Questions for an Advanced Analytics Strategy

By John Slack02.07.2018

Credit unions need advanced analytics in their data operations, without question.

There’s a definite progression on the journey to advanced analytics. Ask the right questions along the way, and you can build a coherent data analytics strategy that will take your credit union to the next level.

Starting your journey

The first question you need to ask is, “Can we access the data?”

With legacy systems and many disparate point solutions in need of integration, data fragmentation is the No. 1 challenge for most credit unions. It’s hard to know where the data “lives” or even its quality and breadth.

Getting to the core of these questions will enable you to formulate your data management strategy. Once you’ve collected the data you need in one place, as in a data warehouse, you can start accessing it.

The next question is, “What is the business value of the data?” Most credit unions look to data to provide self-service and reporting, using snapshots of data as a guide for making business decisions.

These take the form of standard reports, ad hoc reports, or selective drill-downs—all of which tell you what’s happening in particular areas of the business. These backward-looking reporting capabilities certainly provide some member insights.

But to get to the level where you start using data to make future decisions, we enter “analytics proper,” or what’s commonly referred to as guided analytics.

In the guided analytics stage, you need to ask, “What does the data mean?” Statistical analysis tells you why certain circumstances occur. Forecasting tells you what will happen if the trends continue.

Here, business users start to get a clearer picture of the importance of particular trends, and understand the impact certain decisions will have on the organization.