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Accenture helped a large US property and casualty insurer develop robust business intelligence capabilities to achieve high performance.
A new data warehouse improved decision making and a longer-term road map established a vision for rolling out improved analytics.
This firm sells insurance to drivers and homeowners through a network of independent agents and brokers throughout the United States.
The insurer wanted to change the way it collected and managed data and optimize its business applications. Better analytics would allow the company to:
At the time, the company lacked a central location for consolidated data. Instead, the data was scattered across business unit silos. Employees were spending too much time extracting data rather than analyzing it.
The insurer sought a robust business intelligence capability to improve decision making. The effort would begin with three steps:
Accenture was selected due to our deep skills in all areas of business intelligence and data management. The specific insurance industry resources of the Accenture Global Delivery Network and our global alliance relationships would prove valuable. Equally important, Accenture would bring a holistic information management perspective.
The collaboration began with a five-year road map, prioritizing the data management plan. Next, the insurer sought Accenture’s help in implementing the plan, creating an enterprise-wide data warehouse. These new analytical capabilities would enable innovation and drive fact-based decision making at all levels of the company.
First, a foundation phase set up the processes, methodology and time line to deliver the program with rigor and predictability. The aim of this phase was to design the data warehouse as well as to create an efficient, factory-like approach to each planned release. The delivery methodology was customized by combining the insurer’s delivery processes with Accenture Delivery Methods.
Also during the foundation phase, the Accenture Information Management Services team developed strategies for the data architecture, data quality and metadata for the data warehouse. Teradata was selected as the enterprise data warehouse platform. Other key technologies included Informatica, DataFlux and Microsoft SQL Server Analysis Services (SASS) and Server 2008 Reporting Services (SSRS). Avanade, an Accenture affiliate company specializing in Microsoft technologies, helped with the system design, customization, data migration and project management.
In addition, Accenture worked with SAS to define the strategy for the use of high-end, grid-based analytic tools. SAS and Accenture built an analytics center of excellence within the insurance company using SAS Enterprise Miner, SAS Business Intelligence and SAS Grid Manager to promote collaboration and easy growth for the insurer’s reporting and data mining needs. This allowed the company to manage and prioritize analytics and reporting such as claims management, fraud detection and risk management.
Over three years, the team successfully delivered five releases of the data warehouse, each covering a key subject area of the business: distributor; quotes and issues; auto; home; and claims. Each release added more users of the enhanced, standardized data and raised the value of the insurer’s new data warehouse to the business.
Based on this successful execution, the insurer has collaborated with Accenture on further business intelligence initiatives.
The property and casualty insurer can now manage data from an enterprise-wide perspective throughout the information life cycle as a strategic corporate resource.
As a result of this program, the company’s decision-making processes are increasingly automated and integrated. The consolidated data is of high quality and definitions are standardized across the business.
This reliable, accurate data helps with decisions of varying degrees of complexity. Casual users and power users alike can apply information to make more informed decisions for a variety of needs. For example, improved analytics has enabled the insurer to produce rate plans covering a more diverse customer and prospect base.
New information is now available daily instead of in months, and managers and analysts are experiencing improved performance when accessing the data. As a result, users can spend their time analyzing data and understanding its implications rather than collecting and formatting it.
Managers can focus on improving processes and business performance, not pulling data from laptops, reports and transaction systems. Reports and analyses can seamlessly integrate data from many sources.
Accenture research into high-performance businesses indicates that high performers are five times more likely to use analytics to identify their most profitable customers and offer them the right price; accelerate product innovation; and identify the true drivers of financial performance. Its multiyear business intelligence program and enterprise data warehouse have given the property and casualty insurer analytical tools to put itself on the path to high performance.
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