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    Celero Chats with Aaron Dalziel: How credit unions benefit from Celero’s Business Analytics solution

    July 15, 2020

    In anticipation of our upcoming Online Panel Webinar with members of the governance council, we asked Aaron Dalziel, team lead of our Business Analytics team, about his team’s amazing work to empower Canadian credit unions.


    Aaron, you’ve been on Celero’s Business Analytics team since the beginning. How has the business analytics vision you started with been realized over that time?


    Our vision from the beginning has been to empower credit unions to access valuable business insights from their underlying business data and leverage those insights in an actionable way, regardless of their analytics maturity, asset size, or staffing.


    In 2017, we made some key partnerships and started with an early adopter credit union to develop and deliver a minimum viable product. Today, we have five credit unions using the product and eight predictive models to provide valuable insights. We have also brought in technologies like Microsoft’s Power BI to produce many actionable insights to further strengthen credit unions. We leverage data from multiple data sources including: DNA banking, off-book wealth portfolios, Stats Canada and more. As we speak, we are beta testing a new credit card data source. All of this work creates more of a comprehensive picture of the credit union’s business and insights to help them grow.


    You and your team engage with credit unions regularly. What are some of the ways that you keep credit unions at the core of Celero’s Business Analytics solutions?


    Very little of what our team produces is done without input from credit unions. As part of our Business Analytics solution, we created a governance council that functions as an ecosystem of collaboration to collect ideas for development. The governance council is made up entirely of credit unions participating in Celero’s Business Analytics product and they help to:

    • Provide feedback on our roadmap
    • Inject new ideas into our development backlog
    • Test out new features
    • Share their experiences in implementing solutions

    Not only do credit unions that join the platform get to sit on the governance council, they are also able to address specific business challenges they are facing during their implementation project. In this way we have a snowball effect where the standard library of insights and capabilities continues to grow for all clients without further investment. For example, our most recent credit union using the platform, Connect First Credit Union, wanted to explore membership households and connections in more detail. Understanding this further would allow them to provide better support, more targeted marketing and pricing to provide more well-rounded support to their membership. As part of their implementation, we delivered on this request and enabled the rest of the council to benefit from this work as well.


    Finally, with five implementations completed and a multitude of actionable insights developed, what would you say is your proudest accomplishment so far?


    Some of the proudest moments for me are those when a credit union shares a win they had when using the solution. I also get a lot of satisfication from presenting  new solutions to a team of member facing staff. Often one insight can create an incredible excitement for more. It’s like a snowball rolling down a hill. “What about this?”; “Could you add that?” Our Member 360-degree dashboard is a great example. It was developed to provide member-facing staff with a resource that could be used to inform member consultations. It brings in several data sources to present a holistic picture of the member, including their account holdings and transaction behaviours. When we presented it to the initial pilot group, there was great excitement in the room and we quickly received a number of enhancement ideas to make it even more powerful. It was one of the first solutions that we developed, and it continues to grow, which I think is a testament to its utilization.


    I am also proud of the advanced analytics that we do, like our Member Attrition Prediction and Next Best Product Offering, our most mature of the eight predictive models. Recently one client shared at our quarterly governance meeting that they were able to grow their membership by over 50 members in a little over one month using these machine learning models. Finally, the work we do in transaction text mining leads to very interesting insights too. Member transaction behavior is such a rich source of data that can inform so many decisions like:

    • Considering how a financial literacy campaign can strengthen your relationships with members using payday lending services.
    • Brainstorming the kinds of campaigns you could run if you could quickly (in less than 5 minutes) identify members that are likely to purchase a TFSA and just received a tax return in their chequing account?

    I love seeing evidence that the work we are doing with business analytics has real utility and value. I love working with Celero employees and our clients. It’s very rewarding to hear clients share their success stories and see the excitement that these solutions generate.


    If you’re interested in hearing success stories from credit unions that have adopted Celero’s Business Analytics solution, please sign up to attend our Online Panel Webinar here.


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