Local Government Credit Union tackles data analytics with SAS

Source: SAS

Local Government Federal Credit Union (LGFCU) isn't the first financial provider to find Excel inadequate to manage and analyze data.

Now armed with software from business analytics leader SAS, the organization better understands loan delinquencies and their impact on the balance sheet and also has improved marketing.

LGFCU uses SAS® Enterprise BI to generate reports in minutes, not hours. And it's easy to merge data from outside sources with internal data for a broader view of its 230,000 members and their communities.

"We've really streamlined the process using SAS," said Jonathan Walker, Business Intelligence Manager at LGFCU. "We have a completely automated output without having to use Excel."

To better understand economic conditions in the 100 counties where LGFCU operates, the credit union will deploy SAS Visual Analytics. SAS' powerful data visualization software will help users graphically drill into data to analyze trends and emerging issues for loan and marketing decisions. Managers will no longer need to request and wait for reports. They will be able to see metrics - displayed visually - with details like delinquencies by county, delinquencies versus unemployment per county, and a 3D heat map of loan concentrations.

The credit union had evaluated several data visualization packages, including products from Tableau and QlikView, before choosing SAS Visual Analytics. The decision was clear when the SAS technology was demonstrated analyzing a billion row table across multiple variables in seconds. While such speed with big data was not an immediate requirement, credit union leaders expect data volumes to increase and SAS Visual Analytics offered a smooth growth path.

"I was spending 80 percent of my time on data preparation before using SAS," explained Xin Pan, a LGFCU Business Analyst. She is now free to work on building a credit risk management system.

Meanwhile, Marketing Strategy Analyst Danielle Brummitt now has a 360-degree view of customers that helps her know who prefers to hear from LGFCU by email, direct mail or phone. "We can actually look at transactional data coming from the branches," said Brummitt. "There couldn't do that before because it was such a large quantity."

Chris Koontz, the credit union's Data Integration Architect, is particularly happy about the easy installation and increased computing power. "Installing the SAS business intelligence component took two days. Information about the install was recorded on a WebEx we could refer back to if we had any questions," said Koontz. "Now we can work with billions of rows, and our processing time is down, in some cases, days to minutes."

SAS even helps supports LGFCU's Consumer Lending department. "SAS has streamlined the process so we can provide this data faster to the lending department. There are certain types of loans that regulators look at more closely and require large amounts of data," explained Walker.

Walker calls it a proud moment for the small credit union when he recently received praise from a federal regulator. "He said the way we are using SAS and analyzing the data was something few other credit unions are doing and that the methods are paying off. It's just great having these SAS resources at our fingertips."

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