Data warehouses, multi-dimensional analysis cubes, and predictive analytics can appear to be imposing goals.
Where do we start?
How quickly can we accomplish our data goals?
Do I have the right talent?
These questions, and many like them, create doubt and concern amongst credit union executives wondering how they can start utilizing data better and begin to develop BI practices. Rich Jones and I have developed a business intelligence strategic engagement opportunity with credit unions seeking to answer these questions about business intelligence and data utilization. From the $300 million credit union or community bank without an MCIF to the $2.8 billion organization working to build their first data warehouse, we help each organization design a very specific roadmap that will enable them to accomplish their business intelligence goals and become a data-driven credit union.
So how does it work?
We recently completed a very successful business intelligence strategy engagement with a large east coast credit union. Their story was like most credit unions – there were many third-party applications and data sources spread throughout the organization. The information contained within these disparate applications made it incredibly challenging to get a 360-degree view of their membership and their internal business operations. Realizing that they could do more with their data, they sought our assistance to develop a long-term business intelligence and data strategy that could lead them to success.
Once we arrived onsite, we met with nearly 30 individuals over a four-day period to identify the various applications used throughout the credit union, the current reports and data uses, the needs of each department, and a variety of other relevant details. From the CEO to the Vice President of Consumer Lending to the lead Lending Analyst, each individual interviewed gave us the insight necessary to understand the organizational data needs and current data challenges. These interviews were absolutely critical to the success of the engagement and comprise the overwhelming majority of the time that we spent onsite.
With the interviews completed (and many pages of notes!), we consolidated our discovery notes and developed an 18 to 36 month data strategy that will allow the credit union to achieve their data goals. Our very detailed implementation plan included hiring milestones, third-party data integration milestones, business intelligence unit establishment deadlines, and several other key deadlines and milestones. These very specific deadlines allow the credit union to monitor their progress as they undertake each step of the process. Sequential, logical, and iterative, the roadmap breaks down the business intelligence strategy into very achievable and digestible tasks that reduce the stress that often accompany significant organizational projects.
Prior to this, the credit union was struggling with how to take the right first steps in achieving their data goals. The project loomed ominously as they continued to struggle with business intelligence and data utilization.
Now, the credit union understands exactly what they need to do, whom they need to hire or train, when they need to achieve certain milestones, and all of the details in between. Stress and concern over business intelligence has turned into excitement and opportunity. They now have the plan in place to become a data-driven credit union!
Our implementation plans and business intelligence roadmaps are based on significant past experiences and expertise. Rich’s experience in leading the establishment of business intelligence units at multiple large credit unions, and my expertise in the tactical development of data warehouses and business intelligence operations creates a powerful combination of two distinct yet complementary skill sets. Together, we can help change the credit union world from a backwards-looking, report-reading industry into one that is forward-looking and data-driven.