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.

The truth is, the first step is as simple as establishing ownership and empowerment.  After all, every marathon begins with a single step forward.  Start your transformation by assigning someone to be your data guru.  If you are like many of the credit unions I’ve worked with, you likely already have an ambitious employee looking to get more involved.  Consider encouraging and empowering this employee to dive into your data, to understand vendor relationships, maximize your investment in your CORE, and start to understand the larger picture of your data sources.

Next, generate internal efficiency by routing data collection, report building, and internal research requests through your data guru.  This step is critical in the development of your data centric organization.  Depending upon the size of your credit union, your CORE provider, and internal retention periods, you likely have hundreds of Gigabits of data.  The only way your guru can begin to grasp all your data is to dive in!  Each report and each request is an educational goldmine!  Slowly piecing together where data is stored, how it’s formatted, and how to extract it. This is where growth occurs!

The lessons learned and shortcomings identified throughout this process will begin to outline your future data governance strategies.

    • What is, or is not working well today?
    • Why is it important that loans are booked consistently using the correct reason and purpose codes?
    • What values can be attained through improving data quality?
    • Why phone support staff should take the time to accurately complete wrap-up codes and trackers?

This exercise will also shed light onto your credit union’s data availability, retention periods, and overall reliability.  Simply recognizing the value that CAN be attained through improved data governance and company wide participation will lead you into step 2; deciding for yourself whether the juice is worth the squeeze.

3 thoughts on “Building a Data Centric Organization

  1. No analytics team every goes to work without a culture of curiosity driven by a voice that is not too shy to pose the questions. Ask, See, Act, Profit is the key string. If you look at CU*BASE 80+ dash board filters you could list dozens of questions that can posed to the computer, but you have to go beyond that to get the real return for the business. Who is bold enough in every CU to ask the question and get to Profit?

  2. I agree that all the data out there can have your head spinning wondering where to start first. So overwhelming at times that it can even lead to ‘analysis paralysis’. One thing that has recently helped me with data governance is signing up for Analytics Booth. I am able to sort through lines and lines of data and decide what is of primary importance to my credit union. The daily emails arriving in my inbox give me in a second the information I want to track. It allows me to notice positive or negative trends quickly. What isn’t working? Or what do we need to fix? What is working? Is it a specific employee that we can learn from? I appreciate all of the help coming from Asterisk Intelligence and how you are trying to deliver on a platter the important things we need to consume. I agree with you, Tom, data is the currency of today and if we aren’t building our wealth with this currency we might find ourselves bankrupt down the road.

    • Thanks for the comment Liza and I love your usage of Analytics Booth! That software definitely helps in navigating your data and drawing attention to the operational trends you need to be aware of, good or bad. If you have visions for future projects for the Asterisk Intelligence Team, or tools you wish you had I’d love to hear them!

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