Beyond a single source: Digging into data

In today’s financial landscape, data is a must-have for success – and relying on a single data source is no longer enough. As cardholder interactions continue to evolve, diversified data strategies empower credit unions to bring together the right information for the right scenario and customize an ideal omnichannel member experience.

Beyond transactional data

Historically, credit unions have focused on data from cardholders’ transactions, disputes and related activities. However, the changing nature of financial interactions across products and channels demands more than a single data source. While traditional data collection methods like member customer information files (MCIF) and core banking systems lay the foundation, they become unreliable without consistent evolution.

In fact, inadequate member data can result in missed opportunities. The reliability of insights derived from member behaviors and preferences depends on the quality of data, and low-quality data makes it challenging to trust the accuracy of decisions. Additionally, errors in datasets could lead a credit union to send out marketing materials that don’t resonate with the recipients, resulting in negative experiences. The breadth, depth and quality of a credit union’s data are crucial, not only for identifying members, but also for gaining deeper insights that inform strategy, meet member needs and foster loyalty.

Next-generation data solutions

Many credit unions, often in collaboration with fintech strategic partners like PSCU, are venturing into innovative datasets that go beyond transactional data. Utilizing enhanced data can enable deeper and more individualized member insights, as well as provide the standard identity information such as best-known demographic, contact and personally identifiable information (PII).

By investing in additional identity solutions, credit unions can expand their traditional data sources with next-generation alternative data, including the following:

  • Life Stage Data: By providing credit unions with a more holistic understanding of their individual members’ lives, life stage data uncovers granular information on education, income, household details and more. Life stage data solutions drive consumer-level insights by leveraging more than 300 data points per individual — ranging from property records to professional licenses. For example, a credit union can leverage a life stage data solution to pinpoint a member with a plumbing certification and offer a small business loan or card. Life stage data solutions usually include improved asset profile analysis that helps credit unions detect a pattern among members in making specific purchases, such as buying a personal watercraft within six months of purchasing an SUV. Another advantage of a typical life stage data solution is identifying additional family members residing in the same household who could be potential new members.
  • Geospatial Data: Life stage data becomes even more powerful when layered with geolocation data, which includes where members live and transact. A comprehensive geographical view contributes to better decision-making and model-building. Geospatial analysis can provide a stronger understanding of a credit union’s cardholder footprint, including residential ZIP codes and the proximity of members to branches and ATMs, as well as identifying transaction and cardholder clusters.

Data-driven decision-making

The true power of bringing together all of this data is its ability to drive proactive decision-making. Rather than reacting to members’ financial activities, credit unions are empowered to use this information to make smart decisions at the institutional level and adapt their services and solutions to proactively address key goals and pain points. In addition, credit unions can use enhanced, correlated data to propel marketing campaigns with targeted offers and services to specific members.

Predictive analytics, fueled by next-generation data innovations, also enable credit unions to effectively segment members for a more personalized experience. By enriching and diversifying their data, credit unions benefit from expanded predictive models by improving targeting accuracy, reducing acquisition costs and driving member retention and growth.

And while integrating additional datasets may seem daunting, working with a trusted partner can help make the process seamless. PSCU’s solutions, for example, bring functionality to next-generation data by analyzing datasets in a consolidated data warehouse and provide a robust management and analytics platform with predictive modeling and reporting capabilities.

Embracing diversified data

In an era when leveraging data to create personalized, connected experiences reigns supreme, credit unions embracing diverse datasets position themselves for success. By investing in additional innovations to go beyond a single source of transactional data, credit unions can unlock valuable insights into their members’ lives, behaviors and needs – driving decisions that contribute to exceptional member experiences and long-term growth.


Contact the author: PSCU

Contact the author: PSCU

Cindy McGinness

Cindy McGinness

Cindy McGinness directs PSCU's initiatives to empower the company's owner credit unions with insights and data analytics solutions. Cindy leads an experienced team dedicated to delivering new data and analytics ... Web: Details