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Analytics And Marketing In The Era Of Big Data

How the right data analytics can empower credit unions to target members with offers that offer timeliness and real value.

Big data is on the rise, and it continues to expand at a stunning pace. Technology experts predict that data production is on pace to be 44 times greater than it was in 2009. Big data growth presents obstacles, but it also presents tremendous opportunity for business expansion, perhaps most notably through strategic marketing.

While most people in our industry no doubt recognize the importance of and the need for data and analytics, finding a way to access and make it actionable is easier said than done and can often require a significant investment in the tools and resources needed to derive data-driven insights.

When it comes to big data, analytics, and marketing, we should all consider a few core elements of an effective analytics platform:


The old paradigm for accessing data was to download it, dump it into a spreadsheet, and work with it from there. The problem with this, in addition to often working with outdated data, is that the information wasn’t secure. Web-based toolsets accessed through an online portal are far more secure and allow the user to work off of real-time data.

Ease of use

The ease in which data and information can be accessed and made actionable is key. Features like easy-to-read dashboards, prebuilt templates, customizable query builders, and data that is presented visually ensure marketers can quickly and easily find the information they need.


Data and analytics programs tend to be complicated, hard to understand, and even harder to use. And they often require a significant investment of time and money. The result can be missed opportunity for growth. So, we should find platforms and tools that are as turnkey as possible so we don’t have to do heavy lifting, and can instead focus on engaging with members at the branch level.

Shared learning

Ultimately, we all have a shared goal: to better serve members and grow our portfolios. By sharing information, successes and key learnings with colleagues, everyone can benefit from the power of big data.

PSCU rolled out a new set of analytics tools this year that enable credit unions to rapidly forecast their members’ financial needs and quickly receive targeted recommendations based on their cardholder data. This platform, called Member Insight, uncovers information and data that credit unions need to understand the performance, profitability and opportunities in their credit, debit and ATM portfolios.

Service opportunities

The functionality in a superior analytics platform also provides credit unions with opportunities to deliver exceptional service to members. For example, sharp analytics will let you quickly know the members that frequently shop at home-improvement stores and the level of their spending. This information can form the basis for a HELOC offer campaign for members that fit that shopping profile.

The most effective data mining tools give users the insights and data to shape strategy and drive value to overall member relationships. If a credit union wants to know how many transactions its premium cardholders are conducting compared to standard cardholders, or find out which age groups have the lowest usage, the right data mining tool can get the job done with just a few simple clicks. Credit unions should be able to drill down to understand even more about how their members are using their card products including what specific merchants are being shopped to determine ways to increase penetration, activation, and usage.

A top analytics platform should also include the ability to leverage the power of the cooperative model. Prebuilt interactive and customizable templates enable credit unions to gain actionable data in real time. Everything created through such a facility can be shared with colleagues and incorporated into new templates, which can then be available to other credit unions that subscribe to the same platform.

Big data and analytics give credit union marketers a new abundance of intelligence that can significantly impact the power and effectiveness of their marketing strategies and approach for enriching the quality and profitability of a credit union’s product portfolios.

To learn more about PSCU’s analytics capabilities, visit PSCU.com/MemberInsight.

Chuck Fagan is president and CEO of PSCU in St. Petersburg, FL.

This article is sponsored by a recognized solutions provider in the credit union industry. Callahan & Associates does not endorse vendors or the solutions they offer, and the views and opinions offered here might not reflect those of Callahan. If you are interested in contributing an article on CreditUnions.com, please contact the Callahan team at ads@creditunions.com or 1-800-446-7453.
October 5, 2015

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