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Which is More Mature – A Teenager or Your Data?

January 20, 2021

data analytics maturity

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

One of the most overlooked areas in data is enterprise maturity. Many organizations feel that data maturity will organically occur. That is a fallacy. Data is an incredibly robust asset and requires love and attention, just like a teenager.

Data Maturity is the extent to which an organization utilizes the data they produce. The more a credit union uses data, the more it gains confidence in the insights it creates and increases the complexity of the actions taken. This maturity process is very similar to human maturity.

data maturity graphic

Data Maturity Stage 1: Infancy 

The data in this stage is in its earliest form. It is raw, ideally clean, and living in silos. The organization is in its infancy of understanding connected data’s power, similar to how children learn about their bodies and how it functions. The credit union recognizes that it has data, but it has no formal data strategy, and substantial effort is needed to produce data reports.

Data Maturity Stage 2: Childhood

Like a child, the organization is in a reactive position to data. Spreadsheets are used as a primary means of reporting. Reporting is limited to tasks that are critical for business operations. There is no formal BI and analytics tools or standard. There is no data governance, which creates a low level of confidence in data. Descriptive analytics are employed.

Data Maturity Stage 3: Teen Years 

As the credit union begins to mature, it starts to resemble a teenager. There is confidence in some capabilities, and exploring beyond set childhood boundaries to increase knowledge, the credit union takes a proactive position to data. Data is being used to create what-if scenarios in financial reporting. Standard sets of reports are being produced regularly with ad-hoc capabilities available. The credit union is beginning to track KPI. An exploration of statistical analysis and data management standards are beginning to take shape. BI and analytics are in their early stages of implementation and are used to report on activity.

Data Maturity Stage 4: Adulthood

Similar to adulthood, this is where physical, emotional, and (ideally) financial maturity has occurred, allowing the person (or the data) to make a meaningful impact. Data management is practiced and governed across the company with effective policy and procedures. Data is pulled in real-time and used to predict outcomes. Prescribe solutions and improve upstream processes.

So, which is more mature? Your credit union data or a teenager?

>>>Interested in learning more on this topic? Check out our whitepaper “Laying the Foundation Before You Leverage Your Data.”


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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