Achieving success with data analytics isn’t just a matter of acquiring robust BI software or hiring a data scientist and teams of analysts. It requires a shift in how the credit union embraces data which requires the participation of all employees at every level. It also requires transparency, solid processes, and buy-in from executive decision-makers.  Transitioning to a genuine data-driven culture still poses a challenge for many organizations.  The process is not an overnight switch, but through perseverance and recruiting the right people to lead the way, your credit union can soon reap the rewards of a data-driven culture.

The following steps are suggestions for how to implement a sustainable data-driven culture– one credit union employees will understand and self-reinforce–along the way.

Hire Right:  The first step in the process is to hire the right people who are visionaries and data-driven.  Recruit data savvy experts and develop a team that will not only report and analyze the data but refine member data into actionable models and provide insights to make more proactive and informed decisions.

Embrace Data:  Becoming data-driven requires leadership to place data at the heart of the credit union. Today, there are still plenty of skeptical executives who prefer trusting their gut instinct rather than data analytics. Executive decision-makers need to believe that insights and opportunities born from the data can improve everything from operations and marketing to risk exposure and member loyalty.

Instill Transparency and Knowledge:  In a data-driven culture, everyone can be a data analyst. The data needs to be transparent and employees need the tools to access it. Spend time and effort winning employees over on the power of the data. Make sure key resources have access to dashboards and analytic tools to extract insights from the data.  Educate employees on the power and possibilities the data can bring to the credit union and how it can actually make their jobs easier. Once they learn how to extract insights from data, encourage them to share their ideas with all areas of the credit union.

Provide Training and More Training: Data reports can be difficult to interpret without proper training. Employees from all departments should be trained in data literacy and how to interpret raw data into knowledge and actionable insights. With proper and ongoing training, employees will use the data analytics tools to their fullest capabilities.  Eventually they will understand why these tools and the insights they bring are valuable and will use it routinely and effectively.

Track, Measure, and Manage: Adopting a data driven culture requires managing what you measure. Many organizations use data to support their decisions instead of driving their actions. But why? After all, data’s value and trackable return on investment comes from the ability to translate data into actionable insights and business opportunities. Select the metrics that support your objectives. Determine what you want from your data, establish a plan, set goals and targets while continually fine-tuning how you measure results.

Communicate the Vision:  This may seem like a simple step, but at times it’s the most overlooked in the process of revamping a culture. The credit union’s mission and vision around data and analytics needs to be communicated continuously. From executive management to the front line, everyone needs to understand why the culture change is happening and what impact it will have on their daily jobs. If employees understand and believe in the vision – rather than fear that the data analytic tools will replace them – the entire credit union will be motivated to use the data and will strive to hit goals and targets.

Let the Culture Shift Begin
Credit Unions must be able to gather, process and analyze data in real-time for better decision-making to remain competitive. Change management is a tough task for many organizations, but, if leadership embraces analytics and communicates the vision consistently across all departments, a data-driven transformation will occur.

If your credit union has hit some obstacles along the journey, it’s best to partner with experts who can develop a strategy and a roadmap for accountability.  This is what the Knowlton Group does exceptionally well.  Our clearly defined strategy, roadmap and implementation plan will transform your organization into a data-driven credit union. If you are ready to become data-driven, send us an email or give us a call at 860-593-7842.