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What are the crucial steps towards building an analytics practice that will help your Credit Union perform in a manner which is relevant and progresses in a constantly changing business environment?

In this article, we throw light on how to build a relevant and successful analytics practice. The insights confirm to presentation by Michael Lindberg, Analytics and Business Consulting Services, Vice President, Wings Financial Credit Union, at the 5th Annual CULytics Virtual Summit.

What will an analytics practice help you achieve?

The best fit analytics practice will -

  • Help you understand business strategy in a way that ensures clarity and focus of priorities.
  • Help you find and make data accessible in a useful manner, so that the end user is able to stay encouraged and own the data.
  • Provide you with stable and consistent definitions, so that truth is ensured within the organization.
  • Provide you with right time/ right place interaction so that membership is served in the best manner.
  • Provide you with an output that will enable your business strategy so that business ownership is driven.
  • Help you store data to provide scalability of business so that long term capabilities are ensured.

The 4 Step iterative Process

The four-step iterative process to build a desired analytics practice is discussed below-

  • Understand your value- The question that needs to be asked is, “How can you provide the best value to those you are serving?” The perspectives can be considered for business partners, organization and members. For Wings Financial Credit Union, the Wings Data Solution team defines their success as the success of business partners, and hence the solutions which are prioritized by business partners are delivered. Being aggressively collaborative, putting others first, are two practices which have proved to be very helpful.
  • Address the Pain – There are business partners and members who experience pain from time to time. The question that needs to be put forward is , “How do we relieve the pain?” For Wings Financial Credit Unions, doing report consolidations and taking frequent decisions based on the insights, working on report automations, are solutions that have helped them address the pain and provide value to members, business partners and within the organization as well.
  • Compound your Solution – Use time as an advantage. From an analytics practice perspective, it is important to engage in the same process for as long as possible so that long term benefits can be ensured. The question is, “In our organization, what solutions would set a path for success, 18-24 months from now?” In Wings Financial Credit Union, certified data models allow them to apply business definitions, financial validations, same business values etc., from which all of the data is then applied in reports, analytics, and various value providing services. This saves time and energy of having to revalidate all reports every time. If the business definition changes, it can be quickly addressed in one place. Different solutions are compounded into one or more certified models.
  • Transform your Vision- The next opportunities are not the same as the current, so as we engage with business partners, members, and our own rganization, the vision transforms with it. The analytics practice needs to move with the vision and there has to be a way to ensure consistency. For example- Wings Financial Credit Union ensures that they are delivering on a just cause. This begins with understanding and delivering member value, and then scaling the business process by using analytics to ensure that right action is taken at the right place and time.

A relevant analytics practice within your organization helps you store, manage, and use updated data and take meaningful decisions which are impactful at all levels. No successful practice can be built within a day. To stay relevant, consistency is a mandate.

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