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22Aug

Getting Your Data In Order – A Recipe for Digital Success

Data is fundamental to your digital transformation. Customers must be able to efficiently and effectively manage transactions online. Credit Unions must be able to infer customer needs from those transactions and reach out to customers where they “live” online, whether through email, social media, or text. This blog post presents a simple recipe for getting your data in order as a foundation for digital success.

Step 1 – Unload the data you don’t need. 

Credit Unions tend to hold onto data forever, or at least long enough that it can become a problem. It is common for core systems to have database tables with hundreds of millions of transactional entries and years more data than needed for most operational needs.

Why? Fear of removing data? The effort to replace the data if you get it wrong?

Who tested that purge script anyway?

Shhhh. Is, “Don’t ask, don’t tell,” your data management policy?

OK, we all know that removing data isn’t on the list of critically important tasks, well, until it is. Removing data can make the overall management of your information system easier! Backups are smaller, and systems may run faster due to the smaller size of the database. It’s just less to manage.

The good news is that removing data, although challenging can be automated.


Step 2 – Clean the data you keep. 

Managing data in bulk is usually handled by IT teams. Managing data quality so your digital journey can be smoother is a front-line staff opportunity. The dirtier our data is the more each activity we want to embark upon causes exceptions. Having clean data reduces effort and increases performance by eliminating exception conditions.

How does data get dirty?

For example, complex core interfaces allow data entry errors to go unchecked and bulk imported data from a merger. I am sure you have other examples of where the data can and does go astray. Some kinds of data can be validated with scripts and tools, however, technology can’t fix all data problems.


Step 3 – Focus on data that supports digital engagement.

Ensuring the quality of member data like current email address and mobile telephone numbers is critically important for successful digital engagement with our members. It is important that names are correctly spelled, and that staff know how to pronounce names when they speak with a customer in person or on the phone.

Mapping member data help the selection criteria for digital campaigns, if your digital persona is a working woman who is the “CFO” of the household, you quickly realize that knowing whether your member is male or female is fundamental.

Do you have a report showing what percentage of your membership has an email in your system, a mobile phone number? This number is the upper limit of members your campaigns are able to address digitally.


Step 4 – For better member data, engage your members.

It takes time and effort to correct member data, and many Credit Unions are unwilling to ask members without some other offer or campaign. One option is to engage directly with your members to make sure their information is up to date. Train member service staff to pay attention to member data at every customer interaction. If key member information is absent or hasn’t been updated recently, have them ask members for updates.

The better the quality of your data, the easier your path will be to creating and managing the digital transformation.

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