Use big data or become extinct

Super funds need to catch up with the big data imperative or they run the risk of becoming extinct, Mercer believes.

As big data is transforming the way we live, Mercer's managing director and pacific market leader, Ben Walsh, said funds have to learn, understand, and interact with members on a new level.

"Super funds have to catch up to many other industries thriving on the age of consumerism… they need to tap into the wealth of data they're sitting on," Walsh said.

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Responding to this Mercer has developed a new platform, Mercer Edge, to give funds insight and information about their members, including the likelihood that a member will switch funds.

Mercer's consumer marketing leader, Cambell Holt, said the platform can assist super funds exponentially increase their understanding of their customers.

"It brings Mercer's actuarial heritage and the analytics we've developed to help the challenge of understanding what members are going to do next" Holt said.

"We've arranged the platform that it offers meaningful insight straight out of the box."

Holt added that the platform brings insights to super fund executives that had never occurred to them before.

"For example the way we construct messages around the degree to which males and females are retirement ready, and it radically alters the way we communicate to the members. Different cohorts in terms of socio-economic state respond much differently to different types of messaging," Holt said.

Currently, NGS Super and Virgin Money have adopted Mercer Edge.

NGS Super chief executive, Anthony Rodwell-Ball, said "With Mercer Edge, our focus on customer intimacy will be further strengthened; providing the capability to undertake sophisticated analytics that will provide our customers with tailored services and offers, as well as supporting a single view of our customers."

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