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Ways Nonprofits Can Reach Data Maturity With Smart Technology Use

6 Ways Credit Unions Can Reach Data Maturity with Smart Technology Use


Data maturity is no longer a goal exclusive to the corporate world. Mission-driven organizations are similarly pursuing — and achieving — data maturity, where organizational leaders use data to drive decision-making.

But many credit union boards are at an earlier stage of data maturity than they would like to be. Getting the right data to improve revenues, measure impact and reach peak efficiency can seem too difficult, too expensive, or both.

It isn’t. Unlocking and using data to drive success is achievable, as one credit union discovered when it wanted to improve its fundraising. By tapping into data analytics, Delta Community Credit Union (DCCU) in Georgia has built a comprehensive view of members’ preferences and needs.

By understanding what members value and require, the credit union has been able to offer the right products and services to maximize its value proposition.“The retail banking industry is at a critical juncture,” says Sujatha Rayburn, VP at DCCU. “Having a smart data strategy will not only help DCCU weather any future economic storms, but will help improve performance and better address customer needs. A smart data strategy can also help us cultivate our brand and stand out in a crowded market.”

By adopting data-driven decision-making, underpinned by technology, credit union boards can increase success to ensure their organizations make meaningful contributions to the communities they serve.

So how can boards use data — and technology tools that unlock it — to drive success?

Technology partnerships in data-driven decision-making

We covered some of the overarching benefits of ​​using data for success. Now, take a further look at how the right technology partnerships can enable these efforts.

The National Association of Federally-Insured Credit Unions (NAFCU) is encouraging credit unions to evaluate and partner with fintechs so they can remain competitive. Credit unions can partner with fintechs to help transform legacy processes so they can offer new products, services and technologies to current members. This offers the chance to reach new customers and expand into new markets quickly.

These types of collaborative partnerships, powered by technology innovations, are one way that organizations can work together to both use data and serve communities. Focusing on tailored targeting, as in the example of DCCU, can enable organizations to create more powerful membership engagement and increase new member acquisition by studying preferences, behaviors and needs.

6 Ways to Use Technology and Data to Drive Impact

In the Big Data era, it is easier than ever to collect, analyze and use data to power strategic decision-making around service efficiency, public relations and more, as long as you have the right tools. Consider how technology — and, in particular, modern board management software — can cut through complexity and help illuminate the insights that data provides.

1. Home in on Data that Maximizes Impact

It’s a Goldilocks situation: Too much data can be just as undesirable as not enough data, and organizations should home in on the right type and amount of data to support their organizations. For example, tailored surveying — another feature of digital board management software — can ensure the right data is collected at the right time for better decision-making around goals, progress and their mission.

2. Analyze Data to Identify What Resonates with People

As we saw in the example referenced earlier, credit unions are using existing or readily obtainable data from members to enhance service delivery. These same types of data (results of email campaigns, social platform engagement and more) can be used to better understand what messaging is resonating with prospective and existing members, and other stakeholders.

3. Adopt Smart Partnerships

Modern financial services organizations almost always require technology to serve their communities effectively, but most don’t have the resources to staff for every IT need. Partners such as Diligent bring experience with mission-driven organizations to make the dream achievable while staying in-budget.

4. Support Strategic Planning Efforts

Current and historical data – the right data – enables keen insights in developing and measuring progress against a strategic plan. By honing key performance indicators tied to mission goals, your leaders quickly can see and understand the progress their organization is making.

5. Use Tools that Support Collaboration

Sharing data within the board, with staff and through strategic partnerships ensures all stakeholders are on the same page, working toward the same goals. Board management software, such as BoardEffect, offers clear, consistent presentation of data shared through granular permissions so the board and others can be more effective around strategic planning and outcome tracking.

6. Use Metrics for Effective Resource Allocation

Staff efficiency is important for organizations working with limited resources, or who simply never have enough hands. By implementing task workflows and reporting, board members and organization leaders can better understand how the work is getting done, and identify bottlenecks that may impede strategic goals.

The Next Steps to Data Maturity

Most organizations already have the data they need to start making profound change. By cutting through clutter, homing in on the right data, and engaging the right tools and partners, mission-driven organizations can increase the impact they have on the communities they serve.

Consider this takeaway from Nathan Chappell, Senior Vice President at DonorSearch, as he spoke to The Chronicle of Philanthropy: “There’s no future where you compete effectively in a world where you’re not using big data and technology. Every nonprofit that wants to be here tomorrow needs to be able to leverage data to some extent.”

Data can provide the answers, but volunteer boards need the right tools to cut through the noise and inform better decision-making. BoardEffect is a board management software designed for the unique needs of mission-driven organizations to enable leadership teams to collaborate and make data-driven decisions confidently.

Contact BoardEffect to request a demo and learn how the right solution can transform your credit union today!

Jennifer Rose Hale

Jennifer Rose Hale has over 20 years' experience with digital and employee communications in for- and nonprofit environments. Her writing and client areas of expertise include education, finance, science and technology.

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