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:
The Needle is Certainly Moving!
I do not make it through a work week without meeting at least 1 new person from within our Network seeking new ways to use, leverage, or generate value from data. More and more credit unions are adding Analysts to their ranks, challenging the norm, and elevating the intelligence of their operational procedures. Our community is growing and with it so is the demand for individualized education and personalized assistance. Markets are different, configurations are different, reporting preferences are different, operational objectives are different, bottom line we are all unique and as we elevate the bar I am seeing a correlation to increased demand and requests for customization. This will be a major challenge in the coming years, balancing these two expectations as well as modifying our data education to focus on deeper content, teaching strategy, theory, and problem solving as opposed to situational solutions and static procedures. Despite our uniqueness, we must remember that in most cases we are not original, tools and software are built to eliminate barriers and increase access, your uniqueness is in how you choose to leverage it.
The Tools and Data Accessibility are Improving
In case you have missed it, 19.02 has successfully integrated CU*BASE with a web browser, proving support of web-based applications, tools, and new visual capabilities! If this concept doesn’t excite you for the future, I’m not sure what will. Browser integration aside, in the past 2 years, as a Network and driven by your voice, we have developed UDM custom field capability, introduced the ability to perform mass data floods of your own data, launched a shared data warehouse space, doubled transaction data retention, introduced our Visual Analytical Tools initiative, simplified report writing with Views and so much more. Looking ahead I certainly don’t expect this growth to stop. With our Optics services on the horizon, the growing demand for data transfer and storage services, and an exciting development future for Analytics Booth there is much more to get excited about throughout the next 2 years.
Individual Growth and Organizational Value
The Analysts I work with are increasing their skillsets, generating more value, and growing their stock within their organizations. I am surprised every day by peers who 6 months ago struggled with dashboards, or who just purchased Analytics Booth, or just started to learn report writing; and after a few month hiatus, come back and end up showing me something I hadn’t seen before. The learning curve is manageable, and the value is tangible. In my own experience, the best way to improve analytical skills is to take on new projects. I firmly believe that each project I fulfill makes me a slightly better analyst, increasing my exposure to new teams, new area of operations, and new data files; building a wealth of experiences, lessons, and mistakes to draw upon. If you’re just getting started, my best advice is just to get started, welcome new projects as they arise and view each one as a learning opportunity.
As a community of analysts, we have made great strides throughout the past 2 years. We have learned from each other, we have created new capabilities, and we have worked tirelessly to make a name for ourselves. Not every step has been easy, but reflecting back on where we were 2 years ago not only shows the progress we have made, but also paves the way for the progress yet to be made. Where will we be in another 2 years? It’s up to us as a community to get there.