Superannuation: Big Data and the Member Experience

Superannuation: Big Data and the Member Experience

Superannuation: Big Data and the Member Experience

Times are certainly changing, and so are the types of customer that our industry serves. As tech-savvy customers begin to dominate the market, so too must services change to keep pace. All market research points to the fact that the Information Age is over, being replaced by the Age of the Customer.

Recent studies show brand loyalty is breaking down. Purchasing decisions are no longer automatic refills from the familiar, but rather being replaced by digital research and customer experience.

Some financial institutions are already reviewing every process they have, putting the customer at the heart of the map, and rebuilding everything they do from the ground up, centered around the customer’s experience. That is the way of the future.

But Superannuation is a tricky beast. As a financial product or service, it’s a business of delayed gratification. The vast majority of members get their first superannuation fund through their employers, often opting to accept default settings. Though the ATO and Australian Government have been doing more and more to encourage younger Australians to care about their super, it can be hard to reach them and capture their interest in a way that will carry them through to their retirement.

So what do you do?

Big Data and How to Use It

All businesses have a great deal of information on their customers. Some of it is factual, like their name, and some that can be inferred from data points, such as their preferences. If you haven’t heard about the Cambridge University study that purports to know everything from your intelligence and leadership potential to your Jungian personality type off a few Facebook likes, then you have not yet explored the power of data.

However, it’s important to keep in mind that privacy is a key concern of most people. To ethically use collected data without offending your customer, it’s important to be transparent about the data you’re collecting, what you’re using it for, who you’re sharing it with, and even more importantly, giving the customer the ability to control all of the above. Businesses should provide the ability to opt out of both data collection and specific uses, the ability to directly update misinformation, and to erase data already collected. It is also important to ensure that business partners you work with also uphold the same standards. Simply providing transparency and truly putting the power in your customer’s hands already places you ahead of the pack in terms of current member experience.

To improve your customer experience, start by understanding your customer. Who are they? What motivates them? What do they feel when they think about Superannuation? Answers to these questions can be found through a variety of channels, including focus groups, data analytics on your member base, research into the attitudes of real people, and analyzing call centre feedback. In fact, one of the key strengths of big data is the ability to analyze both your members and potential members to understand who they are and what they want.

Next, consider the tools and circumstances that the customer needs to act on your offer:

  • Motivation (a pleasure or pain, a hope or fear, etc.)
  • Ability (clarity of goal, simplicity in action, the necessary resources like time or money)
  • A trigger to act (life events, signals, and notifications)

Once you know why your customer is likely to engage with you, and when they’re likely to engage with you, it’s time to engineer how they do so.

  • Clarify the business objectives in a concrete, well-defined manner. (Example: “Let our new parent member base know that Superannuation can help protect their children’s future”)
  • Define the a measurable success criteria for the interaction. (Example: “10% uptake of new parents on insurance within Super”)
  • Determine what raw data you already have that can use to reach the success criteria.
  • Look for additional data that you need to complete the picture.
  • Ask yourself if the data is qualitatively trustworthy, and be sure that you retain its context.
  • Explore the data to find obvious correlations and high level characteristics.
  • Confirm that the data you’ve found forwards the design of the business objective.
  • Transform the data into business strategy, and concrete business actions.
  • Complete the business actions.
  • Monitor the business actions for results
  • Refine those actions in response to change.

Big data can not only help uncover the value of hidden data but also give an opportunity to the superannuation industry to do predictive analytics for efficient business modelling.

Finally, if you’re implementing a member experience project and want to make use of your customer data, don’t forget to look us up. We’d love to help you out!

Get in touch with us at or visit for more information. And don’t forget to let us know your thoughts by leaving a comment below.

Elizabeth Blythe

The door is locked and the clock is ticking!

The door is locked and the clock is ticking!

Our team of escape room novices go up against the Assassin in the Pub.

At IQ Group, we come to work every day with one purpose – to educate and advance the way Superfunds can support their members. But the workplace is about more than just the job, it’s also about the people you work with.

One of the ways we build trust and bonds between our staff is through fun, regular team-building activities. Our staff get to enjoy a regular range of fun activities organised by our talented Social Club. Over the past year, we have participated in some amazing lunches at restaurants around the CBD, an elegant evening on the Vivid Cruise, a hilarious night at Kinky Boots in the Capitol Theatre, and most recently, a cryptic evening at Escape Hunt Sydney.

To our dismay, we had found all lower difficulty rooms were sold out, meaning our group of enthusiastic Escape Room novices would have to try their luck with an advanced room – The Assassin in the Pub. With two Assassin-themed rooms available, we split into two groups to see who could make it out first!

Based on the real-life Razor Gang’s of 1920’s Sydney, we had to solve a series of clues to identify the killer of Bruhn, a Razor Gang leader.

We were handed out walkie-talkies to contact the Game Master for help, leaving us feeling like a group of true agents on a mission. With 60 minutes on the clock to solve some creative puzzles and physical tasks to reveal clues, the team got to work. The room was very professionally run, with an ambiance that took you back in time – and we thankfully found had a good set of puzzles for amateurs as well!

But after 60 minutes of laughs and cryptic clues – and neither of our two teams escaping – the hunt was over.

Here is what some of the team players had to say about the experience:

A really enjoyable experience with colleagues. Not only did we get to apply our collective intellect to some tricky non-super problems, but it was enlightening to see how well everyone worked together and you got a real sense of everyone’s hidden talents and strengths.

When you are in a group of BA’s it was fun to take a step back and watch the analytical brains at work- truly inspiring. In our group – yes the Sicilian did it (we picked him the moment we walked in the room) and without the slight hiccup with the bottles (no pun intended) I think we would have got out of there with minutes to spare.

Wouldn’t mind doing another one!

-Leigh Bell

I wasn’t sure what to expect but was curious about the Escape Hunt challenge – it turned out to be a great experience. A group of 5 of us got the opportunity to work together to solve the very cryptic puzzles to try to get out of the room in the time provided. We didn’t get out but I’m sure if we did it again we definitely would!

-Lillian Wade

Industry Update: ATO Super Fund Reporting to Become Event-Based

Industry Update: ATO Super Fund Reporting to Become Event-Based

We take a look at what the ATO’s new event-based Super Fund Reporting means for you.

The biggest change to fund reporting to the ATO is about to become a reality – and implementation is going to cost the super industry many millions of dollars. While there are plenty of reasons to support more frequent reporting, the challenges are also substantial and shouldn’t be underestimated.

The move from annual, aggregated reporting to transactional, event-based reporting is the final stage of SuperStream. Improving the transparency of the super system for the ATO and consumers is a really big deal – a big project with big implications.

More reporting, more often:

The new reporting services have the unspectacular names MAAS (Member Account Attribute Service) and MATS (Member Account Transaction Service). MAAS largely deals with account details, and MATS with contribution details.

Together, they will replace member contribution statements, lost member reporting and retirement phase reporting, and will ultimately generate much more up to date information that can be seen by fund members on myGov. These new services will make it faster and easier for the ATO to track employer superannuation compliance.

Driving Project Development:

In addition to improved tracking of employer superannuation compliance, these key changes will allow the government to:

– Fully implement 2016 budget tax measures

– Support contribution reporting under Single Touch Payroll

– Provide a data feed for a new online choice of super fund form

– Help the ATO monitor employer superannuation guarantee compliance

– Support further development of SuperStream

Following a year of discussion with the super industry about these projects, the ATO announced their decision to proceed at an industry workshop on 29 August. Details of the design are currently in development, with the services expected to be available for testing from July 2018. The plan is for complete data to be reported by 1 July 2019.

The program of work needed for the new reporting framework will be extensive, time-consuming and expensive. Like SuperStream, the industry will have to make a big upfront investment with the return on that investment being received over the long term – much of that benefit being for members, the ATO and the community as a whole.

Impact on Superannuation Funds:

From a fund’s perspective, the advantages of these changes include the removal and consolidation of many existing reports, an increased flow of superannuation payments, and improvement in system integrity overall. On the other hand, funds and administrators need to plan for considerably more frequent reporting to the ATO. This will impact systems, processes, procedures, and even the nature of engagement with both employers and employees. Hopefully, the development of MATS and MAAS will allow these services to be the main way superannuation payments are reported to the ATO.

With the introduction of MATS and MAAS, super reporting shouldn’t have to be a necessary part of Single Touch Payroll (STP). Reporting based on confirmation that contributions have been allocated to accounts should provide greater member benefits than that would have been provided under STP super reporting.

A decision to remove super reporting from STP should be made by the ATO, and the super industry should be encouraging them to do this.

Over the past 6 years IQ Group has been at the heart of SuperStream, and during the last 15 years no other consulting firm has delivered as many superannuation projects. We offer a specialist team able to draw on their deep industry knowledge to help make implementation a cost-effective and compliant reality.

For more industry insights like these, make sure you’re following us on LinkedIn and check out our other recent posts here. If you would like to find out more about these changes or how we can help, leave us a comment below or contact us at


David Haynes

Executive Superannuation Policy Advisor, VIC

Learn, Embed and Implement

Learn, Embed and Implement

After looking at our internal training, we wanted to take a deeper look at how IQ Group consultants use learning and development opportunities to build and grow knowledge for our customers.

Leanne Marmara is a senior consultant with IQ Group and is an experienced L&D specialist that has worked across several industries. Leanne has a passion for facilitating and presenting training that engages participants and makes learning memorable. We asked her about her experiences.

1.What is your personal approach to learning?

Learn, Embed and Implement. You can learn, read and gain access to an infinite amount of information however it’s the learnings that allows practical application that has the most impact. I always try to look at how I can embed the message/information and how I will implement it e.g. what current projects could use this, or how could I do this day to day?

2.Can you share a training experience at a client or internally, where you have seen the learning put into practice successfully?

Yes, at my current assignment with REST I have trained and implemented an education framework. Often training is an afterthought to process change. However this framework has prompted the business to think about process change differently and the impact it has on roles, products, existing procedures as well as the communication, training and change that needs to support it. I have developed a traceability matrix that serves as a Training Needs Analysis for the complete business process review. I’ve also introduced and trained a new learning tool that has been used for vendor training and that can now be developed in-house.

3.Leanne, you recently ran a Change Forum internally at IQ Group, can you tell us about this

The session was titled Are you business ready? It addressed the differences between Change Management and Business Readiness. The takeaways were practical tools and tips to ensure your project is business ready. This forum was also an opportunity for Project Managers to share their pain points and experiences. Many projects are not assigned a dedicated Change or Training resource so it’s imperative to understand what needs to be done and how to engage your project team and the business to undertake critical change activities to get business ready!

4.Why are you passionate about teaching others?

I love to share knowledge and believe people perform better when they have the support and training they need to succeed. It’s always an opportunity for me to grow and learn whilst teaching others, by seeing things from their perspectives with their experience. It’s very rewarding seeing people grow and develop after training. Many adults had bad experiences in school as children so making learning fun, and enjoyable is a great gift to be able to share.

Continuously Learning

Continuously Learning

At IQ Group we believe our continuous learning and development is key to providing our customers with the best consultants to support their business objectives. Many of our consultants provide training support to our clients as well as supporting development internally. 

As we begin our 5th Agile Scrum Master course internally this year, it is a great time to stop and think about the success of the training we do and what we have learnt both as trainers and trainees. I have asked our Agile coach to provide some of his thoughts on effective training. Emjee Derksen is a senior consultant with IQ Group with experience in driving and managing strategic business and technology programs and projects in diverse industries. Emjee is our internal Agile coach and also a Scrum Master and Agile coach for our clients. Here is his top 3 tips for effective training.

1.Be passionate

Emjee’s passion for helping people and seeing people grow in their understanding and abilities is what drives him in any training class he believes successful training gives people confidence in their own abilities and provides opportunities for them to develop as a person and in their careers. Emjee, coming from a family of teachers, loves to take to the whiteboard and to explain how things work.

2.Interactive Training is Key

For Emjee, the key to great training is to be interactive. Whether this is group activities, discussions or working through case studies, the opportunity for everyone in the room to share their thoughts and ideas can help embrace different learning styles and create a safe team environment for learning. Of course Emjee says “Loving to talk helps!”

3.Use your own experiences

Real-life examples and case studies bring training alive and allow the team to see the content in action. For Emjee, this has always been a key part to his training style and sharing stories of past experiences provides a great demonstration of how the content of a training course that is purely teaching from an instruction booklet can be translated into successful outcomes through practical application.

Beginning our 5th agile class for IQ consultants, Emjee hopes that a deeper understanding of the Agile principles and values will also provide support the practical application of agile in many of our clients and ultimately help IQ provide better outcomes for our customers.


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