As a marketer who really is a geek for marketing, I have a very dear relationship with business analytics. Why? It is (or should be) a part of every step of the marketing process. Analytics allow you to determine which marketing campaigns, outlets and target audiences are the most effective (ie: Is Facebook or Twitter sending more people to our website? Which of our members are most likely to leave? Who is most likely to be looking for a car loan?). Take it a step further, and analytics can even predict which marketing campaigns, outlets, and target audiences will be most effective in the future. How cool is that?
The difference between using analytics and not is the difference between making an informed choice about allocating your scarce marketing resources and an uninformed one. It almost seems a no-brainer which approach makes the most sense, but time and time again we see ‘intuitive’ marketers following their gut instincts and ending up with poor results.
Let me offer an example of the value of making an informed decision from my own experience – the tiresome task of choosing a college.
The options and questions that plague you seem never-ending. Do you want to go in state or out of state? Do you want to major in accounting or philosophy? Which school has the best program for what you want to major in? Which schools accepted you? Which schools offer scholarships you might be eligible for? All of these questions and more require research and analysis of this research before you can answer the ultimate question: Where do I want to go to school?
While I was very detailed in my search for colleges, I cannot say the same for all of my friends. Some of them failed to do any research at all, and chose a college by pointing on a map, drawing out of a hat, calculating proximity to a beach, or some other “let’s leave it to chance” means. Although in all honesty there were times when proximity to a beach would have been a great decision criteria! = )
There is a ‘beach proximity’ exception for every rule, but which route do you think is most likely to get the best results—the informed future college student or the uninformed? Ding, ding, ding—you got it! The informed college student is much more likely to not only have a great college experience, but to set themselves up for a great career after college (assuming they don’t spend too much time on the beach)…
Being an informed decision maker ALWAYS leads to a better chance for success.
So apply these lessons to your credit union. Using business analytics and business intelligence transforms you into an informed decision maker and provides a data-based foundation for success. Analytics allow you to not only see what is currently working for your credit union, but also to predict what will work in the future.
SAS Institute is our Preferred Partner for business intelligence and predictive analytics, and it is fair to say that they practically invented the field. We were fortunate enough to have someone from SAS at NAFCU annual conference to discuss how credit unions can build and apply a strong analytical foundation throughout the enterprise. David Wallace was their speaker, and he emphasized that 90% of very effective users had a positive impact from business analytics.
That positive experience stems from the same basis as my informed college decision – analytics help credit unions do their job of meeting member needs faster, better and more efficiently (which often means cheaper too). Look at it this way – there will be some of your members that really care about proximity to a beach – but many others are happier with mountains. Using analytics allows you to figure out which members fall into which category – and then which are most likely to be looking for a car or home loan too.
If you’re interested in learning more about the opportunities your credit union will create by using business analytics, take a look at SAS’s presentation from NAFCU’s annual conference: Data Driven Insight: The Power of Business Analytics. This presentation covers why business analytics are important for credit unions, what business analytics actually means in the context of a financial institution, and practical steps for getting started even if you’ve never looked at them before.
Post written by Chelsea Sisson, Associate Marketing Manager, NAFCU Services Corp.