As your organization struggles to see and understand business risks, the risks become more threatening, and employees and customers grow nervous about their impact. These latent risks impact many businesses, and USAA is no exception.

The companies making up USAA provide financial products and services to millions of US military members and their families who rely on us to manage and keep their financial information secure. With that priority, we have a dedicated team that uses data analytics to identify, assess, and prevent risks to the business and our clients.

Our data previously spanned multiple sources—governance risk compliance, business monitoring tools, customer call centers, and more. Users inconsistently pulled and filtered data with Excel, and stakeholders had different priorities for what data was most and least important. This process was unsustainable, created confusion with different views of the same information, and made it difficult for our team to effectively analyze and address business risks.

"We’ve always been on the lookout for something that would allow us to visualize and build consistency throughout our enterprise. We have bank, investment, insurance, and other products in multiple areas with multiple needs, but there hasn’t been a central hub for everyone to use."

With Tableau, we found a self-service solution that integrates and analyzes our certified data to help us discover, mitigate, and handle risks for the improved health of USAA. We’ve also reduced our reporting time significantly from months to seconds. As we receive ad hoc report requests, we can easily adjust or add filters in Tableau, which allows anyone to see the big picture or drill down into the details while uncovering risks and opportunities that impact them, their team, or all of USAA. And ultimately, staff see how their work influences the business, which gives them more ownership of their actions and decisions.

Hypothetical example of how Tableau can be used in the financial services industry

A Risk Control Self-Assessment (RCSA) performed in Tableau analyzes 12 different risk factors that are used throughout the financial services industry gauging risk control strength, inherent and residual risk, and risk direction. Tableau presents USAA executives with a deeper level of detail, offering justification around why certain risks are low, high or critical, and if compliance agrees with the assessment. The data in the slide is random data to show the structure. It is not actual data from USAA.

A Risk Control Self-Assessment (RCSA) performed in Tableau analyzes 12 different risk factors that are used throughout the financial services industry gauging risk control strength, inherent and residual risk, and risk direction. Tableau presents USAA executives with a deeper level of detail, offering justification around why certain risks are low, high or critical, and if compliance agrees with the assessment. *The data in the slide above is not data from USAA but random data to show the structure but not actual data from USAA.

The approach we’ve taken to analyze and handle risk as we work with public sector clients, facilitate their compliance, and report compliance for member transactions when requested by the OCC or Federal Reserve is tied to three key areas. Others in the public sector may struggle with these same areas while working to maintain fiscal and operational responsibility.

  • Gaining a clear view of risks. Everyone now reviews one source of truth about performance and risks, having an end-to-end view with Tableau into parts of the business and the organization as a whole. All reports are accessible through Tableau Server where executives downstream to retail staff can view and share information in a consistent, managed way.
  • Knowing what controls will help mitigate and handle risks. USAA has leveraged and gained efficiencies by encouraging data-driven behaviors across the enterprise. Across divisions, risk analysts perform their assessments and look at the data, taxonomy, hierarchy, controls, and open issues to collect insights that will inform operational controls or processes supporting risk management and service to USAA’s 12 million-plus customers.
  • Understanding where there are gaps in understanding and processes that need to be addressed. We no longer have instances of misinterpretation or confusion about our overall health. Instead, Tableau gives us a complete picture of our different USAA companies and how they’re performing, good or bad. The resulting insights have helped our partners—whether you’re an executive, a customer relationship manager within the investment group, or a call center representative—know their individual and collective impact on the business.

We’re consistently surprised by what we discover each day using Tableau. By performing our assessment cycle, for example, we learned that a certain part of the business wasn’t set up correctly and took steps to realign the team, processes, and controls for better efficiency and performance. Or through Tableau, we’ve also been able to demonstrate to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) how we’re managing our risks and control environment across operations and in compliance with finance regulations.

I’m pleased about the progress we’ve made since deploying Tableau. Today, we’re not fearful of identifying or handling risks. With Tableau, we embrace change, missteps, and failures because we know that by using the platform we can easily uncover threats, improve our operations and controls, and hopefully shift any risks to opportunities for individual parts of USAA or the entire organization.

Learn more about USAA’s experience using Tableau and see an interactive demo Tableau Conference 2019 session. Demo begins at the 20:00 mark.

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