Helping people navigate their financial journeys is the mission of TDECU, a Texas-based credit union with more than 366,000 members and $4.7 billion in assets. 

TDECU relies on large amounts of data to understand its members, ensure excellence across banking and operations, and improve the member experience. “Data is at the heart of everything that we do as a financial institution,” said Devshree Golecha, TDECU’s Vice President of Data.

Seeking to increase data reliability, reduce administrative work, and accelerate data-driven decision-making, TDECU began planning its cloud migration strategy. Protecting member data and ensuring regulatory compliance was essential to the project’s success, which is why TDECU turned to Snowflake and ALTR.

Using data to understand members’ needs

Architecting on the Snowflake Data Cloud enabled TDECU to overcome many challenges of its legacy on-premises data architecture. For example, Snowflake’s multi-cluster shared data architecture with near-infinite scaling of storage and compute made it possible to ingest more data than was previously possible, leading to less complexity and fewer data silos.

“Snowflake plays an important role in our overall data strategy as business users become more engaged and want data to make decisions,” Golecha said. “Snowflake is becoming the master solution for unifying our data and making it available for business stakeholders.”

Connecting Collibra to Snowflake provided a convenient data cataloging solution that helped increase data reliability at TDECU.

According to Golecha, “70% of our time was spent on data wrangling and cleansing. With Snowflake, we’re able to have clean, reliable, consistent data that is validated for analytics and insights.”

Snowflake’s near-zero maintenance freed up staff to focus on higher-impact work instead of troubleshooting technical issues. “We can’t spend hours running, optimizing, and tuning queries, which is another reason why we need Snowflake,” said Golecha.

Protecting members’ data

Leveraging ALTR for automated policy enforcement, in tandem with Snowflake’s integrated security features, aligned with TDECU’s need for transparency, compliance, and control. Tokenization-as-a-service, data masking, thresholding, and integration with enterprise data governance solutions, including Collibra, were a few reasons why TDECU chose ALTR.

“Protecting members’ assets is very important to our financial institution,” Golecha said. “Part of that includes protecting member data, which needs to be masked and tokenized at the root level.”

ALTR’s SaaS-based, no-code interface simplified TDECU’s workflow for controlling access to sensitive data. ALTR’s track record in the financial services industry accelerated time to value.

“Our approach to data governance with TDECU stemmed from our knowledge and experience within financial services,” said ALTR Founder and CTO James Beecham. “TDECU could feel comfortable knowing that we’ve been in this position before and understand their scale, latency, throughput, and compliance needs.”

Inclusion in the Snowflake Partner Network helped ALTR deliver a seamless experience for TDECU and other Snowflake customers.

“Integration between Snowflake and ALTR is very simple, and it was made simple by Snowflake,” Beecham said. “The ability to discover, classify, tag, govern, protect, and access sensitive data inside Snowflake is the easiest of any platform that I’ve seen.”

Advancing TDECU’s data maturity lifecycle

Enabling secure, democratized access to data with Snowflake and ALTR helps TDECU’s business users make data-driven decisions and identify opportunities to elevate the member experience. 

“Snowflake helps us access our data, and ALTR helps us secure our data,” Golecha said. “They both play an important role in TDECU’s data maturity lifecycle.”

Moving forward, TDECU will continue to rely on Snowflake and ALTR as it advances through the data maturity lifecycle.

“The next big thing for our company involves treating data as an asset,” Golecha said. “We want to optimally utilize these data assets to make actionable, data-driven decisions and understand our members’ needs to better serve them as a credit union.”

Learn more about TDECU, Snowflake’s Data Cloud and ALTR.