Producing Irresistible Reports in an Unsexy Industry. Loan Portfolio Reports For Management That Get Read!
November 2016

For years, loan portfolio analysis was churned out using Excel features like vlookups and pivot tables, but that’s largely changed due to lenders needing more robust analytical software platforms.
If you add in the fact that most lending managers are worried about regulator exams, interest rate risk, default risk, loan growth, and member retention , it’s easy to see how some loan portfolio reports may be overlooked or otherwise not read because they’re “unsexy”.
With widespread expectations of continued job growth and economic stability, most credit union executives are tasked with analyzing piles of often complicated reports in order to glean the overall health of their financial institution.
Recent data from NCUA points to overall outstanding loan balances of $695.3 billion, a surge of 10.1% over the past 12-month period ending second quarter 2014.
While this is great news for financial institutions, most managers can expect to pour through mountains of reports in any given month―possibly missing important lending metrics due to the way data is presented.
To get around all the analytic white noise, reports these days have to scream “read me” lest financial managers risk seeing the trees and not the forest.
Lending managers that get overwhelmed by unintuitive, clunky software easily get turned off and risk falling into analysis paralysis where they have too many confusing options and don’t know where to begin.
Producing loan portfolio reports that actually get read by management means employing next- generation loan portfolio platforms such as Visible Equity analytics software.
Lending managers want analytical tools that will do the heavy lifting of valuing collateral, identifying underwriting guidelines that are performing well or poorly with static pool analysis, trends in charge-offs, delinquencies, and performing loan types, migrations in credit scores, ltv’s, and loan risk ratings, etc…
But they’re also going to want that data presented in a visually appealing, easy-to-digest format that inspires the lending manager to want to explore even further reporting metrics simply because the loan portfolio software is so intuitive and easy to use.
Loan portfolio reports that get read:

  • Are produced by a software engines using clean, user-friendly interfaces
  • Use a combination of visually-appealing tables, graphs, charts and other data points
  • Don’t overwhelm with too many metrics initially, granular analysis can come later
  • Are customizable, but uniform so that all decision makers can be on the same “page”

Make your report easy to skim and pick out metrics of personal interest.
It should look appealing and approachable at first glance, which helps readers notice what information is available and important.
In order to accomplish this, format titles so they stands out and are easy to read. You might want to consider adding tag lines or short descriptions of what the report is about― why one should care to read it and how to use the information provided.
Focus on spicing up the report with a few design features such as color accents, photos, or other images to draw attention to and emphasize the title and tag line.
Make sure the type, size and color of fonts used draw the reader into the report, not alienate him or her because it’s too confusing.
In other words, a few creative touches will help keep a reader engaged as long they are applied correctly.

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