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Bright Idea: Digital data

Annual reports.

They’re the nemesis of many organizations. In today’s digital world, does anyone read print copies? What about PDFs?

Realizing the traditional yearend report is becoming obsolete, the Equipment Leasing and Finance Association went digital.

This year, ELFA put its annual Survey of Equipment Finance Activity online. Safeguarded by member logins, the survey gives members access to 10 years of data through a digital dashboard.

The digital dashboard allows members 24-7 access – without the hassle of downloading a PDF or combing through hundreds of pages – to data they need to educate themselves, remain competitive and stay abreast of industry trends.

It also provides benchmarking data so members can see in what areas they’re excelling and in what areas they may need to improve. The benchmarks include new business volume growth, headcount, yield/spread/costs of funds, financial ratios, assets under management, delinquencies and losses and new business volume by state.

Members can segment data by year, type of organization, market segment, size of organization and business model, while also selecting categories, using filters and drilling down into specific information.

ELFA used Tableau to digitize its annual survey, but there are myriad options from which associations can choose.

“Expanding the SEFA from an annual report to an interactive dashboard allows users to quickly and easily connect to the information they care about and take a deeper dive into the data,” said Bill Choi, vice president of research and industry services, in a statement. “Whether you’re wondering about trends in the equipment finance industry or looking for new business opportunities, the online SEFA lets you view this rich data set in a new way.”

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