One credit union’s data analytics journey: Rules to live by

Ben Morales, chief information officer at WSECU, Olympia, Wash., said mistakes are inevitable when a credit union transitions to a data analytics culture, but the results are worth it. Morales spoke at the 2016 CUNA Data Analytics Roundtable in Salt Lake City Tuesday.

Ben Morales, chief information officer of WSECU, Olympia, Wash., shared his credit union’s experiences in developing business data analytics capability during the 2016 Credit Union National Association Data Analytics Roundtable in Salt Lake City Tuesday.

Morales offered some rules to live by for credit unions embarking on a similar journey:

  • Mistakes are costly, but inevitable. “Suffice it to say we made some mistakes and it cost us,” Morales said. In fact, those mistakes cost the credit union hundreds of thousands of dollars, he conceded. “But don’t let that stop you,” he advised. “The goal and the journey are well worth it.”
  • Fail fast and fail early. Morales said WSECU went through several consultants early in the process. “One of the things I think we would have done earlier is hired our own internal data person,” he said. He said the credit union had employees who were very engaged in the process but didn’t understand the nuances of building a data warehouse.
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