TCU Wins "Optimizing Operations Award" from Mastercard

Innovative competition earns TCU an award in third annual Community Institution Sement Awards.

TCU has been selected as a recipient of the Optimizing Operations Award in the third annual Mastercard Community Institution Segment Awards. This award highlights TCU’s use of the Crossroads Classic Analytics Challenge to efficiently determine branch cash flow to better serve members. 

The annual Mastercard Community Institution Segment Awards were created to recognize the efforts of the many Mastercard partners in three categories:

  • Innovation: Most creative and impactful use of technology
  • Optimizing Operations: Best use of streamlining operational efficiencies 
  • Doing Well by Doing Good: Best use of assets in community service or charitable contributions


The inaugural Crossroads Classic Analytics Challenge, co-sponsored by TCU, invited business students from four Indiana universities to solve the problem during an online competition. The challenge’s aim was to provide students with an opportunity to sharpen their analytics skills with a real-world application. 

Crossroads Classic was also sponsored by the University of Notre Dame's Mendoza College of Business along with Butler University, Indiana University and Purdue University. TCU provided the challenge for students to solve.

"Competitions like the Crossroads Classic Analytics Challenge are valuable for students for three reasons,” said Scott Nestler, academic director of the residential Notre Dame Master of Science in Business Analytics program, who coordinated the challenge. “The students in analytics programs have the opportunity to apply knowledge and skills developed in multiple classes to a real-world problem; they must work through the analytics process from start to finish; and they get experience presenting their work to business leaders." 

The case presented by TCU asked students to help better predict branches' weekly cash-on-hand needs, a problem that has become more difficult to forecast in light of how the Coronavirus pandemic has shifted members' interactions with local branches. The calculation had to take into account a branch’s cash limit and also avoid underestimating cash needs, which would result in an expensive “special order” between normal cash deliveries.

“At TCU, we’re focused on serving our members as efficiently as possible, which includes ensuring we have the right amount of cash on hand at each of our branches at any given time,” said TCU Chief Information Officer Dan Rousseve. “The Crossroads Classic Analytics Challenge gave students an opportunity to use an analytics-backed approach to solve a real-world problem. We were very impressed with the quality of their work and the operational efficiencies that were recommended.”

TCU’s quest to improve its cash ordering process has resulted in a streamlined and more efficient process that benefits the credit union’s bottom line, but more importantly ensures that each branch has the appropriate cash on hand to best serve TCU’s members. 

TCU is proud to receive this award and all the students who worked hard in the competition.