Creating Better Data Visualization and AccessErie Federal Credit Union is the largest credit union in Northwest PA, with nine locations and nearly 70,000 members. Since 1936, they have honored their mission to responsibly deliver a wide range of financial products and services to meet the needs of their membership. Built on the premise of people helping people, Erie Federal Credit Union is committed to helping build strong communities and making a positive impact where they live and work.
Erie Federal Credit Union needed a true corporate business intelligence and reporting solution. They wanted to better capture, summarize, visualize and analyze key performance indicators related to credit union performance. In their search for an appropriate solution, they reached out to a trusted credit union service organization — who, as it turns out, had just wrapped up a similar project with our team at Hammer Dev. Our name was passed along and Erie contacted us to find out how we might be able to support their needs.
Given that executive leadership reports to a Board of Directors, they needed a solution that could tell their performance story easily while allowing reviewers to dig further into the data as needed. Chief among Erie’s challenges was they had a great tool in place for data visualization – the only problem was that it was optimized for websites, not business reporting and analytics.
Along those lines, Erie did not have the underlying data architecture set up to facilitate the creation of ad-hoc reporting and analytics. As a financial institution, it was imperative that Erie be able to deliver reports on demand, complete with supporting analytics. The system they were using required an inordinate amount of time behind the scenes to produce reports. Moving to an automated reporting process would remove manual data entry and allow them to pull data as needed to respond more nimbly to requests from the board. Data available on-demand would also allow Erie to spend more time analyzing the information and drawing business conclusions, whereas previously their time was spend gathering the data.
The Erie team is well-versed in Microsoft Excel, which made Microsoft Power BI a natural fit. In addition to the features Erie was already used to, Weidenhammer could create an executive dashboard that would allow them to run reports on an ongoing basis and see the key performance indicators that most mattered at a glance. Not only would this solution save Erie’s team from hours of manually running reports, it would also let leadership see more immediately where the credit union was performing well and where there were opportunities for improvement.
Big picture, this also had the benefit of moving Erie toward becoming a more data-driven organization. Rather than using data to confirm they made the right decisions in the past, they could aim to use data to guide and predict their decisions going forward. As the credit union grows, so could their business intelligence platform, as it is designed to scale with the organization.
The first step we took was to establish a Power BI data model and reporting platform that pulls against an existing maintained data mart. From there, we could create the executive dashboard and the necessary data models that would formulate the reports and visuals for the executive dashboard. Those included metrics that could quickly relay growth and trends related to deposits, loans, and securities. Finally, Hammer Dev worked with Erie’s IT team to facilitate data integration and ensure the necessary data elements were available from Erie’s core banking and finance systems.
Now, Erie is on the road to a true corporate business intelligence solution with improved flexibility, scalability, and maintainability. They have more agility when it comes to strategic planning based on being able to easily view company performance. Staff are freed from spending hours pulling reports to present to the board and instead can focus on more strategic priorities. And they are moving toward a data-driven approach, which will serve them well long-term — all thanks to the implementation of a proper Data Model and Microsoft Power BI.
Prior to this engagement, we spent an inordinate amount of time gathering and summarizing institutional data for Board reporting. We now have customized performance metrics that truly tell the story behind the data at a glance. The solution Weidenhammer provided has helped us to greatly streamline our presentation and reporting efforts. We are excited by the possibilities of where the future of this solution may lead.”Brian Waugaman, CEO