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