Many of you likely have heard the term "big data" thrown around, but may not be entirely clear on what exactly it means. In short, big data refers to the collection and use of a massive amount of information from a variety of sources that can be analyzed computationally to reveal certain patterns, trends and associations, especially those related to human behavior and interactions. This familiar term is far more than a buzzword, though — it is a valuable tool that should be integrated into your credit union's overall growth strategy.

Here's how your credit union can use big data to enhance member relationships and increase profitability:

Utilize the member data you already have. Your credit union already has powerful information about your members from your core processor and transactional data. By collecting this data, you can get a clearer picture of your member base, enabling you to build profiles and create marketing campaigns and product offerings. Member spending information can also give your credit union useful insights on different target market segments. For example, by assessing where your members are shopping via their purchase history, you can incentivize members to use their credit union cards by offering gift cards or rewards points for shopping at places they already frequent. You can also use this information to cross-sell other products and services your credit union provides. These types of campaigns are mutually beneficial to the credit union and your members.

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