The NAFCU Journal May-June 2020 - 21

Deconstructing the Data

Recent studies by Filene Research
Institute point to member data being
used to increase member compatibility
and engagement. "You're trying to find
the best fit between what the member
stakes are, what their expectations look
like, what the credit union is offering
and what their operational model should
be," Armaza says. "These things are
nothing new. But doing that by looking
at your results versus making decisions
with your executive team [alone] makes
things more interesting."
One of the cases Filene researchers followed involved a California credit union
in financial crisis. "They realized in 2012
that they were about to reach the point
of no return," Armaza explains. "So they
decided to take a hard look at the data,
saying, 'Let's look at what members are
compatible with what we offer, and help
them to grow.'"
The credit union analyzed every bit of
available data, from operations to the
product portfolio to member engagement. "There was a lot of time spent
with understanding what the credit
union was offering first and then seeing
where the disconnect was with members," Armaza explains. "They realized
that millennials and Latino members
were critical for the continued growth
of the credit union, so they doubled
down on making sure they have products and services that match what those
segments of their membership were
looking for." They were able to reverse
their situation using data, and now they
are in a period of growth.
While this credit union's situation was
extreme, any credit union with sufficient data can apply strategic analytics
to create highly targeted marketing
campaigns, develop products and
services for specific members, and
dramatically improve engagement
and retention.
Any data set can offer clues for growth
strategies. But data collected and analyzed with specific goals in mind will be
more useful.
THE NAFCU JOURNAL  MAY-JUNE 2020

In 2019, Filene surveyed approximately
200 credit unions to assess how they
capture, analyze and use member
data. Not surprisingly, the majority of
credit unions surveyed regularly collect
member-experience data points - even
if it's as simple as sending out a three- to
five-question survey once a year. Clearly,
most credit unions believe member data
is worth acquiring. Yet not all data is
actionable data. The difference lies in the
questions being asked.
Despite the mantra of educators who
say, "There are no bad questions," there
are bad - or at least ineffectual -
questions when it comes to surveying
member needs and interests. Data that
cannot be used to drive improvements
or develop new products and services
might as well be filed away and forgotten. "Data tends to get used more
when there's a real intention behind the
questions," Armaza says. 
To ensure that occurs, he says, "You need
people on your executive team who are
willing to hit pause and understand a
situation before jumping in. Because the
first thing you need to do is understand
if you are tackling the right issue. And

then ask only those questions that will
help with the issue or product at hand." 
Powers believes that intentionality
toward data collection is tied directly
to a credit union's strategic plan. "It's
important to come up with your key
initiatives or your key goals - improved
member service, fraud prevention, better
top-channel performance and segmentation - and then just pull the data you
need to meet those objectives," she says.
"The alternative, and what I see happening frequently, is that credit unions pull
all of this data and then try to back into
it, asking, 'Well, now what am I going to
do with it?'" 
It is also important to know when you
have asked enough questions. Too many
survey questions can lead to member
fatigue or even disengagement. It also
is a sign that you might need to revisit
your intent for the data, that you might
be compensating for a lack of clarity by
casting an overly wide net and hoping
some of the data connects.
Even too many excellent questions can
end up being counterproductive. Lesley
DeCator, general manager of payments,
21



The NAFCU Journal May-June 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The NAFCU Journal May-June 2020

The NAFCU Journal May-June 2020 - Cover1
The NAFCU Journal May-June 2020 - Cover2
The NAFCU Journal May-June 2020 - 1
The NAFCU Journal May-June 2020 - 2
The NAFCU Journal May-June 2020 - 3
The NAFCU Journal May-June 2020 - 4
The NAFCU Journal May-June 2020 - 5
The NAFCU Journal May-June 2020 - 6
The NAFCU Journal May-June 2020 - 7
The NAFCU Journal May-June 2020 - 8
The NAFCU Journal May-June 2020 - 9
The NAFCU Journal May-June 2020 - 10
The NAFCU Journal May-June 2020 - 11
The NAFCU Journal May-June 2020 - 12
The NAFCU Journal May-June 2020 - 13
The NAFCU Journal May-June 2020 - 14
The NAFCU Journal May-June 2020 - 15
The NAFCU Journal May-June 2020 - 16
The NAFCU Journal May-June 2020 - 17
The NAFCU Journal May-June 2020 - 18
The NAFCU Journal May-June 2020 - 19
The NAFCU Journal May-June 2020 - 20
The NAFCU Journal May-June 2020 - 21
The NAFCU Journal May-June 2020 - 22
The NAFCU Journal May-June 2020 - 23
The NAFCU Journal May-June 2020 - 24
The NAFCU Journal May-June 2020 - 25
The NAFCU Journal May-June 2020 - 26
The NAFCU Journal May-June 2020 - 27
The NAFCU Journal May-June 2020 - 28
The NAFCU Journal May-June 2020 - 29
The NAFCU Journal May-June 2020 - 30
The NAFCU Journal May-June 2020 - 31
The NAFCU Journal May-June 2020 - 32
The NAFCU Journal May-June 2020 - 33
The NAFCU Journal May-June 2020 - 34
The NAFCU Journal May-June 2020 - 35
The NAFCU Journal May-June 2020 - 36
The NAFCU Journal May-June 2020 - 37
The NAFCU Journal May-June 2020 - 38
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The NAFCU Journal May-June 2020 - 40
The NAFCU Journal May-June 2020 - 41
The NAFCU Journal May-June 2020 - 42
The NAFCU Journal May-June 2020 - 43
The NAFCU Journal May-June 2020 - 44
The NAFCU Journal May-June 2020 - Cover3
The NAFCU Journal May-June 2020 - Cover4
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