Business challenge

Data is the lifeblood of the insurance industry. How could this US insurer ensure that it utilizes its data as rapidly and effectively as possible?

Transformation

To drive faster, more insightful analytics capabilities, the company is enhancing its entire analytics function with IBM Cognos® Analytics—opening new avenues for data-driven decision making.

Results

Visualizes

information to make data more digestible for different consumers

Empowers

employees to serve themselves with the data they need via interactive dashboards

Unlocks

faster, richer, more interactive reporting capabilities for the whole business

Business challenge story

Imagining more powerful analytics

Data guides almost every decision made by an insurance company, from detecting fraud and processing claims to evaluating policy risk and pricing. That’s why insurers are constantly on the lookout for more effective ways to extract insights from the data powering their business.

A leading insurer found that its existing analytics function was struggling to handle growing data volumes. For instance, some of the company’s key reports took up to 8 hours to complete—significantly slowing time to insight.

This insurer’s ability to analyze historical data at a granular level was limited and carrying out real-time data analysis was impossible. The company did not have a data warehouse, and was instead running reports from a reporting database that was effectively a backup of the previous day’s transactions.

What’s more, when the company could extract insight from its data, the complex user interface of its legacy solution made it difficult for employees to understand and interrogate trends in company information.

To transform into a truly data-driven organization, the insurer looked for a versatile analytics solution that would align with the IT department’s ambitions to improve insight into and control over its data.

The data manager for the insurer comments: “We decided to source a solution that would integrate with our plans to construct a dedicated data warehouse for analytics, while also providing greater ease of use and autonomy for different consumers. That would help us extend the scope of our analytics capabilities while also providing the business with faster, more flexible insight.”

Already, we’ve seen that staff with little previous experience using analytics software are well on their way to becoming power users of IBM Cognos Analytics, and after only a couple of months of using the solution.

—Data Manager, a leading insurer

Transformation story

Gearing up to make smarter decisions

To develop its analytics function, the US insurer is integrating its newly established data warehouse with IBM Cognos Analytics on premises—setting it on the path to deeper insight and stronger data and analytics governance.

Having used IBM Cognos products throughout a career in business intelligence, the data manager at the company was aware how reliable, versatile and robust IBM Cognos solutions are, and was sure that IBM Cognos Analytics was the best next step in its data analytics journey.

The data manager was able to upgrade three environments in under two weeks with minimal assistance from other people in the company, finding that taking the move to the latest version of the solution could be easily managed. By recording each step in the upgrade process, formulating a rigorous test plan for upgrading reports, and maintaining strong communications with the user community, this leading insurer was up and running with IBM Cognos Analytics in no time. 

The insurer initially started implementing IBM Cognos Business Intelligence version 10.2.2 to replace its older reporting solution, but decided to upgrade to IBM Cognos Analytics mid-stream.

The company was aware that jumping straight to Cognos Analytics would save a lot of training and re-training for its users. The enhancements that IBM made in terms of the user interface, self-service and data visualization capabilities of the solution encouraged the insurer to make the upgrade.

Instead of loading data into different tools for different analytics tasks, Cognos Analytics will allow this insurer to manage all its data from a single platform, which will strengthen data management and governance.

To ensure a successful deployment of IBM Cognos Analytics, the organization adopted a phased approach to implementation, starting with its claims department. 

The data manager at the insurance company comments: “We have a big vision for serving the entire business with fast, effective analytics from a single platform. Following on from a successful launch in our claims department, we are excited to roll out the solution to underwriting and other areas. We’re also working on dashboards for our executives, so they always have the latest data at their fingertips.”

With IBM Cognos Analytics, we are opening up a whole new world of opportunity to provide our employees with the data they need to make our operations much more efficient and more effective.

—Data Manager, a leading insurer

Results story

On the road to greater insight

The insurer is confident that the combination of IBM Cognos Analytics with its new data warehouse will deliver significant improvements in the time taken to generate mission-critical reports—driving greater productivity across the business. At the same time, the platform will give more power to users.

The deployment of Cognos Analytics is empowering users to design reports that are truly relevant to their needs, based on a deep understanding of their own data. This eliminates the disconnect between the people who need the insight and the people who build the reports.

“We also expect that these self-service capabilities—combined with a much more streamlined and modern interface—will help users develop their data analysis skills and become more adept business analysts,” the data manager at the insurer says. “Already, we’ve seen that staff with little previous experience using analytics software are well on their way to becoming power users of IBM Cognos Analytics, and after only a couple of months of using the solution.”

At the same time, the increased focus on self-service for business users will free the developers from report-writing duties—enabling them to focus on integrating new data sources and packaging data-sets to make them easier for the business to exploit.

The data manager adds: “There are all sorts of new visualization capabilities to explore—for instance, using the new mapping feature to plot data geographically and identify new patterns. More versatile visualization capabilities can also make data more approachable for users who might not respond well to tables full of figures.

“With IBM Cognos Analytics, we are opening up a whole new world of opportunity to provide our employees with the data they need to make our operations much more efficient and more effective.”

About A Leading Insurer

This leading insurer provides a wide range of healthcare, professional liability, legal professional liability, and workers compensation insurance, across the United States.

Solution components

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