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CUNA Mutual (Madison, Wisc.) is both affirming continuity in its service to credit unions and executing a kind of departure with its launch of CUNA Mutual AdvantEdge Analytics LLC, a new data and analytics technology and services business designed to help credit unions deliver a better member experience through actionable insights. CUNA Mutual describes the new entity as the industry’s most integrated end-to-end solution, bringing together data management, reporting and performance management, and advanced analytics.
CUNA Mutual AdvantEdge Analytics represents part of a more than $250 million investment in innovation to help the credit union industry. In its statement announcing the new entity, CUNA Mutual says that the AdvantEdge Analytics’ full suite of software tools and intelligence reporting will integrate and significantly expand the scale of data to help credit unions gain stronger member intelligence, accelerate analytics adoption and strengthen their market share. CUNA Mutual Group recently acquired Chicago-based data analytics startup, SavvyIntel, to further build-out the analytical reporting capabilities for the AdvantEdge Analytics product suite.
Significant Investments in Technology and Innovation
“As we continue to make significant investments in technology and innovation to address marketplace disruption and build for the future, AdvantEdge Analytics is a major step in our commitment to help credit unions remain strong and competitive for the long-term,” comment Robert N. Trunzo, President and CEO, CUNA Mutual Group. “Credit unions have an incredible opportunity to grow their reach to serve more members by harnessing data in new and insightful ways.”
CUNA Mutual has been on a multi-year mission to become a more consumer-centric organization. That being the case, “this doesn’t seem that radical of a change,” comments Peterson, who has taken on the role of President of the new entity. “It feels like a strategy and mission we’ve been on for some time.”
What is new is the dimension of “standing up a business within a business,” Peterson acknowledges. In doing so CUNA Mutual has sought to deliver a competitive solution to its credit union customers by providing not merely analytics-driven insights, but execution based on those insights.
“We are as much if not more about acting rather than just deriving the insights themselves,” Peterson says. “It’s not just throwing a bunch of insights over the wall, but rather truly helping them to operate.”
CUNA Mutual AdvantEdge helps credit unions by applying analytics to whatever problem they’re trying to solve, e.g., lead generation or churn reduction. They’re able to execute on the insights via a variety of channels, including direct mail, email, digital marketing and outbound call center. Peterson summarizes the capabilities as digital call center-based.
Leveraging Capabilities that Have Made CUNA Mutual Successful
“We’ve been very good at this and have been looking for ways to leverage those things that have made our business successful,” Peterson elaborates. “Not just to sell a given insurance product we might offer, but to take the capabilities that help us to be successful, externalize them, commercialize them and bringing them to our credit union partners in a way that’s easily consumed.”
The new entity enables CUNA Mutual to diversify its revenue streams as a services company with higher margin and less regulatory compliance requirements than when in its insurance mode. “We’re looking at this as a platform to launch multiple businesses,” Peterson says. “We’re focusing on analytics up front, but that discussion leads to topics such as integration and other assets that sit on top of the data, especially in the case where you’re helping clients act upon insights.”
CUNA Mutual will continue to invest in service-related capabilities, according to Peterson. “Many companies focus on a single point, such as a software application or a single predictive model,” he says. “Our approach is a closed-loop suite of services, and that execution on insights makes us think beyond what we’re providing today.