CU Demystifies Data & Empowers Managers to Make Data-Driven Decisions

SELCO Community Credit Union Demystifies Data & Empowers Managers to Make Data-Driven Decisions with Power BI

Company Overview

SELCO Community Credit Union provides a comprehensive suite of financial services to its members. From personal and commercial checking accounts to credit cards to home and auto loans to digital banking services to financial planning and more, SELCO helps its members work toward their life and business goals. Founded in 1936, the not-for-profit cooperative has become renowned for its tireless personal service and commitment to the communities it serves.

Executive Summary

According to John Ryan, director of information services at SELCO, the organization had a solid IT infrastructure in place and no shortage of data. However, the company’s business units didn’t have a streamlined way to access the data they needed nor a way to view and present information in a simplified and meaningful format.

SELCO had prior experience working with CFS’s team of data integration experts. CFS integrated data from its direct consumer lending LOS (MeridianLink) and its indirect lending LOS (CUDirect) into its existing data warehouse in the 4th quarter of 2018. From this experience, Ryan knew he could count on CFS to develop an analytics solution to meet the credit union’s data analytics needs. SELCO had selected Power BI as its dashboard/analytic platform and chose CFS to deliver curated data sets and sample dashboards for consumption by its end users. SELCO had a strategy (not unlike its peers) that the organization had to invest in providing insightful access to important information first before its team could identify the specific ways in which they would become data-driven in decision making. SELCO saw its relationship with CFS as a way to get this process jump-started, but in the longer term, its own team would have to take ownership of the program over time.


According to Ryan, SELCO had a lot of data but lacked a way for its business unit managers to readily explore it independently for monitoring performance and making business decisions.

Although the company’s small but talented IT team had methodically developed a robust data infrastructure, it needed a partner with specialized credit union expertise in data modeling and analytics to create a viable business intelligence solution.

SELCO also recognized it might meet some challenges in convincing its business users to readily adopt a new tool. Ryan and his IT team realized it would be a big ask to expect busy managers to find the time to learn how to use the software for creating reports and dashboards.

The Solution

According to Ryan, “We first came to know of CFS due to the work they’ve done with integrating third-party data into the ARCU data warehouse we purchased from Jack Henry and Associates (the provider of our core system). We engaged CFS to bring data from our consumer loan origination membership application, indirect lending, and mortgage origination systems into the data warehouse. Then as we sought to deploy Power BI across the organization, we learned that CFS had a really great collection of off-the-shelf data sets built off the ARCU data and third-party data. We saw these as a way to jump-start our program.”

CFS also used their Analytics Data Connector to mine transactions out of the Core and data warehouse, then transformed this data into data marts used for reports, dashboards, and analytics. CFS customized the standard data sets and Power BI dashboards available with the Analytics Data Connector for SELCO to enhance the business user experience further.

To eliminate time-strapped managers’ potential hesitancy to use Power BI, SELCO Community Credit Union hired a dedicated team member to help the business users understand the data and train them on how to use Power BI.

“We came to find that it’s really important to have dedicated team members who are able to build these dashboards and assist those users who are able to make time to dig into Power BI and the data,” explained Ryan.


The solution has made data more accessible and actionable and is meeting the goal of being a key pillar of the organization.

SELCO’s business intelligence developer, who oversees the data sets and Power BI models, ensures business units can get the insights they need. That individual trains employees on how to set up reports and dashboards — and builds those assets for staff members who don’t have the time or confidence to create them on their own.

Some of the specific reports, dashboards, and visualizations SELCO’s teams are using to monitor performance and make data-driven decisions include:

  • Greater Marketing and Retail awareness of the metrics they care about, such as dashboards showing where the membership growth is happening, what type of loan products are people opening, how many members are using credit cards and how many are using debit cards, what channels are bringing in those accounts, accounts opened per month, products per member, product sales performance (in which counties as well as member demographics) is growing, account penetration, and other metrics
  • Lending department reports to see loan requests in progress, loans completed, and which SELCO team members completed those loan requests
  • Peer data analysis reports and dashboards for comparing how SELCO is performing compared to its NCUA peer groups nationally and in the state of Oregon

The CFS data sets combined with Power BI save time (no more manually extracting data from spreadsheets and SQL reporting services) and give business units a better view of trends, opportunities, and areas in need of improvement.

“I think it is starting to have a tangible effect as far as people have this source of information that’s in a visually pleasing format. It’s not just a spreadsheet with data in it. That naturally causes people to think about things differently and get a greater understanding of where we are and where we’ve been.”

John Ryan
Director of Information Services, SELCO Community Credit Union

Return on Investment and Future Plans

Partnering with CFS allowed SELCO to implement the solution without putting undue strain on its small IT team. CFS’s expertise in building integrations with third-party credit union software systems saved the company time. It provided peace of mind that the deployment would be executed successfully and that end users could trust the data, which is so critical to obtaining adoption.

The Power BI solution, with the CFS verified data sets and easy-to-understand visualizations, has given SELCO’s business users expanded business insights and increased confidence in their decision-making.

“I think it is starting to have a tangible effect as far as people have this source of information that’s in a visually pleasing format,” explained Ryan. “It’s not just a spreadsheet with data in it. That naturally causes people to think about things differently and get a greater understanding of where we are and where we’ve been.”

A long-term goal for SELCO is to continue on a trajectory leading to sophisticated, predictive modeling that will help the credit union recognize where its best growth opportunities exist.

Currently, SELCO’s IT team is transitioning its digital banking to Lumen Digital and will partner with CFS to deploy the Lumen Digital Data Connector. Lumen Digital will empower the credit union’s members with new features. Using Power BI to help analyze Lumen’s data will empower SELCO with valuable information about how members use the digital banking platform.

“We’re going to work with CFS on creating a process to take the data extracts from Lumen and integrate them into our data warehouse. Then we’ll really be able to have insights into the usage, member behavior, the services that are being used, who’s using the systems, and where the people who are using the systems are located,” shared Ryan.

“We’ve been happy to rely on CFS to provide their expertise in building the integrations to extract data from our loan and member originations systems. Due to CFS working with so many credit unions, they’re able to provide really good insights into pitfalls that others have fallen into and potential better paths forward when approaching projects. They’re a really great partner to work with.”

John Ryan
Director of Information Services, SELCO Community Credit Union

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