Finding Clarity in Member Data Madness


It may not be the same as predicting 100% of winning games in the NCAA March Madness Men's basketball tournament, but attempting to gain clarity from million bits of member data feels about the same way.

To help clarify and deliver value to members, let's step back and review the problem the credit union solves for the member. Members joined a credit union to gain access to financial products and services. There are four fundamental member problems.

  1. Travel problem - The member needs transportation (not an auto loan), and the credit union is the conduit to transportation.

  2. Shelter problem - Similar to transportation, the member needs a place to call home (not a mortgage), and again the credit union is the conduit to shelter.

  3. Travel and Play - The member has desires for either travel and play. They need a financial partner that will help them achieve these goals within their current financial condition.

  4. Rainy day and Retirement funds. - The member needs a financial partner to help set them up short-term and long-term deposits.

A member may find themselves with a variety of these needs. They may have shelter but are looking to downsize. They may want to travel but don't know how to save. A member's financial needs describe the member's current financial journey. That journey is leading them to a financial destination that is the member's true financial north. The member's true financial north traditionally focuses on a variation of financial security. It may be retirement, and it may be the first time home purchase; it may be a 6th car purchase. Members want to have the funds when they need them to make their financial dreams come true, to seek their true financial north.

And wherever the financial destination is, there is data behind it. Data from the core, MCIF, loan origination system, payment system, and more. All this data is holding information about the member's current financial condition and their next financial need. It is up to the credit union to fulfill it.

As a credit union embarks on its data journey to harness data to improve member's lives, the first step is to start with the member and 1. identify the problem the credit union solves for the member. 2. identify the data needed to clarify the member's true financial north. This is, of course, no easy task but well worth it. Starting with the member as the focus will give the credit union clarity in creating a member-centric data use case/ north star.

Where can I fill my data knowledge gaps?


With a stop at the

Data Education Center.



We believe that data transformation doesn't have to feel overwhelming or expensive to be impactful. After helping over 600 credit union leaders launch their data journeys, we have identified several consistent knowledge gaps. We have worked hard to fill these gaps with a variety of educational artifacts:

What if I want something more? Does someone offer data education classes with real-world applications?

Yep, that is what we do, of course, and so much more. To learn more, please review our data transformation institute





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