Tuesday, July 17, 2018

AdvantEdge Analytics Launches New Data Platform Integrated with Microsoft’s Common Data Model

CUNA Mutual AdvantEdge Analytics has launched a new data platform for credit unions that leverages Microsoft's technology. 

The collaboration between Microsoft and AdvantEdge was announced in March, and it debuts one of the first industry-specific Common Data
Model extensions designed for credit unions.  

The AdvantEdge Analytics™ Data Platform helps credit unions connect and scale to any data system or third-party technology, ultimately improving the member experience. AdvantEdge customers, Idaho Central Credit Union, Michigan Educational Credit Union and Randolph-Brooks Federal Credit Union (RBFCU) are privately previewing the new platform with full implementation to follow.

The new data platform delivers deeper insights into a credit union’s business data through one standardized way of organizing data assets. It seamlessly integrates into the Microsoft digital toolset, which will allow users to glean insights out of Microsoft Power BI and other tools like Microsoft Dynamics 365, Microsoft Power Apps and Microsoft Flow in the future.

“AdvantEdge Analytics’ financial services expertise, combined with Microsoft’s expertise in business applications and analytics, will benefit credit unions through the industry-focused application on top of Microsoft’s Common Data Model,” said Charles Lamanna, general manager, Application Platform, Microsoft Corp. "As data continues to transform entire industries, we are pleased to see AdvantEdge Analytics use this standard to help our customers transform big data into real insights."

AdvantEdge Analytics will co-present with BCU at Microsoft Inspire 2018 and introduce the new platform to an audience of leading business and technology decision makers

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Discovery Keynote: How a Global Futurist Sees the World

By Eric Nelson

In preparation for the upcoming Discovery Conference 2018, Global Futurist, Innovation and Digital Media Strategist Scott Bales took some time to talk with us and share a bit about his upcoming keynote addresses to credit unions across the country.

Q: Your background sounds fascinating. Can you share a little bit about yourself? And, about your role at Innovation Labs Asia?
A: I have been lucky enough to undertake a number of roles that have meshed my fascination with people and what motivates them with my raw enthusiasm for technology. After a decade of working in the Australian banking sector, my life journey took me to India and Cambodia where I needed to develop alternative strategies to business and product development that were fit for purpose. 

At the time it seemed simple: Empathize for a market before developing a business or technology strategy, but the skill-set and experience required were amplified in these developing markets. I craved to learn more about people and how technologies interacted with them and enhanced their lives.  And, I went on to work in markets like Bangladesh, Indonesia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Colombia, and more. I am now based in Singapore where I run Innovation Labs Asia - partnering with organizations with an appetite to pivot and leading them to excel through innovation.

Q: Can you tell participants a bit more about how a Global Futurist, Innovation and Digital Strategist views the world? 
A: This is my guiding principle: As long as I feel that I am making a positive impact on humanity, I’d be happy to do it. I look for how to turn empathy into opportunity. So many of us are obsessed with technologies and buzzwords that we forget about people. Our customers are not the technologies. Our customers are people, and we need to understand their needs to uncover opportunities to serve them better. It’s about understanding your customers and sympathizing with their needs, priorities and concerns. 

If you truly empathize with people’s problems and needs, they will tell you what they want. And, from there, you can turn empathy into opportunity. I am a huge advocate for positive human impact, and innovation is just one of the means to that end. The work that I do all relates back to helping to make people’s lives better. 

Q: In our ever-evolving world, what can credit unions do to stay relevant – and thrive - in an increasingly competitive financial services landscape?
A: Credit unions have an advantage that they have yet to leverage. In the modern digitally driven world, the best organizations have a deep empathy for their customers and staff, using the insights gained from understanding to learn and adapt to evolving market needs. Companies like Airbnb, Amazon and Google hire for cultural fit, and their most aspirational attribute is customer focus. While traditional banks struggle to move beyond shareholder value and a product-centric mindset, credit unions have the opportunity to leapfrog.

Q: You’re presenting two courses at Discovery Conference 2018. Can you give us a preview of the topics and key takeaways attendees will take away from the discussions?
A:  In "Innovation Wars," we take an investigative journey through the eyes of Isaac, the digital native who embodies the generational shift of cultural, behavioral and technological changes that are shaping the expectations of the modern consumer.
     Takeaways include:
     - Learn to identify and ask the right questions of the market for signs of industry disruption
     - In-depth understanding of the realities that shape the modern consumer

In "Uncover the Competitive Innovation Edge," we examine that a decade of technology-driven progress has triggered a global shift in leadership practice. It's driving new demands on organizational capability, culture and design. Leading organizations around the world leverage the power of Customer Centric Design and Lean Startup methods, outpacing their corporate peers in the battle for future markets. 
     Key Takeaways include:
     - Investigation in the competitive battlefield that is innovation.  
     - What are the strategic lessons from those that drive success?
     - What are the frameworks, tools and key infantry you'll need to drive innovation?
     - Simple practical tools for you to implement immediately

Q: Anything else credit unions should keep in mind as they prepare for Discovery Conference 2018?
A:  Today’s leaders need new business designs, tools and frameworks to steer their organizations towards success. The success stories of just ten years ago are facing a new enemy, one equipped with newer technology, empowered consumer voices and a connected economy. These market forces have driven the power back to the consumer, creating a platform for customer-centric innovation.

Organizations that harness the power of the consumer's voice find new ways to solve old problems, unlock market frustration and optimize convenience to new levels. Embrace new methods to rethink their core purpose and value proposition. Adapt, or die.

Learn more about Scott Bales at Discovery Conference 2018, Thursday, August 16. The FREE event is available exclusively online. Register today!

Giving Back: From Chili Cookoffs to Egg Carton Donations

By Desiree Canto, Community Relations Specialist

Our Lending IT department had a strong desire to contribute more to local organizations, while continuing to support other company-wide initiatives.

The team got creative with their giving efforts. They launched donation drives, penny wars, bake sales and friendly cooking competitions to support Second Harvest Food Bank (Second Harvest) and the Domestic Abuse Intervention Services (DAIS).

This team volunteers twice a year at Second Harvest packaging food. During one of the volunteer shifts, the team discovered good eggs being thrown out because the nonprofit didn’t have a way to store them properly. So, the team now collects egg cartons throughout the year. 

“We have people from across the company providing egg cartons,” said Amanda Palovcsik, Senior Manager of Agile Practice. “It’s just a very simple, free way to give back to the community and help move food into the hands of those who need it.” 

One of their most popular events the team runs is its Annual Chili Cookoff. Employees get a chance to bring in their homemade chili and co-workers pay $5 to taste as many chilis as they like. Each chili is judged and certificates of excellence are awarded. 

The Chili Cookoff raises hundreds of dollars to help purchase gifts for the DAIS Adopt-A-Family program over the holidays. DAIS is a Madison-area non-profit that works to ensure the safety and well-being of domestic violence survivors and their families. And, October 2018 will be the Lending IT team’s third Annual Chili Cookoff to support it. 

“Volunteers are really at the heart of what we do, and we would not be able to reach as many people as we do without the support of the community” said Alyssa Theder, Volunteer and Community Engagement Coordinator at DAIS. “CUNA Mutual has really embraced DAIS, they work really hard to address the issue of domestic abuse internally as well.” 

Here at CUNA Mutual Group we have supported both Second Harvest and DAIS through corporate and department donations. We also have an Employee Resource Group (ERG) that focuses on Domestic Abuse Awareness at the company. It is one of 12 ERGs who work together to support fellow employees and local causes we all care about with awareness and volunteerism year-round. 

Learn more about how we give back and focus on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) as a business. 

Whether it’s in a group or individually, you can always make an impact on your community by supporting local non-profits. Tell us what volunteer opportunities you participate in on Facebook or Twitter.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Credit Union Trends Report: June 2018

Our Credit Union Trends Report for June 2018 is now available online. The report covers data from April 2018 and includes details on credit union memberships, loans, savings and more. 

Highlights include the following: 
  • During April, credit unions picked-up 358,000 in new memberships and loan and savings balances grew at a 10.7 percent and 5.4 percent seasonally-adjusted annualized pace, respectively. 

  • Firms hired 159,000 workers, nominal consumer spending increased 0.6 percent, and long-term interest rates increased 3 basis points. Real GDP is expected to grow above trend over the next two years, supporting credit union lending and membership growth.

  • At the end of April, CUNA’s monthly estimates reported 5,724 credit unions in operation, three fewer than one month earlier. Year-over-year, the number of credit unions declined by 233, more than the 178 lost in the 12 months ending in April 2017.

  • Total credit union assets fell 0.2 percent in April, less than the 0.5 percent gain reported in April of 2017. Assets rose 6.2 percent during the past year due to a 5.4 percent increase in deposits, a 37 percent increase in borrowings and a 6.1 percent increase in capital.

  • The nation’s credit unions increased their loan portfolios by 1.1 percent in April, greater than the 0.9 percent pace reported in April 2017. Loan balances are up 10.7 percent during the last 12 months. With loan balances growing faster than savings, credit union liquidity is tightening up as the credit union average loan-to-savings ratio reached 82.9 percent, up from 79 percent in April 2017.

  • Credit union memberships rose 0.31 percent in April, down from the 0.39 percent gain reported in April 2017. Memberships are up 4.5 percent during the past year due to robust demand for credit, solid job growth and credit unions having comparatively lower fees and loan interest rates.

  • Credit union loan delinquency came in at 0.85 percent in April, up from 0.74 percent in April 2017. Credit union loan charge-offs rose to 0.60 percent in the first quarter, up from the 0.58 percent reported in the first quarter of 2017, as loans originated over the last couple of years are now seasoning.
For the full report, go to cunamutual.com.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

AdvantEdge Analytics Secures First-Time Honor for Us via 2018 Innovation Award from NAFCU Services

What an honor! We're thrilled to learn, today, that we won the 2018 Innovation Award from NAFCU Services for our data analytics arm, AdvantEdge Analytics. The celebrated award is for groundbreaking solutions that help credit unions thrive, despite an increasingly saturated financial services market. 

AdvantEdge Analytics provides credit unions a comprehensive view of their entire organization at every level, from CFO to the front-line representative. It brings visualization tools to help credit unions gain insights into member data. And, it allows users from across the enterprise to have consistent and accurate views of their members.

"CUNA Mutual's AdvantEdge Analytics team has clearly demonstrated that not only do they have a native understanding of what matters to credit unions, but their approach to designing, building, and deploying an intelligent analytics practice is tailor-made for helping credit union leaders turn data into insights into action," said Randy Salser, president, NAFCU Services.  "We couldn't be prouder to partner with such an innovative company that really gets credit unions." 

AdvantEdge Analytics provides an industry-leading integrated suite of products and services that help credit unions in their data-centric journey. As announced earlier this year, it's also working with Microsoft to develop its next-generation data platform.

For more information, see the full press release, or go to advantedgeanalytics.com/DataPlatform

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Credit Unions: Register for the 2018 CUNA Mutual Group Discovery Conference Today

Good news! Registration is officially open for our ninth annual, day-long Discovery Conference

The online event will be held this year on Aug. 16. It brings together innovation experts and credit union leaders to help credit unions prepare for upcoming 2019 strategic planning sessions. The virtual, no-cost event is geared toward credit union CEOs and senior leadership teams.

“Our industry is experiencing rapid change in technology, competition, regulation, and consumer demands,” said Robert N. Trunzo, president and CEO, CUNA Mutual Group. “This year's Discovery Conference will offer ideas and insights to form your credit union’s strategy for everyday success. We'll cover key issues and trends such as the future of payments, data and analytics, and CEO secrets, so you’ll leave the conference feeling prepared to lead upcoming strategic planning sessions with your leadership teams,” Trunzo added.

Scott Bales, global futurist, innovation & digital strategist, and managing director of Innovation Labs Asia, will open and close the conference with keynote addresses speaking to helping credit unions uncover their competitive innovation edge and how to serve the modern consumer. 

Eight breakout sessions will take place between the opening and closing keynote addresses covering topics such as the economy, auto lending, data and analytics, lending in a rising interest rate environment, the future of payments, and what’s impacting small credit unions. View the agenda for more details.

In addition, attendees will have ample opportunities to network with industry leaders, pose questions, participate in “hot topic” chats, and visit “inspiration stations” in the exhibit hall.

All credit union and league employees are welcome and encouraged to attend. Register at www.cunamutual.com/discovery. Content will be available on-demand after the conference ends.

For more information or to register, click here. And, to keep up with what's happening as we prepare, watch for #DiscoveryCon 2018 on social!

CUNA Mutual Group © 2018

Friday, June 15, 2018

Our Interns Enjoy Making a Difference

Here at CUNA Mutual Group, interns learn quickly about our culture to give back. Whether it’s through the company or an outside interest,  we encourage them to participate in volunteer opportunities.

Because, so many interns are interested in caring for their communities, we offer specific volunteer opportunities just for them each year. They get to learn our company culture outside of the day-to-day business.

“As an intern at CUNA Mutual Group, you have the opportunity to learn about the importance of impacting the community by giving back,” said Olivia Rush, Talent Acquisition Specialist.

One example of these efforts is Renew the Blue, a volunteer event hosted by Clean Lakes Alliance. Interns spend time working together to restore the watershed by removing invasive species, collecting seeds and more. And, they have the chance to bond with each other and experience a great team-building opportunity.

“Renew the Blue was a really cool opportunity because I personally grew up on a farm, and I love being outdoors and doing work outside,” said Jared Yanna, former intern and IT Specialist. “Working for a company that values volunteering really changes the entire culture of the company and makes it a place where you want to come to work.”

Since our partnership with Clean Lakes Alliance in 2014, 231 interns have volunteered more than 500 hours to help restore the landscape.

This year about 80 CUNA Mutual Group interns will have a lasting impact on our water systems in Madison, WI.

“Being able to take my volunteer experience back to Texas, to my college campus and hometown, was great,” said Carrington Johnson, former intern and Finance Leader. “After learning the culture here, the Madison community and making friends, I didn’t think twice when I was offered a full-time position.”

Learn more about our company culture and focus on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) as a business.

Tell us why you like to give back on Facebook or Twitter.

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Credit Union Trends: May 2018

Our Credit Union Trends Report for May 2018 is now available online. The report covers data from March 2018 and includes details on credit union memberships, loans, savings and more. Highlights include the following: 

  • During March, credit unions picked-up 423,000 in new memberships, and loan and savings balances grew at a 12.5 percent and 5.7 percent seasonally-adjusted annualized pace, respectively. 
  • Firms hired 135,000 workers, nominal consumer spending rose 0.4 percent and long-term interest rates decreased 2 basis points. Real GDP growth was 2.3 percent in the first quarter due to a surge in business investment spending and strong consumer spending.
  • At the end of March, CUNA’s monthly estimates reported 5,727 credit unions in operation, 30 fewer than one month earlier. Year-over-year, the number of credit unions declined by 246, more than the 222 lost in the 12 months ending in March 2017.
  • Total credit union assets rose 2.2 percent in March, faster than the 1.4 percent gain reported in March of 2017. Assets rose 7.1 percent during the past year due to a 5.9 percent increase in deposits, 36 percent increase in borrowings and 7 percent increase in capital.
  • The nation’s credit unions increased their loan portfolios by 1.1 percent in March, faster than the 0.9 percent pace reported in March 2017. Loan balances are up 10.6 percent during the last 12 months. With loan balances growing faster than savings, credit union liquidity is tightening as the credit union average loan-to-savings ratio reached 81.5 percent, up from 78.0 percent in March 2017.
  • Credit union memberships rose 0.37 percent in March, down from the 0.45 percent gain reported in March 2017. Memberships are up 4.6 percent during the past year due to robust demand for credit, solid job growth and credit unions having comparatively lower fees and loan interest rates.
  • Credit union loan delinquency rates rose to 0.84 percent in March, above the 0.75 percent natural long-run rate, from 0.68 percent in March 2017. The loan delinquency rate hits its nadir in March due to tax refunds and bonuses allowing some members to catch up on late loan payments.
For the full details and analysis, see the full Credit Union Trends Report at cunamutual.com.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

CUNA Mutual Group Executive Benefits Program Passes $3 Billion in Assets Under Management

Our Executive Benefits Program for credit unions continues to generate rapid growth. As announced today, the program recently reached its $3 billion milestone in assets under management. 

Now in its 20th year, the program leads the industry, serving more than 1,200 credit unions with plans for over 3,800 executives. In the past five years, assets under management more than doubled -- up from $1.3 billion at year-end 2013. And, it boasts a 97 percent retention rate, which allows invested funds to continue growing. 

“Customers stay with us because of the service and credentialed support we provide in the fiduciary and compliance components of our plans,” said Bruce Bauer, CUNA Mutual Group senior executive benefits specialist. "Of particular benefit now is the company’s expertise relative to new excise tax planning, which requires understanding, strategy and collaboration with a credit union-knowledgeable attorney.

“We began our Total Benefits Pre-Funding plan in 2012 with the help of CUNA Mutual Group,” said David Solis, chief financial officer, GECU, El Paso, Texas. “They recommended a funding program to include Business-Owned Life Insurance (BOLI) and a managed investment account through their vendor, City National Rochdale. For six years, the funding program has allowed GECU to offer a robust total benefits pre-funding plan for its employees.”

For more information, see today's full press release, contact your CUNA Mutual Group Executive Benefits Specialist or go to www.cunamutual.com/executivebenefits. 

Giving Back, One Bucky Badger Statue at aTime

By Taylor Kilgore, CUNA Mutual Group
At CUNA Mutual Group, giving back to the community is part of our corporate culture. Kim Mahaffey, Manager, Research and Coordination, found a way she can make it fun and align with her passion for art.

More than 80 life-size Bucky Badger statues – decorated with various designs – are now on display in  support of local nonprofits throughout the Greater Madison, WI area for Bucky on Parade. Kim, who works at our corporate headquarters here in Madison, designed three of them.

 As a University of Wisconsin – Madison Badger fan and artist, it only seemed natural for Kim to participate. Three of the four designs she submitted are on display.  These include:

• “We are Bucky,” featuring photos of Badger fans.
• “Funky Buckingham,” which has an abstract sports theme.
• “Fifth Quarter” with a marching band theme and real instruments.

Each Bucky statue is six and a half feet tall and weighs about 150 pounds.

“Getting them in the house was a little bit of an issue, but they made it in,” said Kim. “And, we built some rollers to put them on. So, I could move them around my kitchen easily. As you can imagine, it’s been very interesting having life-size Bucky statues in my kitchen.”

Kim made great use of her project management skills to juggle working full-time and completing the three statues on her nights and weekends. Despite the time constraints, she was excited to use her talents and give back to her hometown.

All for a Good Cause

Bucky on Parade is not only decorating Madison this summer. It’s also supporting non-profit organizations. Each Bucky is sponsored by a Madison company, and the proceeds will support Garding Against Cancer, Madison Area Sports Commission and other local non-profits. CUNA Mutual Group is pleased to be sponsoring one of the statues.

“I’m really proud to work for a company that gives back to the community and encourages me to do the same,” said Kim. “It feels good to do something I’m passionate about that also helps other people.”

If you are in the Madison area, check out Bucky on Parade and Kim’s incredible work.

Learn more about how CUNA Mutual Group gives back and how we focus on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) as a business.

What makes giving back fun for you? Let us know on Facebook and Twitter.