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PROVO, Utah – A group of credit union executives looking for an inexpensive way to collect and analyze data they felt their organizations needed to stay competitive ended up developing a Web-based service being used by more than 25 CUs. The service is called CUDATA.com and is now a private company headed up by Ratna Lingam, who also is vice president of finance/CFO of $414 million Utah Community Credit Union. Lingam says CUDATA.com is “a perfect online tool for credit unions to compare their performance to a select group of individual peers. It takes little effort to run reports and charts.” Included are reports that allow side-by-side comparison of individual credit unions; state, regional and national trends reports, as well as side-by-side comparison of financial performance/CAMEL ratios and analysis that can help management planning and decision making, Lingam says. Using a MS SQL-powered database, CUDATA.com updates its data quarterly, within a day after new figures are released by NCUA, Lingam says. It also offers a credit union directory. “The site is an effective management tool for competitive data intelligencefor both executive management and board of directors,” Lingam says. That’s one key way Tucson Old Pueblo Credit Union is using CUDATA.com. “We have used it to see what the VISA trends are to evaluate selling our portfolio,” says Kathie Romero, vice president of finance at the $139 million Arizona CU. She says it’s also used to generate reports that compare Tucson Old Pueblo’s statistics to local peers for use at the CU’s board meetings. Romero says she also likes its ease of use. “You can generate charts and reports in seconds, and the instant charts can easily be copied and pasted to PowerPoint and Word for presentation purposes,” she says. Romero says she found out about the service at a conference where she ran into Lingam, whom she had met several years earlier at a CUNA management school. “He was very anxious to show me the new service he and his colleagues had developed. I was immediately very impressed and when I returned to work, I showed our CEO, Randy Baldwin, who was equally impressed, and we subscribed,” she says. Their subscription is $495 a year. Lingam, a 20-year industry veteran, says he has been working on the CUDATA.com project since 1999 and says it fills a need for “the thousands of small credit unions across the country who cannot afford to pay for very expensive peer comparison software.” His clients aren’t all small, though, ranging in size from $25 million in assets to $2 billion. “A number of credit union executives have been involved in the development of this Web site (www.cudata.com),” he says. “Together, they have an understanding of what information is currently valuable for credit union executive management in order to stay competitive in the financial market.” Lingam says the company continues to develop the product, based on user requests. “In the next six months, we plan to add a number of new features,” he says. “Several of our clients have requested the ability to generate custom reports and charts based on specific criteria such as types of fields of members. “Our developers are currently working on this.” -

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