Considering Outside Data Resources


I have been constantly intrigued by the concept of exploring data resources that credit unions can act on. Part of this intrigue has led me to research how other industry professionals are using data and, more importantly, how they are analyzing the data for action.

One of the documents that I recently read was “Almost 99 Credit Union Small Data Hacks Guide.” The title in and of itself was especially intriguing because if the data hacks are small, it will be easy for all credit unions to participate with very little expense associated with the effort. The goal of the guide is to promote opportunities within your own data today and how they can be used to promote awareness and opportunity to your membership.

Reassessing fees

Some of the ideas are just no-brainers that I have never even thought of. For example, the concept of a minimum balance fee is meant to assess a fee for members who do not meet the requirements of the product. Although it may be profitable to assess a fee to members, it may not be the wisest action.

So, how about a monthly review that identifies all members that have had consecutive minimum balance fees assessed, and then has staff reach out to members to let them know of a product offering that better fits their lifestyle? This concept utilizes data and provides an opportunity for credit unions to extend goodwill to their members and owners. Total no-brainer.

What other fees do we assess to our members that could be reviewed for an educational opportunity? You could develop a routine for almost any fee on your fee schedule. Talking and communicating with members that have either been assessed their first fee or members that have consistently been assessed a fee is an opportunity for us all.

Combining both known and new data

There was another idea that got me really excited: the idea of using data outside of your core production data to market to your members. For example, if a member requests a change of address, what do you do today? Do you simply just have the member fill out a change of address request or ask them to submit the request online?

This could be an opportunity to use data from other places in an effort to combine that new information with your current member information. So, you may take the change of address information (or any new address within your database for that matter) and then perform some research on any one of the real estate websites that exist, in order to determine what type of opportunity you could provide to the member.

If the member was increasing their home size, it may mean that they are in a position to upgrade the products and services that they have with the credit union (platinum checking, platinum money market, etc.). A very simple approach that uses core production data combined with outside data sources.

Explore all data possibilities

Now, these outside data sources may also be eventually opportunities for utilizing custom fields as well as an external data warehouse. And both of these solutions are available or soon to be available to you.

What outside data sources have you referenced or have the desire to reference for your future data analysis? Do you have a database administrator who monitors for new data opportunities?


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