As planning season is coming to an end, it’s important to ensure your data strategy and roadmap have been refreshed to keep up with both strategic initiatives as well as industry trends. While many credit unions have embraced the need for a data-driven culture, it can be difficult to ensure your data strategy remains relevant and future-focused. Read on for three key areas that should be included on your 2023 data strategy!
The more embedded data becomes in your financial institution, the more crucial a data governance strategy becomes. And there is no shortage of articles, training and education opportunities, and consulting firms that will sell you overly complicated data governance models. But the truth is, your data governance strategy does not have to be overly complicated. And more importantly, it does not have to be perfect. Any data governance strategy is better than none, and a common-sense strategy that will be followed is better than an extremely complex strategy that is too difficult to sustain.
Managing Member Relationships
Many financial institutions cite “getting to know their members better” as a key initiative on their strategic plans. But the exercise of harnessing the vast amount of data into meaningful insights that truly deepen the member relationship often feels too big to tackle. The lack of progress in this area then leads to the initiative carrying over from one year’s strategic plan to the next, with little to no progress.
Consumers increasingly demand a personalized approach to their interactions, especially with their financial institution. Fortunately for credit unions, the data is available to provide these highly personalized interactions. The sheer quantity of data can be overwhelming, leading organizations to think they must have aggregated and fully analyzed every data set in order to get started with their member relationship management efforts.
Luckily, this is far from the truth. Consider the member relationship as a puzzle. Every interaction that can be captured adds another piece to the puzzle, and the relationship becomes clearer. Often with puzzles, the advice is to start with the edge pieces and begin filling in the middle. The same can be true for member relationship management. Start with the data that is easiest to obtain, and begin layering in additional data sets to build out the member relationship.
Another concept that has been gaining buzz in the industry is machine learning. The perception of machine learning is that it is highly technical, futuristic, and unattainable for many credit unions. While the reality is that many credit unions do not have the tools or skills in-house to utilize machine learning. But this does not mean they cannot pursue this technology. Instead, they must do what credit unions do best—collaborate. There are tons of partners who specialize in this area! And just as with data governance and member relationship management, the key is to start small and build upon your initiative rather than waiting to have a perfect plan in place.
The reality is that concepts like data governance, managing member relationships, and machine learning are not going away. And every year they are not a part of your roadmap is another year of missed opportunities. The good news is that getting started with these initiatives is much easier than you think.
Register for our upcoming webinar, 3 Ways to Jumpstart your 2023 Data Strategy, to explore each of these topics in more detail and gain the confidence you need to tackle these areas in your own credit union!