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CU Rise Analytics welcomes two senior members to its growing team

Posted on January 31, 2019 at 4:05 AM

CU Rise Analytics was started in 2018 with a sole mission to help credit unions leverage the power of data to better understand, serve, and support their members in the most effective manner. It started last year with just two people and now grown to 30+ employees across India and the United States.

CU Rise is a value-driven, one-stop shop for not only credit unions’ detailed data analytics initiatives but also for best practices and advisory services. CU Rise operations have grown with new credit unions joining every quarter and the launch of its innovative flagship analytics products - CPMS (Credit Union Predictive Modelling Suite) and Householding for the credit union industry, both are offered as an automated self-serve solution to all OnApproach M360 clients.



To keep up with the growing requirements, CU Rise Management decided to hire Brian Reed and Neetu Saraf to lead BI and Analytics department respectively. CU Rise is excited to capitalize on Brian’s 20+ years of technology experience across industries and credit unions specifically. Karan Bhalla, CEO of CU Rise mentioned “Brian’s leadership and ability to drive large projects was instrumental in implementing and driving Business Intelligence function at 1st United FCU based in Pleasanton, CA. We expect our clients to benefit from Brian’s experience and achieve excellent results.”


Suchit Shah, COO of CU Rise says “Dr. Neetu Saraf holds 10 years of data analytics experience in the financial industry which makes her an apt choice to lead analytics engagements with our clients.” CU Rise team is confident that Brian and Neetu’s leadership and experience will help empower their clients and partners with forward-looking analytics strategies, products, and insights. She will be instrumental in translating client's requirement and delivery for our Analytics delivery"

Are Credit Unions over extended; Again? Impressive loan growth, Alarming deposit growth

Posted on December 27, 2018 at 9:10 AM

Increasing loan growth

After the sub-prime crisis, loan growth for credit unions started declining and in 2010 and 2011 the growth was negative i.e. more loans were paid off as compared to loan originations. Loan growth gained momentum in late 2011 and it has been increasing since then. As per NCUAQ3 2018 data, total loans for credit unions combined has reached $1.04T with a growth rate of 9.5% YoY., this includes $24.3B of loans of just the last quarter. The year-over-year loan growth rate for the credit unions has been over 9% for the last 4 years. Highest growth has been observed in auto loans, followed by unsecured credit card loans. The growth rate for Auto loans has been in double-digits for 6 consecutive years.

Deepening member relationships

Along with increase in loans balances, credit unions are performing well on the front of strengthening relationships with their members too. Today credit unions serve more than 116 million members across the U.S., increasing at an average growth rate of around 4% for the last 2 years. Average relationship size per member with credit unions has reached $19k of which 45% comes from loans. For credit unions with an asset size of more than $1B, average relationship per member has crossed the mark of $20K and loan relationship per member is more than $10k. Credit unions have deepened the extent of their relationships with members in not only in auto loans segment but mortgage loans and credit card loans with increasing growths rate year over year.

Falling growth rate in shares

One side we are observing a continuous increase in loan growth rates and on the other the growth rate for deposit shares is slowing down. The increased competition in deposit interest rate offering and the desire to earn more returns, is driving members to prefer interest-bearing deposits like share certificate. The only share product with increasing growth rate is share certificates, and for all other products the growth rate has been on a decline as compared to prior years. Net liquidity change, which is calculated as the change in deposit and change in loans, has been negative for the last 6 quarters and has further declined in the recent quarter increasing the difference to $23B. Apart from net liquidity, another good measure of a credit union`s liquidity is Loan-to-Share Ratio. In Q3 2018, for all credit unions nationwide, average loan-to-share ratio is 85.63%. This is the highest rate reported till date.

Based on the economic and credit union forecast report published by CUNA, the loan-to-share ratio is expected to be as high as 87% in early 2019 due to loan growth exceeding deposit growth. This will be the highest value of the ratio since the sub-prime crisis. An increasing loan-to-share ratio, in turn impacts the liquidity of the credit union and this may contribute to economic slowdown reducing the loan growth in the upcoming year. Hence, key focus areas for credit unions while strategy planning for 2019 should be:

  • Improve member experience, and offerings
  • Increase penetration into younger generation
  • Identify right deposit mix for your credit union

CU Rise partners with Georgia's Own Credit Union on their Credit Card Program

Posted on November 29, 2018 at 4:30 AM

CU Rise Analytics is excited to be associated with Georgia’s Own Credit Union, a credit union with $2.4 billion in assets and over 188,000 members. Georgia’s Own has always strived to make lives of their members better by providing them the most competitive products and services possible. They take pride in giving back to members and communities in which they operate.

While Georgia’s Own has been utilizing analytics driven approaches to drive their decision making, recently they decided to engage with CU Rise, a data analytics CUSO, to help them implement a series of campaigns on their credit card program to increase engagement while still managing risk, starting with effective credit line management.

“Understanding the needs of our members is an integral part of what we do. We are happy to work with the talented team at CU Rise who is taking the time to analyze our membership profile and develop the right changes and strategies for our credit card initiatives.” said Dave Preter, President and CEO of Georgia’s Own.

Karan Bhalla, CEO of CU Rise Analytics, said “Working with leading credit unions like Georgia’s Own is a big opportunity for us to continue to improve our tested ways. A scientifically driven campaign rarely fails so we look forward to partaking in the growth and success at Georgia’s Own while helping them implement analytically driven strategies.”

About CU Rise Analytics

CU Rise Analytics is a Virginia-based, global CUSO that was started with the sole mission of helping credit unions better understand, serve, and support their members in the most effective and efficient manner Our core competencies are data analytics, predictive modeling, business intelligence, and technology services. Learn more about us at

About Georgia’s Own Credit Union

Georgia's Own Credit Union is a credit union based in Atlanta, Georgia that was founded in 1934. They are the 3rd largest credit union in Georgia with over 188,000 members and assets of 2.38 billion as of March 2018. They operate 23 branch locations in Georgia. Learn more about them at

3 Principles of Good Visualization

Posted on November 15, 2018 at 7:45 AM

In today’s competitive world, role of data in the financial services sector has become extremely important. The question many financial institutions face is how to utilize this data to make informed decisions. Since data analytics is a hot topic for all financial institutions, it is helpful to know that good visualization approaches, tools and projects can accelerate the journey to data analytics and predictive models. While not necessarily a precursor to it, identifying the underlying and hidden patterns and meanings in analysed data give credit unions a head start in the right direction.

What is visualization? Often called Business Intelligence (or BI), it is a technique where information processed from data is presented in charts, diagrams, and images to understand and explore complex phenomenon’s, or in simpler terms, it is an organized representation of the information in your data. The primary goal of visualization is to create an actionable insight. The challenge here lies in laying the analysis in a clear and an unambiguous manner to facilitate decision making. The good news is that various tools are available in the market like SSRS, Tableau, PowerBI, Qlikview, Domo, etc. that can help us in quick reporting, and produce interactive customizable charts that absorb real-time data.

More Credit unions are adopting analytics but resorting to data visualization can up the game for them. Why should they use visualization? It can help them take decisions with greater confidence and accuracy on activities related to enhance member experience, growth, loyalty, and engagement. Once a credit union understands the value of visualization and that they need it, the journey is just beginning. Right at the onset the credit union should internalize the three most important principles of good visualization - the 3s: Standard, Simple and Scalable.

Simple: It is the ease with which the visual reports can be interpreted. No need to over explain, the key metrics should be on the top with the chart and graph headers simple and to the point. All detailed information should be at the end with the labels visible and ordered in a consistent manner. Supported tools should be laid well encouraging users to use them in a systematic way to draw additional outputs for easy decision making. For the more daring credit unions, this is where design thinking could play a role, for example, making the displayed information pertinent to the user’s role, storing frequent information in memory and allowing sophisticated searching capabilities.

Below is the dashboard screenshot for a balance transfer campaign of a Minnesota based credit union of 500 MM in asset size.

One quick glance would have made you aware of the campaign results. It presents all metrics in a simple and concise manner with all important details, expectations and achievements in one place making it easy to track the progress of the campaign. This is simple yet compelling visualization.

One quick glance would have made you aware of the campaign results. It presents all metrics in a simple and concise manner with all important details, expectations and achievements in one place making it easy to track the progress of the campaign. This is simple yet compelling visualization.

Standard: Good visualization needs standardized data structure and elements. The complexities and disparities in presented data should be handled flawlessly and the redundancy eliminated. Using common abbreviation, proper formatting, and identical scaling for charts along with consistent layouts across your data visualizations will help convey clear and concise insight. The dashboards will become much easier and quicker to understand when the information is standard and concrete. It will also create consistency across your organization.

Scalable: Scalable refers to a visualization project’s ability to accommodate growing volumes of data and data sources without a hitch. The increase should not impact the speed and performance of the reporting platform. In fact, the increase in data should make the visualization process and data model more efficient, effective and accurate. To increase visual scalability, proper selection of charts and diagrams should to be done and the right underlying scripts need to be written and presentation techniques should be utilized. These days tools have a lot of pre-defined visualization capabilities which were absent 5 years ago that give you a good head start; but this should not stop you from exploring opportunities to customize for interactive exploration of insights in real-time.

The campaign analytics tool shown above has the capability not to track one but as many campaigns as the credit union wants. The best part is that any added data from future campaigns helps make the base model more effective and scalable. The quantity of data has a positive relationship to robustness and reliability of insights. A highly scalable visualization tool will never disappoint by always providing better and useful insights.

Credit Unions might mistake buying a good visualization tool as their only hurdle to start utilizing it for better decision making. They still need access to technical and analytical resources and knowledge to create true business intelligence that best matches their needs. This is where third-party vendors and partners can play a vital role and be an invaluable resource. Irrespective of credit unions deciding to take up visualization as a DIY project or utilizing a third party for building it, they need to remember the 3s Standard, Simple and Scalable, on their journey of serving their members by drawing decisions based on useful and insightful visualization.

Ideal Credit Union Partners with Data Analytics CUSO, CU Rise, and OnApproach for Reporting Suite Optimization and Analytics

Posted on August 9, 2018 at 6:00 AM

Vienna, Va. (August, 2018 )- CU Rise Analytics, a Virginia-based, global CUSO providing data science and technology enablement solutions to credit unions, is excited to announce that Ideal Credit Union has signed on for a robust reporting suite as well as data analytics to create exceptional member experiences. CU Rise will build a reporting and analytics solution for Ideal CU in collaboration with OnApproach, a data/analytics solutions CUSO.

“We look forward to working with CU Rise on the creation and implementation of a holistic approach to reporting,” said Dennis Bauer, Ideal CU CFO. “Efficiently built and distributed, interactive and customizable reports are the foundation for sharing accurate information across Ideal Credit Union. We see this as critical to the long term success for our credit union and members.”

Like most credit unions, Ideal CU ($700 MM in assets) has an abundance of data from a variety of sources making it difficult to access and understand. A robust reporting system will also end the credit union’s need to re-create reports if there is a change in their core technology platform or any of the integrated channel solutions. Ideal CU is relying on CU Rise to build a superior reporting system that will adapt to any changes to their multiple systems.

“We welcome Ideal Credit Union onboard as they work toward closing the reporting gap many credit unions face. Now more than ever, credit unions have the opportunity to hone their data through reporting to provide more accurate analytics,” said Karan Bhalla, CU Rise CEO.

About CU Rise Analytics

CU Rise Analytics is a Virginia-based, global CUSO that was started with the sole mission of helping credit unions better understand, serve, and support their members in the most effective and efficient manner. CU Rise’s service offering centers around data science and technology. Our core competencies are data analytics, predictive modeling, business intelligence, and technology services. Learn more at

About Ideal Credit Union

Founded in 1926, Ideal Credit Union is a member owned financial institution that is dedicated to providing financial services driven by a sincere and personal interest in the needs of our employees, members and community. Ideal CU offers a complete range of services, including a full suite of electronic banking products, savings, checking, loans, mortgage products, exclusive VIP member payback, business services, investment services and more. Offices are located in Eagan, Hugo, Inver Grove Heights, North St. Paul, Stillwater and Woodbury. Visit for details and directions. Ideal has been voted “Best Credit Union in the East Metro” 2 years in a row by readers of the Stillwater Gazette and was recently named a 2018 Star Tribune Top 150 Workplace. Equal Housing Lender.