The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) Governmental Affairs Conference is one of the premier events in the calendar for US credit unions.
Cancelled in 2021 due to COVID-19, the 2022 event marked the first time in almost two years that industry leaders have had the opportunity to meet face-to-face.
Over the course of the five-day event, thousands joined forces to remind legislators how their policies affect US credit unions and their 130 million members. And why credit unions are the perfect financial partners for American citizens.
BankBI co-founders Graham Goble and Keith Waterman attended this year’s event. Here are their top three takeaways.
1. Finance is All About Relationships
The financial services sector is built on relationships. And after two years of virtual conferences and remote meetings, attendees relished the opportunity to reconnect in person.
The exhibition hall was abuzz with activity as brands from across the globe showcased their products and services.
Away from the kiosks and booths, credit union leaders engaged in stimulating conversations about everything from digital transformation to the relationship between data analytics and innovation in credit unions.
Communication and collaboration are key strengths of the credit union movement. And a sunny Washington D.C. provided the perfect backdrop to engage with customers, catch up with technology partners, and strengthen relationships.
We took the opportunity to meet with digital transformation consultants and new BankBI partner Mark Sievewright Associates. It was exciting to discuss how we can help credit unions use technology to enhance financial performance management and reporting in their institutions.
2. Analytics and Performance Management are Back On the Agenda
At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, credit unions were firmly locked in survival mode. 5-year plans and digital transformation strategies took a backseat as institutions focused on keeping their head above water and maintaining customer service levels amid the chaos.
The sudden shift to remote working also put compliance under the microscope. In a suddenly decentralised environment, credit unions scrambled to find a safe and effective way to handle sensitive member data.
Now we’re on the road to recovery, credit unions are re-evaluating their plans. Business intelligence is the centre of the conversation and CFOs and CEOs want to invest in agile solutions that allow them to draw strategic insights from their data.
Peer analysis, in particular, has gained traction across the industry. In today’s competitive landscape, credit unions rely on data. And with the right tools, you can:
- Monitor financial performance over time
- Identify opportunities
- Refine your long-term strategies
- See how you compare to other institutions in your peer group
3. Gaining Insights from Untapped Data Can Be an Agile, Quick Win Strategy
Credit unions have known for years that they’re sitting on a treasure trove of untapped data. There are countless insights locked within their core accounting and banking systems that can transform the way they operate.
Much of the conversation centres on Big Data analytics. But in our experience, the ‘small data’ problem is just as pressing. Many credit unions simply don’t have the tools to access the insights in small, structured datasets.
Another major problem is the continued reliance on spreadsheets for financial performance management and reporting. Spreadsheets are static and require manual input. Not only is this time-consuming, it’s prone to human error and doesn’t offer the real-time, daily insights that teams need.
In response, CFOs are leading the charge for greater innovation in the financial sector. But rather than invest in costly data warehouses, decision-makers are choosing agile, cloud-based financial performance management solutions. These typically require little to no upfront infrastructure investment and offer powerful automation capabilities, which deliver rapid time-to-value on projects.
What Does the Future Hold for Fintechs and Credit Unions?
After two years of social distancing, it was great to see so many people at CUNA 2022. Next up for BankBI is the Fintech Forum Webinar Series.
Graham joins CUNA Mutual Group Chief Economist Steve Rick and Steady CEO Adam Roseman to discuss the US economic outlook and its impact on fintechs and credit unions. The webinar airs on Tuesday 26th April at 1pm CT (7pm BST).
We hope to see you there!