The Trellance Data Blog

“I Know It When I See It” - 3 Essentials for Effective Business Intelligence Requirements

Posted by Peter Keers, PMP on Oct 15, 2014 12:30:00 PM

Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart famously said about obscenity, "I know it when I see it". This often seems to be the case with many credit union decision makers when asked to define Business Intelligence (BI) requirements.

Consider this common scenario: an innovative credit union executive champions the BI concept. The executive points out all the flaws in organization’s current reporting and analytics. Then, showing examples of how BI is revolutionizing performance in other industries, secures budget dollars for a BI initiative.

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Topics: Reporting and Analytics, Business Intelligence, Credit Unions, Data Integration, Budgeting, Analytic Data Model

The REAL Opportunity of Credit Union Big Data and Analytics

Posted by Austin Wentzlaff on Oct 8, 2014 1:58:00 PM

“Unity is strength... when there is teamwork and collaboration, wonderful things can be achieved.” –Mattie Stepanek

The credit union industry (or credit union movement as it’s often referred to) is probably one of the most collaborative industries in the United States, if not the entire world. Unlike other organizations, credit unions share ideas and even their “secrets.” They truly care about the welfare of the industry and its millions of members. It’s great! Collaboration benefits credit unions in several ways but one way, in my opinion, presents the biggest opportunity. Big Data and Analytics.

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Topics: Reporting and Analytics, Business Intelligence, Big Data, Credit Unions, Data Integration, Data Pool, Analytic Data Model, Data Analytics, Collaboration

Is Your Data Being All That It Can Be?

Posted by Kim Carlstrom on Sep 21, 2014 6:44:32 PM

A frequently asked question in the credit union movement is, “what is the data most credit unions have that they should be gathering, monitoring and reporting?”

In short, all of your data can be a critical component in gaining valuable insight into your members and optimizing business practices. The big question is . . . How accessible, comprehensive and useful is the data?

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Topics: Reporting and Analytics, Business Intelligence, Big Data, Credit Unions, Data Integration, Analytic Data Model, Data Analytics

How Business Analytics Improves Data Quality

Posted by Nate Wentzlaff on Sep 19, 2014 6:02:39 AM

Many credit unions are under the impression they must have perfect data before beginning a Business Analytics (BA) initiative. While high quality data is the foundation for BA, one of the best ways to determine the quality of the credit union’s data is by jumping right into an analytics project. Business problems are the basis for beginning any new project. Viewing credit union data from the lens of BA software allows credit unions to assess their data quality and improve their underlying systems. In order to grasp the concept of analytics, and how it can benefit business decisions, starting an analytics project (with a top down view) is the first step.

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Topics: Reporting and Analytics, Big Data, Credit Unions, Data Analytics

3 Ways Business Analytics Cultivate Cooperative Culture: An Example From Retail Mortgage Lending

Posted by Nate Wentzlaff on Aug 20, 2014 5:36:43 PM

In my previous blog, 3 Steps to Build Business Analytics in Mortgage Lending, I explained the steps a credit union should take to implement Business Analytics (BA). A great entry point for credit unions to begin establishing BA is mortgage lending. Once BA has been implemented, opportunities for deepening the cooperative culture of a credit union arise. Cooperation is the DNA of the Credit Union Movement. BA gives credit unions the ability to establish clear communication to strengthen their cooperative-oriented culture. Data-driven decisions and effective communication delivered by BA (embedded in business processes) will reinforce the cooperative strategy of credit unions.

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Topics: Reporting and Analytics, Business Intelligence, Big Data, Credit Unions, Membership, Data Analytics

Defining a Member: Helping Credit Unions Identify Their Members

Posted by Owen Mibus on Aug 13, 2014 7:29:38 AM

Credit unions, as member-owned financial cooperatives, track and report regularly the number of members they have. Membership is reported to the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), the credit union board, credit union management and in the annual report to members, among others.

Often the number of members reported varies depending on who at the credit union does the reporting. This can lead to confusion and concern. There may be someone in finance, someone in marketing and someone in administration all reporting on how many members the credit union has, and all reporting a different number of members!

Obviously the total member count needs to be consistent and accurate. However, there are several challenges that must be overcome:

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Topics: Reporting and Analytics, Credit Unions, Membership

The Cost of Cheap Spreadsheets

Posted by Peter Keers, PMP on Aug 4, 2014 6:01:16 AM

According to a recent study by SunGard Consulting Services, a majority of organizations surveyed were using outdated reporting and analytics techniques. The study concluded that while advanced data handling and reporting processes are widely available, they were not being acquired and implemented.

This phenomenon has been a big problem in the credit union industry for years. Backward-looking, spreadsheet-based system (SBS) reporting and analytics continues to be the norm in many institutions.

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Topics: Reporting and Analytics, Business Intelligence, Big Data, Credit Unions, Data Integration, Data Analytics

7 Challenges to Consider when Building a Data Warehouse

Posted by Austin Wentzlaff on Jul 27, 2014 4:43:00 PM

Most credit union leaders are familiar with the concept of Big Data and business intelligence, but they may fail to fully understand the significance they have on their credit union and its future. Big Data can provide credit unions with the ability to make better decisions that positively affect member relationships and ultimately their top and bottom lines.

An essential piece of any business intelligence (BI) strategy is a data warehouse. Data warehouses provide credit unions with the ability to integrate data from many disparate sources to create a single source of truth. From this single source of truth, credit unions are able to generate reporting and analytics tools that leverage data to make the most informed business decisions possible. A data warehouse project seems simple: find all disparate sources of data and consolidate them into a single source of truth. In all actuality, building a data warehouse is a complex process that could end in disaster if handled improperly.

There are several obstacles in the process that need to be overcome in order to achieve success in your next data warehouse project. These obstacles typically take an extensive amount of time to conquer, especially the first time they’re encountered. Credit union leaders should consider the following data warehouse challenges before building a data warehouse:

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Topics: Reporting and Analytics, Business Intelligence, Big Data, Credit Unions, Data Integration, Data Analytics

How can Return on Investment from Mobile Banking be Measured?

Posted by Austin Wentzlaff on Jun 3, 2014 3:15:44 PM


“Midsize banks are falling behind in meeting the needs of the fastest growing demographic groups, millennials and minorities, especially in online, mobile and problem resolution,” –Jim Miller, Director of Banking Services at J.D. Power

Mobile banking is top-of-mind for most credit unions in 2014 as they begin to realize the power it has on member interaction and satisfaction. Mobile Banking apps give members the ability to conduct several transactions that in certain ways replace the need for brick-and-mortar branch locations. Most recent advancements provide mobile app enabled credit unions with the ability to promote other banking products and services, attract millennials with perks and incentives, allow members to make mobile payments (also known as mobile Peer-to-Peer (P2P) payments), and even deposit checks through their mobile device. The benefits of mobile banking are undeniable but many midsize banks are not making it a top priority because they don’t have a way of justifying the investment. Measuring return on investment (ROI) for mobile banking apps, or an advancements to apps, can be extremely difficult as there is no real cash flow or revenue numbers associated. With big data reporting and analytics; however, credit unions can observe the effectiveness of an app on its members with ease and as a result be able to measure its ROI.

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Topics: Reporting and Analytics, Business Intelligence, Big Data, Credit Unions, Data Analytics, Digital

Believers at the Top

Posted by Peter Keers, PMP on Feb 23, 2014 3:43:08 PM

“The factor perhaps most determinant of success with an analytical strategy is the degree of engagement from the executive ranks.”

This quote from the recent Aberdeen Group report Executive’s Guide to Effective Analytics ( sums up one of the key drivers to an effective credit union analytics effort.

Organizational change sometimes can grow from a “bottom up” effort. Indeed, analytics champions frequently arise from functional areas within the enterprise. However, unless the credit union C-Suite understands, believes in, and pushes the analytics agenda, such initiatives have little chance of succeeding.

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Topics: Reporting and Analytics, Credit Unions, Data Analytics, Leadership