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Building a Blueprint for Data Success: Essential Insights for Credit Union Leaders

Gordon Flamer, CEO of Datava, and myself recently found time to share what it takes to achieve success with credit union data.  Here are the highlights:


The Importance of a Blueprint

The necessity of having a clear roadmap when working with data is really like building a house: "You need a blueprint to start with. Think about it from a data perspective – you can't build an amazing house without an approved blueprint." Anne Legg.

For credit unions, this means defining a strategic plan for data utilization that aligns with organizational goals.


Key steps include:

Defining Objectives: Understand what you aim to achieve with your data. This might range from improving member experience to enhancing operational efficiency.

Getting Approval: Just as you would need city approval for your house plans, ensure that your data strategy aligns with regulatory requirements and has stakeholder buy-in.


Finding the Right Contractor

The importance of having the right partners to execute the data strategy is tantamount to success. Anne noted, "I need a really good contractor because I don't do that. I need someone who understands the specifics of my credit union's needs."


For credit unions, this means partnering with data experts who can provide:

Custom Solutions: Your data needs are unique. Ensure your partner can tailor solutions to your specific requirements.

Ongoing Support: Data projects are continuous. A good partner will support you through implementation and beyond, adapting to new challenges and opportunities.


Building and Living in Your Data House

Gordon introduced the concept of a "data house" versus a "data warehouse." He argued that data should be actively used and integrated into everyday processes: "You should be living with your data, not just storing it."


This involves:

Integration: Ensure that data is seamlessly integrated into your operations, making it accessible and useful for all employees.

Continuous Improvement: Data initiatives should be iterative. Constant feedback and adaptation are crucial for success.


Key Areas of Focus

Four critical areas where data can significantly impact credit unions:

1. Operational Efficiency: Streamlining processes to save time and resources.

2. Member Experience:  Using data to personalize and enhance member interactions.

3. Financial Performance: Leveraging data for better financial insights and decision-making.

4. Risk Management: Identifying and mitigating risks through data analysis.


The Need for Speed

The cost of standing still.  Today is a perfect day to get started!, "Once credit unions get it, they often say, 'We should have done this six months ago.' Every day without data utilization is a lost opportunity."


Practical Steps for Implementation

  1. Start Small: Implement a minimum viable product to begin reaping benefits quickly.

  2. Iterate: Use agile methodologies to improve data initiatives based on feedback and evolving needs continuously.

  3. Educate: Invest in data literacy for your team to ensure everyone understands how to use data effectively.


By building a strategic roadmap, partnering with the right experts, and continuously iterating, credit unions can transform data into a powerful tool for growth and member satisfaction.



Navigating the



Wednesday, August 14th

Please join us to learn what you need to embrace the future of finance through emerging technologies.

This webinar will discuss the following:

  1. How to assess the credit union for readiness

  2. Identifying the strategic "why" and what problem these technologies will solve (member experience, fraud mitigation, efficiency, etc.)

  3. Understanding "who" needs to be in the room both strategically and executing to launch

  4. The fundamentals of building a literate culture to leverage both new and existing technology

  5. The operational structure that is needed to launch.

Discover how to leverage your data to embrace emerging technologies to enhance member experience, streamline operations, and drive growth in your Credit Union. Don’t miss this opportunity to stay ahead of the curve and lead your organization into a new era of financial services.


This Summer, make it

a goal to Summit

Big Data/Big Climb

Called a "must-read book for credit union management" by industry experts as a guide for those who are looking to improve their members' lives using data. This foundational primer on data transformation uses the metaphor of climbing Mt Kilimanjaro to provide clarity and a framework on this subject.


Has your

Data Journey reached a standstill?

Reignite your efforts with an Elevation Session!


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