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Phil Britt
Phil Britt
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Analyze This

Meriwest Credit Union gains insight into survey data with Monitor Software solution.

To support marketing campaigns, product and service offerings, and pricing decisions, San Jose, Calif.-based Meriwest Credit Union ($1 billion in assets) creates market research reports from customer survey data. But a lack of automated data analysis from its online questionnaires, which are powered by Mercator's (Bristol, England) Snap Survey running on Microsoft Office, meant generating reports was time-consuming.

"We had been using Snap for the last couple of years and were happy with the front-end piece, though it didn't handle the analysis piece very well," according to Mythraeyi Narayanan, Meriwest's marketing research manager. To conduct analysis on survey results, Narayanan explains, Meriwest input responses into Excel spreadsheets.

Though the credit union wasn't "actively looking for analysis software," according to Narayanan, when Michael Denitto, VP of business development for Monitor Software, cold called Meriwest in late 2004, the ability to do faster and better analysis convinced the research manager to invite Monitor Software, a division of Monitor Group (Cambridge, Mass.), to make a presentation of its MarketSight analysis application. Shortly after the presentation, Meriwest signed a licensing agreement for the hosted, Web-based version of the solution (an installed version also is available) in March 2005 and immediately began using the application.

No other vendors were considered, largely because the software's annual licensing fee was "reasonably priced," according to Narayanan. "Price was important -- I have only a limited budget for research," she says.

Meriwest staff accesses the Monitor-hosted software via a secure Web portal -- users are assigned individual user names and passwords -- so the credit union didn't have to make any software changes or add any hardware to use the application. An outside firm -- Half Moon Bay, Calif.-based Godbe Research, with which Meriwest had an existing relationship -- produces an ASCII data file from the Snap Survey research results that Meriwest loads into the MarketSight application, which runs statistical analysis on the data. MarketSight also offers online charting for viewing results in graphical form. "The application lets me see the results, the statistical significance and lets me cross-tabulate the information," Narayanan says.

Narayanan uses survey analysis in the market research reports that she provides to management, which may adjust campaigns based on the findings. For example, Narayanan knew the credit union had one branch with very low market penetration in terms of demand deposit accounts. An analysis of a survey revealed that members were dissatisfied with the number of Meriwest ATMs, Narayanan relates.

The credit union wasn't going to add more ATMs, as it could never match the number offered by top-tier national banks that compete in the local market (e.g., Bank of America), Narayanan explains, so Meriwest decided instead to promote deposit accounts to members who lived and worked near the branch. "We made a decision that we would instead focus our marketing efforts on certificates of deposits and home equity lines to these members," Narayanan says, noting that the campaign netted $1 million in new account balances. * --Phil Britt

** Institution: Meriwest Credit Union (San Jose, Calif.).

** Assets: $1 billion.

** Business Challenge: Automate customer survey data analysis.

** Solution: Monitor Software's (Cambridge, Mass.) MarketSight data analysis solution.

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