Article

CFO Focus: Analytics Tech Lightens the Load of Morning Chores

woman pouring morning coffee
By Brian Bodell

2 minutes

The ability to see a credit union’s daily financial performance eases strain on decision-makers during COVID-19.

It’s not unusual for credit union executives to begin their days by pouring through financial reports. Such “morning chores” allow CEOs, CFOs and other leaders to translate the stories the numbers are trying to tell key decision-makers.

As credit unions have grown both in size and scope, the data they must interpret has grown larger and more complex. Gathering, normalizing and analyzing the data is often quite manual, resulting in lower efficiency, reduced accuracy and a lack of timely information for making decisions. Monthly board reports are a perfect example of such “rear-view-mirror” information.

For credit unions that have included a financial dashboard such as Financial Performance Management into their analytics toolsets, however, more efficient and timely decision making is becoming a reality.

Not only do such platforms automatically combine data from multiple systems for a holistic view of credit union performance, they do so every single day. This is especially important today, as making fast decisions based on rapidly changing data during COVID-19 has become an important capability for credit unions.

As a credit union CEO and I shared on CU Broadcast in February, day-over-day financial trending isn’t necessary for every piece of the business. Some parts of the business move at a glacial pace, others much more rapidly. However, more areas of a credit union are changing daily and drastically against the backdrop of COVID-19.

Throughout the pandemic, credit unions with access to a good performance dashboard can depend on automated daily dashboards and reports. Monitoring daily loan and deposit performance has allowed those credit unions to quickly identify the most vulnerable areas of the business. Leaders can also pinpoint those members most likely to suffer the greatest financial impact from furloughs, business closures and other changes to our economy.

Balancing member and credit union financial wellness is a burden many leaders have been carrying for years as margins became razor thin. COVID-19 turned that tightrope walk into an even riskier feat. Maintaining balance during this challenging time depends on simple and timely access to business intelligence.

Credit unions have been serving their members well for decades and continue to do so despite being increasingly challenged by advanced competitors and, now, a global pandemic. With analytics and the people-helping-people spirit on our side, they’ll continue helping members achieve financial stability no matter the challenges ahead.

Brian Bodell is VP/product management for CUESolutions Platinum provider AdvantEdge Analytics, Madison, Wisconsin.

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