First, Understand the Value of Big Data to Solve Problems

Monday’s keynote speaker Susan Etlinger Shares Best Practices

July 25, 2017

VIENNA, Austria — Keynote speaker Susan Etlinger, data analyst with Altimeter, a Prophet Company and TED speaker focused on big data strategy and principles in ethical data use during Monday's general session at the 2017 World Credit Union Conference.

Keynote speaker Susan Etlinger shares insight on big data

“To understand the value of big data, we need to look at what problems we can solve with big data,” said Etlinger. “These include the health of our brand, marketing optimization, revenue generation, operational efficiencies, customer experience and innovation.” Data-driven business requires clean data, clarity, community, culture and customer focus. “Don’t let data and technology distract you from your business, but let it help you with the most pressing challenges you have,” said Etlinger.

Etlinger provided insights on the evolution of communication from the writing on caves to long distance messaging to today’s “visual, ephemeral and connected world” with billions of images, leading us to big data. “The emojis are the hieroglyphics of the modern age,” said Etlinger.

In the State of the Movement, Brian Branch, World Council president and CEO shared thoughts on the global credit union and financial cooperative movement. “We are a global network of financial institutions which are member owned and member controlled. This is what makes us a movement connected to a common set of values,” said Branch.

World Council president and CEO Brian Branch address delegates

“We are privileged to work in an industry driven by the economic empowerment of our members.  Our challenges know no borders,” said Branch expanding upon the top priorities for the industry: regulatory burden, fintech disruption, membership growth, cybersecurity and small credit union sustainability. 

Branch also presented the Ambassador Award to Rudy Hanley, SchoolsFirst Credit Union (USA) for his commitment to fostering international credit union development. 

Monday finished with a variety of well-attended breakout sessions including educational tracks on advocacy, digital strategies, innovation and emerging technologies.

The 2017 World Credit Union Conference runs through 26 July. Follow conference activities, including daily event photos, on Facebook and Twitter with #WCUC2017.


World Council of Credit Unions is the global trade association and development platform for credit unions. World Council promotes the sustainable development of credit unions and other financial cooperatives around the world to empower people through access to high quality and affordable financial services. World Council advocates on behalf of the global credit union system before international organizations and works with national governments to improve legislation and regulation. Its technical assistance programs introduce new tools and technologies to strengthen credit unions' financial performance and increase their outreach.

World Council has implemented 300+ technical assistance programs in 89 countries. Worldwide, 89,026 credit unions in 117 countries serve 260 million people. Learn more about World Council's impact around the world at

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Contact: Eleni Giakoumopoulos
Organization: World Council of Credit Unions
Phone: +1-608-395-2031