How A Governance Committee Helps Langley FCU Tackle Business Intelligence

Informed decisions benefit all levels of the Virginia credit union’s operations.

The value of data is incalculable, says Sandy Steward, assistant vice president of IT applications and business support at Langley Federal Credit Union ($2.4B, Newport News, VA). That’s why, in 2013, the credit union created a business intelligence initiative made up of one business intelligence developer, though it now consists of two business intelligence developers and one database administrator to manage and run the credit union’s data operation.

Realizing a need for a more guided strategic direction, in 2014 Langley created its business intelligence governance committee to provide that focus. This committee meets monthly for approximately 90 minutes and is run by Steward.

Sandy Steward Langley FCU

Sandy Steward, Assistant Vice President of IT Applications and Business Support, Langley FCU

In this Q&A, Steward discusses the governance committee, projects for which data is most useful, and lessons learned.

Why did you create your business intelligence governance committee?

Sandy Steward: To provide direction for our business intelligence team, to set priorities for the business intelligence initiatives, and to establish business intelligence objectives.

What is the value of data within a credit union?

SS: The value of data is incalculable. It enables Langley to make intelligent and informed decisions rather than base decisions on what we think or what we vaguely remember to be true.

How does the business intelligence governance committee help the credit union?

SS:The people on our business intelligence governance committee are the leaders of our business units. They are the ones making the decisions on what types of promotions, campaigns, or areas we need to focus on as a credit union. Having data and being able to analyze that data is valuable for them. Where are we losing money? Where are we earning money? Maybe those are areas where we need to focus more attention.

The original governance committee was formed in 2014 and consisted of analysts and SME’s from the business units and several senior executives. This committee was in place for over a year and a half and helped get the business intelligence program started. In 2016, the committee was restructured by the CEO and including myself now consists of: Our CEO, CIO, CFO, senior vice president of lending, senior vice president of branch services, and the vice president of marketing. This placed the ownership of this initiative at the highest level of our organization.

What happens when the committee meets?

SS: Our business intelligence program is still in the implementation process. We are setting up a data warehouse and are loading data into it. We’re looking to have that complete by the end of this year.


Langley FCU
Data as of 03.31.17

HQ: Newport News, VA
MEMBERS: 239,096
12-MO LOAN GROWTH: 11.7%
ROA: 0.67%

One of the things the governance committee has proposed is to determine the order the data is uploaded to the data warehouse. Then, once the data is there, find out what information people need to access from it? What types of dashboards do they need to see? What reports do they want? Who needs to see this information?

The committee also measures the performance of the business intelligence team and helps it stay on task and keep up with the project schedule.

What kind of data is the governance committee interested in seeing?

SS: Our senior vice president of lending, for example, will want to know all of our loan origination data. Which employees are making loans? Which members are requesting loans? What is the value of our loan portfolio? How many people are we approving? Denying? What are the average credit scores? How often are they defaulting on loans? How quickly are they paying them off? Once they’re paid off, are they in the market for a new loan?

That bleeds into marketing because that’s the kind of information our marketing folks want to know. Who has loans? Who doesn’t have loans? Can we give them a promotion for a credit card or something along those lines?

Our senior vice president of branch services might want to know who is visiting the branches and what are they doing when they come into the branches. Can we push some of those folks into the online banking channel instead of physically visiting the branch so often? How is the branch staff performing? Are we pushing products? Are we selling products out of the branches?

Our CFO is going to be interested in our finances. What are our yields? What is our return on investment?

Our CEO is going to be interested in all of it. And our CIO and I are interested in making sure all of that information is available to them.

See how Langley Federal Credit Union introduced a culture of growth and set an ambitious goal for the end of the decade in Anatomy Of Langley Federal Credit Union.

How does the governance committee decide what to discuss? Can outside employees pitch topics or suggest priorities?

SS: I receive topics from employees through email and from talking to others, and when I do, I’ll pitch it at the committee meeting. Sometimes committee members already know about these topics, in which case it validates what they already knew.

What are some of the committee’s overarching goals?

SS: To have one source of data. Right now we have multiple sources of data. We have our homegrown data warehouse and data stores that we built in-house, but that don’t necessarily have full-blown business intelligence development or architectural capabilities. It’s adequate, but it’s almost operational data storage and it’s not in a position for us to analyze or mine for information.

The governance committee recognized the need to consolidate from many different data sources to one true source of data and to have that information readily and easily accessible by staff.

In building this new warehouse, we’re hoping to have a one stop shop for all of our data that staff can access depending on what the data is, obviously. But a central warehouse that doesn’t require an employee to go to multiple places to get information.

The governance committee recognized the need to consolidate from many different data sources to one true source of data and to have that information readily and easily accessible by staff.

What will the data warehouse look like?

SS: It’s a web-based platform that employees can log into. We use dashboards that employees can turn into scheduled reports they receive via email as PDFs. We’ve already rolled it out and have one data source we’ve entered into it. Gradually over time we’ll add more data sources to it.

When will you add more data sources?

SS: We are getting ready to load our second source of data, which is going to be our loan origination system. That will be huge in this effort and will open the floodgates on the information the rest of the business units are going to receive.

We started on it last week and we’re hoping to be done by the end of July. After that, we will load credit card information followed by mortgage origination data.

What are some lessons that you’ve learned?

SS:Ensure that you have a cross section of the business leadership represented on the committee. It helps to ensure that at least one of the members is the sponsor of the business intelligence program it doesn’t necessarily have to be the CIO as long as it’s someone with a vested interest in business intelligence.

From the beginning, establish the purpose of the governance committee and ensure that there are processes in place to provide feedback on progress to the governance committee and also a way for the committee to provide guidance to the business intelligence team.

As told to Erik Payne

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August 1, 2017

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