Being able to tell a meaningful business story in a scalable way is a common priority for growing financial institutions. This was the top priority for Redwood Credit Union’s Finance Manager, Josh Stoltzfus.
Redwood Credit Union (RCU) is a full-service financial institution cooperative that serves over 350,000 members across Northern California. As the Finance Manager at RCU, Josh has a broad array of financial planning and analysis responsibilities—from overseeing RCU’s annual budgeting process to building out financial models and executive reporting.
Redwood Credit Union was transitioning to a new business intelligence platform—Power BI. Their team had a lot to learn, and fast. Collectiv helped the RCU team gain a holistic perspective of their data infrastructure and begin building a scalable data ecosystem.
Pause to Course-Correct the Data Strategy
Redwood Credit Union was growing fast and moving fast with their data initiatives. Josh’s team needed to rapidly develop reports, but they were just getting started on data governance. Following data best practices and building a scalable data strategy were increasing concerns for Josh.
Additionally, Josh had worked with an incumbent business intelligence platform in early 2019 that wasn’t allowing the RCU team to progress. By Q2 he realized this tool wasn’t right for his team. He had to figure out an efficient way to ramp up with Power BI in order to reach business objectives by the end of the year.
Josh turned to Collectiv for strategic support. When Collectiv kicked off the RCU program, they began with the most important (and difficult) step…hit pause.
Where were the weak spots for RCU? How was the RCU team aggregating and storing data? Was it optimal? Scalable? To uncover data planning and analytics opportunities for Redwood Credit Union, the Collectiv team led an onsite three-day visioning exercise.
Collectiv studied RCU’s infrastructure, along with its data and reporting framework. They also conducted several extensive interviews with the RCU leadership team to understand different aspects of the business.
By the end of this discovery period, Collectiv had identified gaps that were prohibiting Josh and his team from achieving success. Collectiv course-corrected their data governance plan and data strategy to keep the RCU team moving forward in an optimal direction.
“The Collectiv visioning program was an 80-page document—one of the most thorough documents I’ve ever received from a consulting firm. Before that document, we didn’t know the forest from the trees. I realized Collectiv not only knew how to listen and interact well with our team, but they were also Power BI experts with serious business chops.”
Meaningful Decisions with an Executive Dashboard
Josh and his team had a strong vision for a long-term data strategy. Information needed to be quickly and easily accessible to executives, senior leaders, and managers so they could make meaningful business decisions and better serve their members and communities.
From a data governance perspective, Josh set out to ensure all shared data was accurate and vetted. Since the RCU leadership team depended on these reports and dashboards to guide the organization, leadership needed to feel confident about the integrity of this information.
RCU’s executive dashboard was a critical piece in this puzzle. Covering all aspects of the business, this dashboard needed to be clear, concise, and accurate so the executive team could comprehend the report in seconds and take action.
In less than a month, Collectiv helped RCU develop key reports and a set of dashboards, which included the executive dashboard.
Although everyone worked within a tight deadline, Collectiv still made time to weave an interactive coaching experience into the program. Using the project deliverables as a learning tool, Collectiv helped RCU analysts and developers better understand their full capabilities within the Microsoft Power BI platform.
“Collectiv came to the rescue and helped us develop one of the best dashboards I’ve seen in a long time. Our CEO has a very high threshold for quality. When we presented the executive dashboard to our CEO in December, he loved it.”
Reaching True North with an Improved Data Framework
The decision-makers at Redwood Credit Union now have meaningful information at their fingertips. Josh and his team understand their foundational data framework in a more meaningful way as well. Together, the RCU team knows what business areas need to be tweaked and optimized to make sure they move toward their true north as an organization.
Josh believes data strategy is a holistic cultural initiative that must be practiced across the enterprise. Otherwise, business initiatives become isolated and business units become siloed.
From visioning to measurement, Collectiv has helped Josh and his team understand and execute foundational concepts—and how to make data planning and analytics an integral part of their organization’s DNA.
Ready to replicate Josh’s success with Power BI?