IQR to Credit Unions: Business Intelligence Will Give You the Competitive Edge

LAS VEGAS, NV (May 31, 2013) In a session titled “Card Analytics: Beating Banks at their Own Game,” Karan Bhalla yesterday told MAC Conference attendees that data is the answer to their competitive conundrums.

“Competing with large financial institutions twice, even ten times, your size is absolutely possible,” said Bhalla, a director for data analytics firm IQR Consulting. “Today’s consumer wants a personal, relevant experience, which many credit unions are already experts at providing. The challenge today is that knowing your customer is much harder than in years past. But with data analytics and business intelligence, you become keenly aware of how, when and where your members and prospects transact. You learn their behavior so you can deliver the best possible experiences through the most convenient, enjoyable channels. That’s how you earn business away from even the largest competitors.”

Bhalla, whose firm works with financial institutions, casinos and airlines, shared case studies from outside the financial industry to illustrate the universal business power of data analytics. These included examples from Harrah’s, Amazon and Major League Baseball.

The presentation explored four distinct benefits of data analytics, which Bhalla said is now affordable for credit unions thanks to the firm’s partnerships with CUSOs. The benefits outlined were statistical analysis, forecasting, predictive modeling and program optimization. Each, Bhalla said, allows credit unions to achieve their goals and to do so in the most effective and efficient manner possible.

“For credit unions, efficient marketing, for example, means ensuring the right person sees the right message at the right time,” said Bhalla. “Data analytics and business intelligence delivers that kind of custom strategy by segmenting audiences based on several data-reveled factors.”

To get their feet wet, Bhalla suggests credit unions begin their data analytics programs by applying business intelligence strategies to credit and debit card programs. Cards, he says, are a highly-valued product because they fulfill a need. But to stay valued, that product needs to evolve with cardholders’ changing needs.

Bhalla summarized his presentation by insisting credit unions shift their thinking about data analytics investment away from technology and toward human resources. “Data analytics is about more than access to the latest and greatest software tools,” said Bhalla. “The human element is critical.” He went on to explain that the largest banks employ entire teams of statistical experts, and that to compete, credit unions, too, need access to data experts to make the most of their business intelligence efforts.

About IQR Consulting
IQR Consulting is a leader in portfolio and financial analytics, reporting, statistical modeling and campaign management. The analysts at IQR are experts in the use of segmentation as a means for highly targeted marketing. With accurate and actionable insights and analysis, IQR helps credit unions, banks and casinos leverage data assets to increase profitability and to better compete against larger institutions. For more information, visit

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