Credit unions will have access to powerful analytics through a collaboration between Microsoft and CUNA Mutual AdvantEdge Analytics, a wholly owned subsidiary of the insurance supplier to most of the country’s credit unions. They will “co-develop a next generation data platform for the credit union industry that will not only provide expanded scale for the industry, but also level the playing field with larger financial service organizations,’ the companies said in their announcement.
“Credit unions know their business, their members and they know they are sitting on very valuable data,” said Tim Peterson, president of AdvantEdge Analytics, But their business focus is providing service to members, not extracting data from their 50 or so systems, on average, to run analytics and develop predictive data models.
“The AdvantEdge Analytics Data Platform will help credit unions integrate their existing systems data, providing better access to their data and analytics solutions that will allow credit unions to incorporate their data in the cloud,” the companies said in their announcement. “This standardized cloud-based platform will provide credit unions better access to analytics, tap into data analytics and machine learning to drive actionable insights, and get the most out of their data through custom apps.”
The app uses Microsoft Dynamics 365, Power BI and the newly announced Microsoft Common Data Services. AdvantEdge will offer a way to manage the credit unions’ data and use a common data model and platform to provide standardized ways to integrate insights from its tool sets —predictive models, reports, dashboards and visualizations tailored to the credit union industry, Peterson said. The analytics program can also draw on external data to provide that customer view.
“Microsoft Data Services gives us a way to integrate to the Microsoft toolset so we don’t have to build point to point custom integration.” The analytics will run on Microsoft’s Azure cloud.
Credit unions use systems from the well-known vendors such as FIS, Fiserv and Jack Henry plus technology from smaller companies or home-built solutions. Even when they use the major vendors, the systems have often been so customized that no two are alike.
“We try to be the steward of interoperability,” said Peterson. “The eco system that exists around those big core systems is very fractured, and the credit union industry is already suffering from scale challenges and fragmentation. We see our role as bringing more interoperability, more integration and more standardization.”