Big data insights found in unexpected places

by: Austin Wentzlaff

It’s often easy to overlook the obvious.  As a team member of OnApproach, a company that integrates all of the disparate data sources within a credit union into a single source of truth, I have failed to recognize the value of ALL the data available to credit unions.  At the 2015 CUNA CFO Council Conference, I attended a session presented by Bill Goedken, President & CEO of Idea5, entitled “Mining Gold – New Trends and Discoveries in ‘Big Data’ That Will Help Your Credit Union Compete.”  During Bill’s session, he discussed the ways credit unions can leverage external data to better serve their members.  While both internal and external data are extremely valuable, the combination of the two is where the real value lies.

The Value of Internal Data

Integration of all internal data sources enables credit unions to gain a complete view of their members.  With all of a member’s data in one spot, a credit union can get to know their member base without ever physically interacting with them.  Analysis of a member’s loan history, credit card transactions, deposit history, direct deposit registration, ect., enables credit unions to look beyond simplistic tools such as FICO scores and make more precise decisions that better serve their members.  For example, many younger members are often deemed not creditworthy using the old standards established by FICO.  However, taking a closer look using data analytics may uncover member behavior that tells a different story, however.  A Millennial may have a poor credit score, but possess behavioral patterns that suggest they are, in fact, credit-worthy. For example, one could consider the following:


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