AUX Blog

Connecting Head (Data) to Heart (Mission)

February 18, 2021

connecting head and heart data

By Guest Contributor Anne Legg, Data Strategist and Owner of THRIVE™

The credit union point of differentiation is the credit union hug. The credit union hug is equal parts the seventh cooperative principle, “concern for community,” the credit union “people helping people.” spirit and the cooperative culture of credit unions working together to solve problems and build a better financial landscape. To put it in simpler terms, credit unions hug, both literally and figuratively.

This hug is expressed in the passion that credit union employees have for their members. They love to help them and ways that you wouldn’t expect from your financial institution. Credit union employees have been known to help change member’s flat tires in the rain, check on older members during snowstorms, and even, on rare occasions, temporarily take care of member’s pets.

The mechanics behind each literal and figurative hug is a harmonious coupling of the head and the heart.  The head is the gorgeous data and transformed into insights to make members’ lives better.

The credit union corporate culture is heavily shaped by the “hug,” with extra emphasis on the heart. The “head” component is often overlooked, by no fault of its own but because there is a misinterpretation that the data consumption is an organic capability. It can be to some, but for an entire organization to move into a data-centric mindset, this capability must be formally created.

Building a data culture is essential and requires a defined process to be successful. Effective data culture is one in which everyone in the organization is leveraging data in their decision-making processes. Talent uses it, understands that data has potential and limits and sees data and data analytics as a positive experience rather than an obstacle. Building a data culture takes leadership and training but also buy-in from talent. Everyone needs to buy into building a data culture and understand how and why it will make their lives easier. For credit unions to leverage data to improve members’ lives, the data culture must be healthy. Data must be a part of the credit union’s DNA, applied wherever and whenever.

>>>Interested in learning more on this topic? Check out our whitepaper “Infusing Data into Your Credit Union’s DNA”


About the Author

Anne Legg is the founder, and principal of THRIVE™ Strategic Services. THRIVE™ works with credit unions to create revolutionary member relationships via organizational education, member-centric data strategies, and data maturity.

She is a recognized credit union business strategist, presenter author, educator with an MBA thesis on the credit union business model as well as two internationally published whitepapers on credit union business strategy. She has delivered over 100 onsite sessions to over 600 credit union senior leaders across the united states, launching their data journeys.

Anne is author of Big Data/Big Climb, the industry’s only playbook on data transformation. And she taught at the CUNA Marketing School and has acted as the subject matter expert for CUNA’s Credit Union marketing curriculum. She has also been an author to CUNA’s Environmental Scan, The Credit Union industry’s leading strategic planning guide. She has also served on various Credit Union Boards, including; CUNA’s Marketing and Business Development Executive Council, MAC, and the California and Nevada Credit Union League Public Advocacy Committee.

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