CU Elevates Strategic Decision-Making with Data Integration & Power BI Data Connectors

A picture of a canoe in a lake with the logo for Red Canoe Credit Union.

Red Canoe Credit Union Elevates Strategic Decision-Making with Data Integration & Power BI Data Connectors

Company Overview

Red Canoe Credit Union is a not-for-profit financial cooperative that offers a full spectrum of financial services, including personal and business banking, loans, credit cards, and online banking and account access. Founded in 1937, the organization offers membership to anyone living, working, worshiping, or attending school in the State of Washington and various counties in Oregon and the family members of anyone meeting those requirements. Although Red Canoe has members across the United States, it remains a local credit union at its core and actively supports local community causes through financial contributions, resource donations, and staff volunteerism.

Executive Summary

After Red Canoe moved its core banking system from UltraData® Enterprise to Symitar’s Episys, the company’s IT team needed specialized assistance to integrate data from its most critical 3rd party business systems with data from its new core platform. 

Russ Peters, business intelligence development manager at Red Canoe, shared, “The move to Episys improved the integrity of our core data, but we weren’t sure how to bring in our ancillary data.” 

Red Canoe initially enlisted CFS Insight’s help in integrating data from its consumer lending, mortgage origination, and mortgage servicing platforms into the analytics and reporting system it purchased when converting to Episys. After that project’s success, Red Canoe’s business intelligence team recognized other opportunities to utilize CFS’s expertise in credit union data integration. 

With the help of CFS’s Data Connectors, modeling products, and support, Red Canoe has streamlined and centralized its data from disparate systems and elevated data processing and analytics capabilities (click here to learn how credit union data processing drove continuous improvement for American Airlines Federal Credit Union) . The efforts have enabled executive leadership and management teams to save time, stay on top of what is happening in the business, and make informed decisions that fuel innovation and growth. 


While Red Canoe acquired the centralized data repository ARCU (Advanced Reporting for Credit Unions) during its core conversion, its software consultant at the time did not have the expertise to integrate ARCU with critical loan platforms like MeridianLink, Cenlar and Mortgage Cadence.

Data in silos prevented leadership and management at all levels of the organization from seeing the big picture. They lacked the actionable insights necessary for making data-driven decisions to help the organization meet its goals and objectives.

According to Kelly Gage, senior business intelligence analyst, Red Canoe’s CEO and executive team had different sets of spreadsheets with data from multiple sources that they would review during weekly meetings. Different executives would have different numbers because there was no consolidated data repository. 

Also, branch managers and their support staff had a cumbersome, time-intensive manual process for obtaining, aggregating, and validating branch performance data for their monthly reports to regional managers.

“We have a DBA, we have a SQL developer, and we’ve got a variety of talents on our team, but we weren’t familiar with all the steps that go into getting our data into the final state for building an integrated data solution,” said Gage.

Peters added, “My team had a lot of ideas and they had cool projects lined up, but we couldn’t get them off the ground because we didn’t have good data.

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