Analytics tools: Cultivating the “data wilderness”

The credit union industry is living in a wilderness of untamed data.  Cultivating this “data wilderness” will require a vast array of analytics tools.

by: Nate Wentzlaff

Credit unions are in the middle of an information revolution.  As data becomes cheaper and easier to store, it is growing exponentially.  This phenomenon is known as Big Data, and it is creating a thick wilderness for credit unions to clear.  However, with the right mix of analytics tools and strategy this data growth can be leveraged.  By transforming the wilderness into a field, credit unions can plant an abundance of new products and services.  Similar to a farmer tilling his land, credit unions have the opportunity to leverage analytics tools to cultivate their data for a financial harvest.

Designing and Planning the “Data Field”

Planning how you will build your “data field” is the first step of any analytics program.  Before deciding what data to begin collecting and transforming into useful information, credit unions must design their field according to how they plan to utilize their data.  With an organizational strategy communicated by upper management, the blueprint for the “data field” can be designed.

Data as a Raw Material

Data is the raw material of the credit union industry.  Therefore, credit unions must treat data the same way a farmer would treat his soil.  Farmers must purify their soil and test its quality before allowing seeds to be planted.  In a similar fashion, credit unions must treat data as a raw material that must be cleaned and refined before allowing it to enter their analytics tools.

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