What You Need to Know About Data, Disaster and ESG

CUES managing editor and publisher Theresa Witham
Theresa Witham Photo
VP/Publications & Publisher

2 minutes

From the editor

When it comes to using data to make a difference at your credit union, you need to start with “why?” not “how?” say the experts interviewed for our cover story, “’Why’ Data.”

Or asked another way: What are your goals? Focus on the why and set specific goals to propel your credit union forward.

Another area that benefits from getting down to details is disaster recovery planning. Rarely is a disaster a single, well-contained event. You might have a plan A that outlines your immediate response to a variety of disasters. But when something goes unexpectedly, you’ll need to trigger Plan B, which triggers Plan C, and so on until you’re on Plan L. Alert credit unions will prepare for disruptions that go outside the predictable lines, drag on for weeks or months, or trigger other disruptions. 

As Sabeh Samaha, president/CEO of Samaha & Associates (, a CUES Supplier member with offices in Miami and Los Angeles, says: “You always have to be prepared to implement a longer-range solution. A credit union probably has relationships for backup services for a designated period of time. A good plan must have ‘then what’ solutions.” Read more in “When It Feels Like You're on Plan ‘L’.”

Using data, you can help your credit union set and reach its goals. Having a robust disaster plan will ensure you stay operational in any situation. And focusing on ESG as a strategy could make your credit union more attractive to younger members and employees. Using an environmental, social and governance lens in your credit union’s strategic planning creates a useful framework for evaluating risks and deciding where to put resources. Learn more in “ESG as a Strategy.”

Finally, is your credit union making the most of its core system? 

“The key to getting the most from any core is the ability for flexibility around integration,” says Jeremiah Lotz, managing VP/digital and data for CUESolutions provider PSCU (, St. Petersburg, Florida. “A credit union’s core should enable integration to other parties, such as payment processors, to enable other technologies like instant payments. This includes integration both ways, in which a credit union’s vendors can access and fully utilize the core data, along with the core’s willingness to consume data and APIs (application programming interfaces) from other systems, allowing inclusion of that data in the functionality of the applications.”

If you think there’s room for improvement on how you use your core, read our special report, “Score With Your Core.”

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