Information is power, and Business Intelligence is near and dear to my heart.
At STCU, we are always looking for ways to help our members and help our employees make more informed decisions. As the Director of Accounting and Finance for STCU, I believe numbers play a large part in that.
Many of you are used to seeing recommendations in your iTunes for a record that you might enjoy after making a purchase. Business Intelligence (BI) steers these recommendations by analyzing themes and trends in data. We can create similar experiences for our members with products and services using robust business intelligence.
To get the credit union on the same path, I have created the Business Intelligence Steering Committee, something I affectionately call BISC (nope, it’s not the soup). The role of this committee ensures alignment between the credit union’s strategic information needs and Business Intelligence capabilities. This committee is comprised of a team of credit union leaders and experts in varying areas of expertise including Finance, Technology, Operations, Lending, Branches, and Marketing. This committee ensures communication between these primary stakeholders, to ensure transparency, and create efficiencies overall eliminating silo thinking in terms of data. It will allow all areas to voice their needs around data and reporting needs, and provide a space for information sharing.
BISC will prioritize and authorize changes to reports and information sharing without creating bottlenecks. Tracking progress on large Business Intelligence initiatives and ensuring communication of information regarding BI initiatives to the credit union will promote data-driven decisions and steer the credit union away from “gut” decisions. BISC will develop the standards on tools, systems, and methods of reporting and ensure valid data is in the hands of our employees and members.
Another objective will be to identify existing and needed resources and put a definition around the required skillsets needed for report writers. Developing a training curriculum for these report writers will be imperative. This curriculum will not only cover the “how-to’s” of report writing, but also provide education on critical thinking skills, problem-solving, and troubleshooting. Reports don’t provide value without analysis. These report writers will not just develop reports but explore the results. Business rules provide guidance to report writing, and BISC will be identifying and clarifying the credit union’s business rules.
Data and information comes in many shapes and sizes. BISC will evaluate data sources and identify the credit union’s needs. Information is everywhere, in our core system, phone system, market and peer data, websites, and third party systems just to name a few. Combining, trending, evaluating, and measuring this data will provide useful information. BISC will evaluate our current systems used to combine and analyze this data including the credit union’s data warehouse and other database applications. Ultimately, BISC will be evaluating the credit union’s business needs and reporting opportunities.
What will we do with this information once we have it and how do we want to use it?
- Personalized and smart information will enable employees to have targeted conversations with members about the products and services we have that support each phase of their life to deepen those member relationships. Analysis of this personalized information will provide insights into member income and expense cycles and savings and borrowing patterns. It can allow members to plan financial goals, and analyze if those goals are attainable, providing very personalized information and financial education.
- Dynamic data will allow us to identify trends and educate our members in relation to many points in time. Dynamic data looks at what happened last year, last month, yesterday, and what will happen tomorrow to again help our members through different phases in their life.
- Accessible information is the key to ensure wide use by our members and employees. If this information is difficult to get to, it will be as useful as a pen with no ink. We will ensure accessible information through an employee dashboard solution and member intelligence for members through our branches and online banking. Leaders in the organization would have access to the answers they are looking for by clicking a button on their home screen or tablet. This would include big picture and drill-down capability to detailed account level information.
- Information changes day by day, minute by minute. It’s very powerful to help our members with recent and immediate information and to be able to anticipate their needs.
Imagine a world where we can jump to the answer before the member has to ask.