Cornerstone Credit Union League
Eighty years ago, shortly after the Great Depression, T.S. Eliot penned in his poem “Choruses from The Rock” these words:
“Where is the Life we have lost in living?
“Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge?
“Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?”
To these lines I would add the question “Where is the information we have lost in data?”
Recently I read a series of articles in a trade publication on core processing. I realized, after having spent over two decades in EDS and other technology companies, and now having spent nearly a decade and one-half outside of technology companies, that we are no further along the path of understanding how to gain wisdom out of these systems than we were in the early 1980’s. We still struggle with data and are now being asked to swallow bigger chunks of it.
The principle known as DIKW (for Data, Information, Knowledge, Wisdom) is typically graphed as a pyramid. However, my leaning is to graph it as a flowchart because of the suppressive nature the pyramid image gives me. That is, it forces the vision that one cannot achieve the next level until the first level is built. (d = data, i = information, k = knowledge, u = understanding, w = wisdom, t = tacit knowledge, and e = explicit knowledge.)
But that is not the case. The best practice is to gather what one has and act upon it, testing the results and then improving on the discoveries.
In a presentation I give often, which I loving call the “Bullet-Hole Presentation,” I impart on the audience the theory that all too often we are looking at where the bullet holes are, rather than where they are not.
We look at our membership base and make assumptions that to grow we need to gain more members. Yet we forget that numerous research pieces point to findings showing credit unions only have a 45 percent share of the collective members’ wallet. A greater share is lost to the competition.
We struggle with core processing systems and design mobile applications around teller functions. Yet we fail to realize user experience and perspective drives mobile application design.
We worry about bringing in too many deposits and the dilutive factor to our ratios. Yet we may not realize research papers indicate boomers will move large chunks of deposits into wealth management firms and financial institutions could lose large amounts of deposits overnight.
I say, move forward. Try new things. Push the limit. Read the data but do not expect to have all the answers before moving into trying and understanding. Part of the glory of failure is of knowing what not to do.
As T.S. Eliot would write near the poem's conclusion:
Out of the meaningless practical shapes of all that is living or lifeless
Joined with the artist's eye, new life, new form, new colour.
And, if all of this new creation is confusing, give me a call. We can help.