Graham shares his thoughts, feedback, and key takeaways from the biggest Credit Union event of 2022.
The Credit Union National Association Governmental Affairs Conference (CUNA GAC) is one of the premier events for US credit unions.
This year’s event was hosted in Washington, D.C. between the 27th of February and the 3rd of March 2022. And credit union leaders across the US relished the opportunity to come together and remind legislators how their actions affect credit unions and their 130 million members.
What Makes CUNA GAC Special?
CUNA GAC is always action-packed. And the 2022 event was no exception.
The days were filled with stimulating conversations on a range of topics, including the crucial role analytics and business intelligence (BI) play in driving innovation across the sector. While the evenings were marked by vendor happy hours, credit union league meetings, and informal discussions between peers.
After two years of virtual events, it was great to communicate and collaborate with our colleagues across the pond. BankBI co-founders Graham Goble and Keith Waterman attended the conference. And in this article, Graham shares his thoughts and key takeaways from CUNA 2022.
"CUNA GAC isn’t about the hard sell. It’s about building relationships and engaging in conversations with people across the industry."
Q&A with Graham Goble
As a UK-based company, what made you decide to attend GAC CUNA 2022?
We’ve attended CUNA GAC regularly for several years. It’s a great opportunity to meet credit union executives, technology partners, customers, and investors. Now that governments have lifted travel restrictions, we felt it was the right time to return, reconnect, and strengthen those relationships.
What was your impression of this year’s event?
More than anything, I think people were just glad to meet in person again. For many delegates (us included) CUNA GAC 2022 was the first opportunity to meet in person for almost two years. I was both relieved and pleased to see so many people.
It certainly didn’t appear to be down on numbers, compared to previous years.
"The 2022 conference let us reconnect with our peers and participate in many insightful discussions."
You mentioned you were able to meet with some of your technology partners. Can you elaborate?
Shortly before the event, we concluded a collaboration with Sievewright Associates. Sievewright provides consultancy services for credit unions that need help executing their digital transformation and technology strategies.
It was nice to discuss (in person) how BankBI can help US credit unions and I can’t wait to collaborate further.
Did you have the chance to meet any of your clients?
Yes. We met several clients during CUNA GAC 2022, including Ideal Credit Union CFO, Dennis Bauer.
Ideal is a long-time customer and Dennis is a great advocate of our software in the credit union market. We have a case study on our website where Dennis talks about his experiences with implementing BankBI and the benefits it provides.
We also had the chance to reconnect with Evan Clark, CEO of the Department of Commerce Federal Credit Union. It’s always nice to sit down with Evan and we discussed everything from credit unions to cricket. We even arranged to see an England match during his next visit to London!
Are credit unions getting the most out of their data?
There’s been a lot of talk about big data analytics in recent years. Credit unions are desperate to access the insights in their core banking and accounting systems, so they can:
- Track member journeys across digital channels
- Monitor customer sentiment on social media
- Identify cross-sell opportunities
But what many aren’t aware of is the ‘small data’ problem.
Credit unions have yet to uncover the insights hidden within the countless small, structured data sets at their disposal. And in most cases, this is due to the continued reliance on manual processes and static Excel spreadsheets for reporting and financial performance management.
"CFOs are the main driving force behind innovation in financial reporting, performance management, and data analysis."
Why shouldn’t you use spreadsheets to create and present reports?
The biggest problem with spreadsheets is that they require a lot of manual input. This inevitably leads to delays in your month-end reporting. And, because the reports are static, they provide limited insight into your day-to-day operations.
Our solution is to integrate cloud-based performance management reports and dashboards directly into the credit union’s general ledger, accounting, and core banking systems. This allows managers to extract insights more efficiently and provides instant access to daily analytics and performance information.
Who’s leading the charge for innovation in credit unions?
In my experience, CFOs are the main driving force behind innovation in financial reporting, performance management, and data analysis.
CFOs have also shown a real appetite for agile, cloud-based solutions that offer faster time to value than costly data warehouses.
What did the delegates think of the BankBI solution?
CUNA GAC isn’t about the hard sell. It’s about building relationships and engaging in conversations with people across the industry. And, as a UK company, these events give us a golden opportunity to show our colleagues across the Atlantic how BankBI can make life easier for their credit unions.
For instance, we showcased our free peer analysis software this year and the feedback we received was overwhelmingly positive.
How long have CMFG Ventures been an investor and what benefits does your relationship bring?
Our relationship with CMFG Ventures began in 2019. BankBI is the first overseas firm Ventures has invested in. It was a great honour. But even more than that, the relationship has given us the insight and support to take our solution further.
The CMFG Ventures Fintech Forum has been key, as it’s allowed us to collaborate with credit unions and technology companies from across the industry.
Will you attend future CUNA GAC events?
The 2022 conference let us reconnect with our peers and participate in many insightful discussions. We even had the chance to run an impromptu demonstration of BankBI for one CEO in the lobby of the Marriott Hotel. And, less than one month later, he signed with BankBI!