Try it before you buy (into) it

Its amazing how skeptical we are as consumers.  Every where you look retailers and marketers are dreaming up new ways to put their prospect buyers’ minds at ease.  Free returns, 30 day free trials, and various other ‘try it before you buy it’ options.  It is as if most consumers have a case of ‘cold feet’ fearing permanent commitment without an exit strategy. Continue reading

Two Years in the Making

As surprising as it may sound, it struck me a few days ago that later this month we will observe the 2 year anniversary of the inception of the Asterisk Intelligence Team.  In retrospect it certainly doesn’t feel like 24 months have passed, but that seems to be the norm with time, moving both fast and incredibly slow at the same time.  After triple checking my dates it was difficult not to reflect back on the progress we’ve made over the past 2 years, not only individual and professional growth, but also as a peer network, as a community looking to establish a voice.  I can’t help but feel inspired for the future of our community and the accomplishments we can make together in the next 2 years to come.  Here are a few of my observations as I reflect on 2 years of accomplishments within the Asterisk Intelligence Team: Continue reading

Pay Yourself First

Paying yourself first is a common recommendation made when considering your personal finances.  Many experts recommend a 30/70 split of your income, with 30% of your income being saved for long term financial goals, and 70% being used for current needs, life style, and living expenses.  This approach invests in your future needs, establishes capital which could be used during times of hardship, invested to generate passive cash flow, or even financially leveraged to increase buying power.  In short, a small effort today to ensure you are positioned to not only protect yourself in the future, but also allowing you to capitalize on future opportunities as they arise.  Wise words, but this is not a post on personal finance. Continue reading

When will you need data driven strategies?

Do you NEED data insights today?  What about tomorrow, will your credit union cease to operate tomorrow without data insights?  Next week?  What about next month?  It can be easy to talk yourself out of change when you are meeting the status quo today, your board is satisfied today, and your examiner is happy (enough); it’s easy to justify that it’s not broken, so why fix it. Continue reading

Taking Action: Mining Trade-line Details

Recently I completed an analysis for a credit union where we mined credit report trade-line details for outside loan capture opportunities.  We reviewed 90 days of full credit report pulls, analyzing the trade-line details for insights into members’ financial needs being fulfilled by other financial institutions and for opportunities to take ACTION.  The bulk of our data mining came directly out of CU*BASE tool #976 – Where you Member’s Borrow.  We did make the decision to bring in other ancillary data sources for additional insights, but the detail available directly out of the dashboard saved hours of custom query writing and data aggregation. Continue reading

Do it yourself, or do it together?

Do it yourself, or do it together?  Seems to be a popular question in my life these days.  Whether it’s maintenance around the house, obedience training for our new puppy, or even mowing the yard; the decision to buy or build is often at the center of it all.  This decision typically boils down to time and resource availability making these decisions difficult to act on without knowing your available resources. Continue reading

Refining Insight from Data

Asterisk Intelligence has built a business around generating actionable insight from data. As simple as that may (or may not) sound, I often find myself explaining the difference between these two elements, data and insight. This distinction may seem trivial, but in actuality it is a very important aspect of our business and needs to be understood in order to fully grasp the mission of our team and the products we create.

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New Year’s Resolutions….

As a “Data Geek” the concept of New Year Resolutions always gets my thoughts going.  I find myself wondering how large the enrollment spike was at my local gym, and even more interestingly how long those January memberships stay active.  Or perhaps the tobacco industry, I wonder if, and how badly, they feel the impact of New Year Resolutions in their income statements.  As for online retailers such as Amazon, it would be fascinating to analyze their product returns since the holidays; I can’t imagine the logistical nightmare that must be! Continue reading

Building a Data Centric Organization

The task of transforming the culture of your credit union into that of a data centric organization can often leave one’s head spinning.  How do I start?  How do I measure success?  How am I going to afford that?  Generally speaking, I believe these barriers can be summarized by “over complication”.  It is this mentality that prevents most projects from leaving the ground. Continue reading