Five Strategies for Internal Data Monetization


Like it or not, data management can be expensive. Every week I work with credit unions who had to pay tens of thousands of dollars to third parties who were holding their data captive. Or partners who invest thousands of dollars into new servers and hardware, third party data exchanges, or investments to extend data retention policies. With the frequency of these types of investments and expenses, it is no surprise that many of us see data more as an expense and liability than as an asset. For how much we spend on protecting and managing our data it only makes sense to try to derive value from it. Below are five strategies for internally monetizing your data and putting the ‘return’ back in return on investment.

#1 Increase Product Engagement

Your data holds a wealth of information just waiting to be discovered. Consider mining your members’ outbound ACH activity to identify outside tradelines. It is often possible to identify members who are paying their auto loans, mortgages, credit cards or other tradelines using their share draft account. Once you identify the outbound payment activity, we can work on capturing and bringing more of that business in house.

#2 Increase Service Participation

Services can increase engagement, improve your value proposition, and create additional barriers to exit. And that’s true whether it is engaging more members in your digital retailing strategies, increasing mobile application penetration, or getting more members using services like eAlerts, on demand card controls, or bill pay. Not to mention the secondary benefits such as reduced fraud as members can be alerted in near real time (eAlerts) as well as being empowered with the tools to prevent additional fraud, card controls. Don’t be afraid to put data in your members’ hands, and giving them the tools to act on it.

#3 Reduce Operational Expenses

In the case of a service such as eStatements, some areas of operations have direct costs associated to them which can be eliminated. Consider your monthly statement printing, paper, and postage expense; most credit unions spend a full $1 or more per member per month on statement preparation costs. Every member migrated into eStatements offers an immediate and ongoing expense reduction. What other expenses are you paying each month that can be mitigated?

#4 Modify Member Behavior

How do your transactional costs compare between a staff assisted phone transfer and a self-service online banking transfer? Does your interchange income vary based upon PIN vs SIG based transactions? Your data can be leveraged to identify members whose behavior can be altered resulting in increased income, or time and expense savings to the credit union!

#5 Increase Your Operational IQ

A robust data driven strategy will increase your team’s operational IQ–knowledge is power. As more team members become well versed in your credit union’s operational trends, financial performance, and member behavior patterns, those insights will begin to have greater influence in the decision-making process. As awareness and grasp increase across your organization, the quality of decisions will increase driving success and returns for years to come.


  • Thomas Hull

    After joining the CU*Answers family in 2011 as a staff accountant, Thomas’ passion for data and analytics became immediately apparent, and he quickly grew to become the corporate resource for data trending and forecasting, financial analysis, and data visualization. In 2017, Thomas joined the Asterisk Intelligence team as a business intelligence analyst, playing a vital role in new service development.

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