So, what are we doing, exactly?

I’ve been contacted by many credit union folk, both near and far, since the NTCUE competition wrapped up. By and large, their questions center around the nuts and bolts of what we are actually doing. I thought I’d try and dispel your queries by answering the most frequently asked questions here:

What are we tracking?

I have a deep and abiding love for spreadsheets. As I have learned more and more about all that our processing system can spit out in terms of results and metrics, I naturally had the urge to create a spreadsheet that captured as much information on our new accounts as possible. There is no information more vital than the piece you wish you had, after all, so when designing a tracking system of your own, I highly recommend over analyzing things.

Our report will capture several pieces of information about our new members and new accounts. How did I come up with all these neat little rows? I grabbed a Dr. Pepper and took a think break, imagining all the grainy little details of what determines a successful program. I also asked around, and looked into the reports we already generate for things like loan volume and branch performance. All of these things led me to this bad boy:

The wizards of my IT department can run a report and pull the information about our new accounts detailed in the spreadsheet above. I ask them to run the report quarterly so that I can store each snapshot and compare our growth over time.

What about current members exposed to the material?

That is the very best question yet - at least when it comes to our in-school presentations. Truth is, I knew this was going to be a sticking point from the very beginning. This process is excellent for tracking our exposure and stickiness with prospective members, but I can’t offer free money to existing members (or so say the examiners…). This is still a work in progress, and this question is my focus in 2017. How can we prove the impact of our financial education efforts on our current members - things like helping them make better financial choices, and also turning them into more profitable members of our credit union?

The good news is that as we begin offering targeted financial workshops to members, we will be able to identify who has taken our courses. We can flag these accounts, do a “before” snapshot of the member, including account balances, credit score, etc… and then compare this with the member performance down the road. It’s not the complete answer, but it’s definitely a step towards a more complete view of what financial education is bringing back to our credit union.