At BlueOx Credit Union our vision is simple: making a difference.
In March 2020 when the first wave of the pandemic hit, we were on high alert to adjust our business continuity on a daily and sometimes hourly basis for the unprecedented situation that was unfolding in front of us. Given all the uncertainty, our President Steve Cobb requested that various key performance indicators (KPIs) be sent to team leaders weekly. At a time of such shifting markets and consumer behavior, we did not want to sit back and wait a month to review the standard credit union financials. We now call that analysis the Early Warning Report.
Creating the Early Warning Report
BlueOx Credit Union’s Business Intelligence team got to work to develop the Early Warning Report that would enable our leaders to make quick business decisions. Our first stop was CU*Answers Analytics Booth. Analytics Booth is a data warehouse that is updated daily from our core CU*BASE data, tracking 70+ data points across balance, member, and transaction data categories. It is a powerful and simple tool not only for an analyst, but anyone curious in the credit union’s daily performance. We then joined this with other CU*BASE data including SnapShot, which is a daily static view of all our data from the previous end of day.
Since its introduction, the Early Warning Report has been quickly produced and delivered every Monday morning for the past nine months. The report includes eleven year-over-year key performance indicators including: delinquency counts and balances, deposit and loan balances and growth, deposit and withdrawal activity, debit and credit card activity, loan application/pipeline activity, and membership growth.
“This was my piece of mind report that gave me the information we needed to run the credit union and make decisions quickly,” said Cobb. “We had record growth in 2020 that we utilized to transform our balance sheet to maximize for future earnings and growth. This could not have been accomplished without our Business Intelligence department and their ability to quickly respond to this request and deliver meaningful data that resulted in better financial return of investment.”
The value of insights
Executive Vice President Danny Phillips has also been able to act on the Early Warning Report insight. “The big ones I have been watching are loan growth and deposit growth side by side. Watching spending and seeing how it correlates with deposits, especially at the time the stimulus money hit. While we would have expected a spike in spending, it stayed relatively flat. These data trends told us we needed to promote the safety and soundness of our debit and credit cards and further market and encourage spending.”
Danny added that the delinquent loan balances had obvious implications; however, it also presented a trend line to help with future projections. “The lending team has worked diligently to proactively meet these members where they are. We have offered support through over 300 loan modifications, 55 emergency relief loans with 90-day deferral on repayment, loan refinancing with cash out and no payments for 90 days, waiving of CD early withdrawal fees, and free hardship counseling through our partner Greenpath.”
The weekly Early Warning Report was generated out of a pandemic response, but the insight has proven valuable throughout the year. Danny Phillips explains, “There’s more I would like to see on this report. Concentration risk charts against limits, liquidity, ROA, etc. It would be truly amazing if we can take it a step forward and put out 3-month projections based on trending data so we can estimate further in advance. There is a level this could go to that would essentially be a CEO top-down snapshot report.”
The ongoing goal for BlueOx’s Business Intelligence department is to continue identifying key performance indicators to predict and prescribe the behavior of credit union member owners and assist with fast business decision making.