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How Financial Institutions Can Get The Most Out Of Their Data

Home » Blog » Strategies » How Financial Institutions Can Get The Most Out Of Their Data
Leveraging transaction data cleansing to derive actionable insights

In a recent conversation with clients, the Alkami Data & Marketing Solutions team, including Zee Gauba, Director of Client Success and Kent Blacksher, Sr. Business Development Executive, discussed ways that FIs can access relevant data insights, keep data secure, and use data to be adaptable and efficient. They were joined by clients Cheryl Dutton, Chief Marketing Officer at Altra Federal Credit Union and Ben Udell, Sr. Vice President of Consumer Banking at Monona Bank.

Read on to learn more about these key takeaways from their discussion:

  • Transactional data proves to be most valuable for FIs
  • Building an account holder database is a marathon, not a sprint 
  • Staying on top of trends is crucial
Transactional Data is Proving to be Most Valuable for FIs

“The best indicator of who people are is reflected in the transactions that they make,” said Zee. He continued with making it clear that an FI can start to tell the story of every account holder by analyzing the data set.

Cheryl Dutton spoke about the importance of Altra FCU not only gathering transactional data on their account holders, but also being able to properly analyze it. 

“Transactional data is the most valuable data that FIs can get their hands on,” Cheryl said. “We use it to really look at the competitive landscape, where our members may have loans elsewhere, deposits elsewhere, and wealth management accounts elsewhere. Then we can develop strategies for how we can make sure we have the most share of wallet based on that information.”

But her team is not only keeping an eye on the competition. They are also tracking members’ financial wellness.

Cheryl said, “We also look at how financially well our members are. We know where their deposits, their savings, and their loans are. If they’re in financial stress, how can we help them? Transactional data has just been a lifesaver for us.”

“Transactional data has just been a lifesaver for us.” – Cheryl Dutton, Chief Marketing Officer, Altra FCU

Ben Udell also made a great point on how Monona Bank utilizes transactional data to validate what they hear day-to-day in their branches. They use this data to determine if these trends are happening companywide or just in an isolated number of branches.

“We’re a $1.3 billion bank with nine branches,” Ben said, “So the feedback loop to understand that transactional data is either pulling data from the core or it’s getting feedback from the branches. But in this ever increasing digital world, we just do not see our clients or have that strong enough feedback loop to understand that. So this is one of the ways we can start to validate what we’re hearing in the branches.”

Knowing how, why, and where account holders are spending their money is extremely valuable information for FIs because it allows them to tailor their messaging to each individual account holder to best meet their unique financial needs. Harnessing this data also leads to stronger strategies throughout the institution.

Building an Account Holder Database is a Marathon, not a Sprint 

While an FI that is introduced to the concept of gathering transactional data may want to jump in head first, the group all agreed it’s very important to start slow, and build a trusted database. 

Cheryl learned that from her experience creating the data warehouse at Altra FCU. “We started our journey to build our data warehouse about four years ago,” Cheryl said. “And let me tell you, it is not a sprint. It is a marathon.”

“We started our journey to build our data warehouse about four years ago. And let me tell you, it is not a sprint. It is a marathon.” – Cheryl Dutton, Chief Marketing Officer, Altra FCU

They are now starting to piece together a complete picture. In the early days, Cheryl said, there were plenty of roadblocks while wading through immense sets of account holder behavior trends. They needed to not only confirm if the data was correct, but also determine if the data was even relevant.

For those just getting started building their database, she advocated starting with a narrow focus, measuring the results, and expanding from there.

However, it’s not an easy process. Udell’s response to being asked how FIs can start getting to a point of one single source of data was: “Good luck.” While he was being a bit tongue-in-cheek, he also stressed the importance of starting slow, validating along the way, and building up from there.

He added, “Our Client Success Manager adds value every month in our meetings. She constantly challenges us, bringing thoughts for new audiences, and providing insight on what other clients are executing.”

The key here is starting slow, setting clear goals, and working with your dedicated Client Success Manager to achieve the best results.

Staying On Top of Trends is Crucial 

Analyzing consumer trends also necessitates the ability to act quickly when new behaviors arise in account holders.

With Alkami Data & Marketing Solutions, Cheryl said, “You can identify trends pretty quickly.” 

For example, the group discussed the increasing adoption of “buy now pay later” programs, which offer instant purchasing ability with extremely high interest rates. Dutton referenced Altra FCU’s ability through Alkami Data & Marketing Solutions to identify account holders who utilized these programs. Then they can contact these account holders directly, offering low interest rate loans and other debt consolidation strategies.

Staying on top of account holders’ financial wellbeing, by regularly monitoring Financial Health Key Lifestyle Indicators (KLIs), isn’t the only important aspect of uncovering insights in transaction data. It’s also about knowing how to properly market to individuals with relevant messaging, at the right point in time, on the right channels.

Udell referenced how Monona Bank previously relied on mass direct mail campaigns of different offers and debt-consolidation strategies to their customers. That process used to take up to a month, and it could often be hit or miss if the offer was actually relevant to the end user. 

Now, by leveraging Alkami Data & Marketing Solutions, they are able to quickly and efficiently target account holders that data and modeling indicate would directly benefit from an offer. Instead of the campaign process taking a month, his team can now stand up data-backed campaigns in just two days.

“Within a day, we can create all the art we want to have. We can put it out to all of these channels through Alkami Customer Insights & Marketing Automation, and it only took us 48 hours to do that.” – Ben Udell, Sr. Vice President of Consumer Banking, Monona Bank

Accessing Relevant Insights and Consumer Behaviors is Key for FIs

Building an informational database and being able to identify opportunities is crucial for FIs desiring to be competitive in a marketplace full of disruptors. Altra FCU and Monona Bank are just two examples of the many FIs that harness the power of Alkami Data & Marketing Solutions to turn an overwhelming amount of transaction data into strategic focuses and meaningful interactions. Ultimately, fueling institutional loyalty and revenue growth.

Read more about Alkami Data & Marketing Solutions.

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