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Financial disparity Two different men find themselves on two different financial paths. Source: Shutterstock

Every credit union has underserved members, and data can help credit union leaders understand how to service them better. For a moment, let’s depart from the more standard definitions of “underserved” and consider the empathetic side of this group. A member may be underserved for a variety of reasons – it may be economic, education-related or a choice, just to name a few. By understanding these reasons through the lens of data, a leader can gain insight on how to meet the needs of their underserved members. This article outlines some approaches.

For purposes of this article, the underserved are those members whom a credit union should have a more engaged relationship with, but does not. This brings an interesting perspective when the empathetic element is considered, but it all boils down to the “why.” Each reason for being underserved will likely have its own “why,” which should form a hypothesis, and a savvy leader can use their data to prove or disprove the hypothesis. A credit union leader can perform this exercise with a variety of tools ranging from Excel and pivot charts to a data visualization platform fueled by a dedicated data warehouse. Often these hypotheses will lead to changes in perspective, and ultimately action that influences holistic member engagement rather than products and services alone.

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