credit union employee. Therefore, there has always been a mindset of education. I am always thinking of how I can educate and enable the employee to be able to use the tools in the future. CEOs are more interested in the cliff notes. What is the summarized perspective of what my employees can do? And this is an art form. An art form that I must perfect.

How do you speak with CEOs?