Big data is part of everything from marketing to fraud detection these days, but surprisingly few credit unions use it to choose branch locations. That could put some credit unions at a disadvantage, experts said, because today even small cooperatives can capitalize on vast amounts of data – demographics, traffic patterns, geography and more – to find lucrative sites worthy of multi-million-dollar investments and long-term leases.

However, the gut is still mightier than the spreadsheet for most credit unions. Fewer than half the clients of the El Dorado Hills, Calif.-based Integrated Builders Group, which specializes in credit union building and design, have done any data-driven site selection in the last five to eight years, for example. Many rely on intuition instead, President/CEO Patrick Sende said.

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Tina Orem


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