Years ago, our credit union established a vision is to be the community’s most-loved financial institution and to make dreams come true for all. As you can imagine, data and analytics ties to every strategy and initiative as a part of that vision. If we can use data to better understand our members and deliver the products and services they most want, we’ll be well on our way to living out our vision more fully.
Thanks to some smart investments and equally smart partnerships, NorthCountry Federal Credit Union is on the right road to data and analytics maturity. Chief among those partnerships is our collaboration with AdvantEdge Digital. When we began our data transformation journey, we talked to a lot of vendors who offered us one of two things: either a cookie-cutter proposal or an overly exhaustive strategy.
We were not interested in either.
We knew what we wanted to achieve, so we needed a partner willing to listen. At the same time, we weren’t looking for an overprescribed “War and Peace”-style strategy. We needed something highly executable with built-in opportunities for momentum-generating quick wins.
AdvantEdge Digital offered us exactly that.
The company’s consulting services, and the development of a roadmap that made sense for us, was a refreshing proposal. The team understood exactly what we were looking for and tailored their offerings and scope of work to our specifications. It was a rare find in today’s crowded and noisy analytics marketplace.
Although I knew it was a good fit from the beginning, there are several discoveries I’ve learned since the outset of our engagement. Here are three things to consider as you search for your own data analytics partner:
When it comes to analytics acceleration, NorthCountry is driving the car down the highway as we’re building it. It’s been very important to have a partner with the same general philosophy around innovation, cultural fit, and a core understanding of the credit union difference.
Trading Off Driver’s Seat Duties
A strong partnership is also really valuable when a credit union’s internal analytics team takes ideas and proposals before a leadership or board group to secure buy-in. While there are certainly times when it makes sense for us to steer the ship, it was nice to have the AdvantEdge team co-facilitate priorities conversations as we were securing the buy-in we needed to move our data strategy forward.
Huge, Quick Wins
Bringing in an outside source has been crucially formative for our data analytics team. The team is building meaningful momentum with quick wins, making believers out of every internal stakeholder. In a short period of time, we implemented PowerBI to put self-directed dashboard reporting in the hands of different team leads.
This is huge. In the past, if internal teams needed to know something, they would email our data group and ask for analysis. PowerBI automates a lot of this and provides a self-service component to our data strategy, creating even more excitement across our business.
Every credit union’s data transformation journey is unique, and what’s needed from an analytics partner will vary widely. The key is to find people you like to work with, who lead with strategic empathy, and are willing to bend and flex. AdvantEdge Digital has done this for us, and we are looking forward to an even brighter future where cultural alignment, co-leadership, and quick wins continue to shine.
Bob Morgan is CEO of NorthCountry Federal Credit Union ($849.7M, VT).