By Jose Tribuzio, Senior Vice President & General Manager, SIMS Claims, Insurity
Significant data is collected in the workers’ compensation (WC) claims industry. Being able to analyze and act on this data can have far-reaching implications for improving program performance. With modern business intelligence (BI) tools organizations can gain the insights needed to optimize cost savings, create safer work environments and ensure injured employees receive the care they need to recover and get back to work.
BI is an umbrella term that refers to a variety of tools used to analyze data. As a discipline, it includes data mining, advanced analytics, predictive modeling and dynamic reporting. Today, BI tools are incorporated into claims solutions and risk management information systems, but they’re also broadly available through popular office solutions, like Excel, and cloud-based solutions, such as Microsoft Power BI.
As organizations consider potential solutions, it’s important to look for modern BI capabilities that include the following:
1. Visualization: A picture is worth a thousand words
Gone are the days of static reports delivered via PDFs or PowerPoint slides. WC claims professionals and program managers should be able to consume BI through stunning, interactive reports. They’ll want the capability to create and access dashboards that enable them to keep their fingers on the pulse of key performance indicators (KPIs). These dashboards should be configurable to provide a quick glance of all the statistics an organization deems critical and that will help them make fast, informed decisions.
2. Collaboration: Address claims from all angles
In the past, BI was an IT-centric function. With scalable cloud-based platforms, organizations can put information into the hands of many—beyond IT and business analysts to everyday business users who want to explore data, share findings and collaborate to improve results.
With interactive workbooks and automated sharing capabilities (such as email alerts and distribution of reports), organizations can keep all stakeholders aware of trends. In addition, with a common set of KPIs on dashboards, organizations can get all stakeholders focused on the same objectives. In this way, an organization might have claims adjusters, case managers, HR professionals and worksite managers all focused on making injured workers feel valued and cared for, and engaged in the process of returning to work. In addition, stakeholders should be able to access BI from any device, including smartphones and tablets.
3. Gateways: Bring all data sources together
Today, data comes from various sources, both internal and external to claims organizations. With gateways, organizations can unify all data, whether they have it in the cloud or on-premises. Organizations can connect SQL Server databases, Web services data models, and many other data sources to their BI dashboard.
4. Natural Language: Easier ways to interact with data
Traditional reporting relied on IT professionals who could program data queries to generate reports. Oftentimes, these static reports did not generate the information needed, so additional queries had to be run. The process was inefficient. Today, the ability to interface with data is becoming a more natural process. Tools like Microsoft Power BI offers a Q&A feature, which enables users to type a question using everyday, natural language, such as “What offices experienced the highest claims costs last month?” Q&A will decide on the best chart or graph to display the information, so users benefit from a powerful, visual answer—and they obtain this answer without having to script multiple data queries.
5. A Self-Service Platform: Analytics in the cloud
Many IT experts subscribe to the “data gravity” belief, meaning they feel analytics should reside where most of their data is located. Today, data in the cloud is far outpacing data on-premises, so data gravity is pulling analytics in that same direction—to the cloud—and organizations are becoming more comfortable with this notion.
At the 2016 Amazon Web Services (AWS) re:Invent event, companies across different industries showed how they were creating applications that generated massive data sets in the cloud. And last year Spotify announced plans to get rid of its data centers and move entirely to Google’s Cloud Platform.
Although it may seem intuitive for a digital-native company to choose to store data in the cloud, the elasticity, speed and performance of cloud infrastructure make it a good option for many, including WC organizations that may not have large IT departments.
What’s important here is this approach maximizes the use of cloud features so IT teams can provide a self-service platform to various WC stakeholders. In this way, an IT department can handle a larger volume of data projects in an affordable and efficient way.
6. Embedded BI: Integrating reports into other apps
Analytics work best when they’re used in the context of a person’s everyday workflow. WC programs might ask themselves where BI reports could be placed to keep various stakeholders aware of important performance measures.
Embedded BI is the integration of reports, dashboards and analytic views inside other applications. The information is typically displayed and managed by the BI platform, but it’s placed directly within another application’s user interface to improve the context and usability of the data.
For example, if a company provides employees with fitness wearables, it might be helpful to embed claim frequency reports alongside employee activity reports to gain insights on whether more or less activity will make a worker prone to injury.
Deeper Insight, Deeper Impact
WC programs are under tremendous pressure to reduce costs and drive better results. BI can help achieve these objectives, by providing the insights on claims and loss trends that need to be addressed with safety and other risk management efforts. Organizations on the hunt for superior BI tools must ensure their chosen solutions include some of the modern capabilities outlined in this article. These features are fast becoming the new standards for BI excellence. With modern BI tools, organizations can achieve a deeper understanding of their programs and be well equipped to improve performance in the year ahead.
About Jose Tribuzio
Jose Tribuzio is Senior Vice President and General Manager of SIMS Claims at Insurity. He has more than 20 years of experience in the software industry. In 2006, he founded Systema Software, LLC, which was recently acquired by Insurity. Since 2001, Jose has focused solely on developing insurance software solutions, which provide a unique combination of value, flexibility and functionality. Under his direction, the SIMS Claims team remains dedicated to developing, innovating, and supporting SIMS Claims as a fast, flexible and feature-rich solution that meets client and industry needs.
Insurity, Inc. enables property & casualty insurers to modernize their enterprise and achieve their business goals. Insurity’s core processing applications and data integration and analysis solutions are backed by rich insurance expertise and are in production with over 100 insurers, processing billions of dollars of premium each month. Insurity’s solutions address the needs of all carriers – from the Top 20 insurers to small or regional commercial, personal, or specialty lines writers, as well as MGAs. For more information about Insurity, call 860-616-7721 or visit www.insurity.com.