The following is an excerpt from an article that ran in the June 14 – June 20 Atlanta Business Chronicle Financial Quarterly special section on credit unions, featuring interviews with leaders from credit unions around Georgia. Georgia Credit Union Affiliates, the trade organization for credit unions in the state, coordinates this section each year.
Big data is making a big impact on small credit unions in Georgia.
‘In fact data is integral to that decision we make in the company whether it affects the members directly or behind the scenes,’ said Hank Halter, CEO of Delta Community Credit Union. ‘I can’t think of a decision that isn’t based on data.’
While the big banks and other businesses have been using sophisticated analytics to sort and understand the data they store, credit unions have generally lagged behind. More recently a host of tools have become available that allow these smaller financial institutions to make use of the mountains of information held in disparate systems within the institution.
Delta Community created a business intelligence department that brings together 25 dedicated professionals whose sole task to accumulate, manage, interpret data while guiding the institution’s decision makers in crafting strategy that is solidly grounded in data, according to Halter.
Just a decade ago even a credit union as large as Delta Community ($6 billion in assets) did not have access to these tools. Today data guides activities such as the development and launch of new financial products and even the location of new branches.