Credit unions know the value of data. Leaders of these people-centric organizations are often reviewing the latest in consumer preferences and learning how to tailor products and services to serve members better.

Research can tell us many things about how to approach consumers – what needs they have, how they are making decisions or what behaviors are changing. However, an important perspective that is often left out of the research is the human stories that make up the data. We can pull numbers off the page, but many times we don’t see the voices and experiences behind them. And, many groups have long been overlooked entirely in large-scale reports.

I would argue that to make meaningful change for those we serve and serve underrepresented populations, we need to look at both the data as well as the human stories behind the numbers. When it comes to successful multicultural business strategy for credit unions, there isn’t a shortcut. We must engage in the intentional and authentic work of understanding these growing populations we wish to serve.

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