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5 Traits Of Successful Data Transformation Leaders

1. Naturally Curious

Not being afraid to ask "why?" and "How can we do that differently?"

Credit Unions suffer from legacy thinking. Many credit unions continue to support old processes and procedures because they initially solved a problem. However, that problem might have existed many years ago, and now the process is outdated and antiquated. A data transformation leader is curious about how everything works, on occasion, has been known to ask awkward questions to get those to share the purpose of a procedure. This curiosity serves them well as it provides them with insight into the current state and helps shape the future state. This leader also supports a learning environment that reframes failure as lessons learned, not crime and punishment.

2. Iterative

On average, credit unions have 60 to 100 data systems currently existing inside their credit union. To try to harness all of them at the same time is very similar to boiling the ocean. A data transformation leader understands the power of iterative growth. Breaking an enormous task into many, many small ones and slowly working on a few of them each week. This approach will allow the credit union to take more steps in the data journey in a month than attempting to take one great leap quarterly.

3. Member-first focused

Not credit union first. The majority of KPI focus internally on the success of the credit union, not the member. For example, Loan to share and ROA are great to measure the credit union, but not the member impact. A data transformation leader thinks not only about the credit union performance but also in terms of member success. The change in balances, credit scores, and late payments are some simple criteria. A member focus starts with the business problem the credit union is solving for the member. There are four problems the member wants the credit union to solve;

  1. Transportation

  2. Shelter

  3. Travel & Play

  4. Rainy day & Retirement

The data transformation leader can build a member-centric data strategy. Leverage the data needed to solve the member problem

4. Encourages cross-credit union collaboration

When dealing with data, it is easy to see that much of the data lives in silos. A data transformation leader can help build the bridges between the silos, creating cross-credit union discipline collaboration. This allows the enterprise to work in new and more efficient, and effective ways.

5. Communicate the power data

Data transformation leaders have excellent communication skills. They can share the member-centric data strategy with the entire credit union. By sharing how the member benefits, this gains support from key stakeholders and ideally increases the potential of increased success.


Is there a resource out there that can help me leverage my enterprise data to improve my member's lives?


Written for credit unions by a credit union expert, Big Data/Big Climb: A credit Union playbook for leveraging data and talent to achieve revolutionary member relationship has been hailed as a "must-have". The book cuts through techno-jargon and translates data transformation concepts into a playbook filled with real-world examples, assessment guides, and other tools needed to reduce member friction, analyze actual competition, and identify disruption to improve the lives of its members and gain competitive advantage.


Does someone teach a credit union how to build innovation as a capability?

Of course, we do, and so much more. To learn more, please review our consulting services.


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