Home > Solutions > Analytics > Cornerstone CUs award-winning analytics journey

Cornerstone Credit Union's award winning analytics journey

Cornerstone Credit Union was founded by a small group of people dedicated to pulling together to help each other. Today, with more than 24,000 members and nine branches across east-central Saskatchewan, Cornerstone continues to pride themselves on a member-first philosophy.

Like many rural Canadian credit unions, Cornerstone is dealing with the challenges associated with urbanization. A quarter of their members live outside their branch region. And with 84% of their member transactions completed online or mobile, Cornerstone is experiencing less and less in-person contact with members.

In the past, Cornerstone relied on in-person contact to understand the needs of members, now they must look elsewhere for answers.

To understand their members better, provide a better service experience and glean deeper insights into their business, they turned to Celero’s business analytics platform.

Launching a business analytics platform
Cornerstone Credit Union started their business analytics journey in 2016. Like any financial institution, Cornerstone is “data rich” with information about their members and their operations stored across multiple systems. They had the data, but did not have the capability or tools to pull the information together, in one place, to provide the strategic insights or the business intelligence needed to focus on things they wanted to act on. It became clear to Cornerstone that building their own data warehouse, a necessary step to move forward and take advantage of what analytics could offer, would be too expensive and labour-intensive for the size of their credit union.

“For our organization to realize the value of analytics, we knew we needed to outsource to find the expertise and technical capabilities to achieve what we wanted to,” says Jodi Chambers, VP Strategy and Technology, Cornerstone Credit Union. “We partnered with Celero to build a business analytics solution specific to our unique needs. Within 18 months, we have the foundation of a data warehouse, predictive analytics and a 360-degree view of our members. It’s amazing how fast it has all come together.”

A time-saving tool to provide a better member experience
Leveraging Celero’s analytics solution that was purpose-built for Canadian credit unions of all sizes, Cornerstone was able to transform their data and present it as a visual dashboard, providing staff with a holistic view of the member and important insights into who the member is and the opportunities available to help them reach their financial goals. The Member 360 Dashboard enables Cornerstone Advisors with the information they need to proactively provide advice and solutions specific to the member’s unique needs.

“We now have more insight than we’ve ever had on our members,” says Lori Walsh, VP Marketing and Communications, Cornerstone Credit Union. “The Member 360 Dashboard creates efficiencies as it reduces the number of systems staff need to access to prepare for a member meeting and gives a holistic understanding of that member – their financial needs and  behaviors. It is a one-stop shop for employees to better understand that member relationship.”
The Member 360 Dashboard empowers staff to help understand the individual member better.  It provides staff with a summary of each members’ relationship with the credit union. By using predictive analytics, staff can see how engaged a member is and what products they are likely to need next and if they are likely to leave the credit union.  They can easily view the  channels they frequently use and if they bank elsewhere.

“Historically we have been good at being order takers, and now we can be proactive and give better advice to our members, and in some cases before they even know they need it. That provides much greater value to our member and deepens the relationship we have with them. That is how we can serve our members better and grow our credit union,” says Walsh.

Advice for credit unions looking at starting an analytics journey
Cornerstone has learned a great deal on its analytics journey so far, including the benefit of using an iterative approach to develop an analytics solution to meet their unique needs. Requirements and solutions were defined through collaboration between cross-functional teams from across the credit union.

“Celero’s collaborative approach helped ensure we had technical expertise combined with end user requirements and expectations. We would not have achieved our progress to date without Celero’s experience with business analytics and  agile development” says Chambers.

Once their initial analytics solution was developed, Cornerstone rolled it out to a small pilot group to provide feedback on the Member 360 Dashboard. The approach helped obtain end user input required to deliver a solution employees could get behind.

For credit unions considering launching an analytics solution, Chambers suggests “Defining your use case and need and laying the foundation early to move into operation.  Progress is gradual, with increased insight and benefits gained with each data source integration.  As the data warehouse expands, so does the opportunity to add new predictive models.”

What’s next
“Analytics is a journey, not a destination,” says Chambers. “We continue to look at how we can transform our credit union to be a proactive needs-based sales organization and improve our analytics insight to offer better insight into our individual members.”

Cornerstone Credit Union won the Credit Unions Best Practice Competition at the 2018 AXFI Conference
and they will be presenting their award-winning solution at the 2018 Celero Fintech Conference.
Want to start your analytics journey?