The Value of Power BI: Optimizing Data Structures and Data Accessibility
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Converting Data into Actionable Insights

The Horton Group is an insurance, employee benefits and risk advisory firm specializing in helping clients turn costs and risk into a competitive advantage.

Like most in the insurance industry, The Horton Group handles copious amounts of data from clients including benefit policies, carriers, coverage complexities, etc. This data is then transformed into vital information for analysis and detailed business performance insights.

Reporting on a constant flux of information demands exceptional data accuracy and timely analysis to attain a more holistic outlook on company performance and provide more valuable insights. Insurance companies must deliver the right information to the right customer at the right time. Optimizing data structures and data accessibility helps better identify how this data can be used for on-demand visuals and reports to initiate conversations with clients. 

 

The Challenge 

The Horton Group wanted to use background data collected on clients to aid future portfolio sales. Although data was being collected, the methodologies being used to explore the data offered restricted capabilities and reporting issues still existed.

PSC Group worked with The Horton Group executives and their technical team to review their current data structures to understand how the data is being collected and processed.  It was understood that data being used for reporting was both rolled up and manually entered in one screen on their insurance platform as well as within the CRM system. Custom form data was also being manually extracted and saved one form at a time in XML format. The data was then manually formatted for a single specific client and presented in visuals with Excel or PowerPoint.  PSC Group evaluated the data that is being currently stored and accessible, but not optimized, and the data that is being collected via custom forms that needs an extraction process scheduled in order to be used to create analytics.

Because multiple systems were being used for data entry, unknown and unwanted discrepancies were diluting the real truth of data. A single source of data was recommended with the idea that data can be pulled on a timed schedule to roll up and be reported on later from the CRM system. The data utilizing custom forms was being stored in a single XML field per form and needed extraction processes so it could be used in reporting and sales documentation.

 

The Solution

Amid rapid business growth and bottlenecked by a disparate data structure and reporting system, The Horton Group sought for a partner who could build a Business Intelligence platform that would allow further insight into business, sales, and benefits. PSC Group worked directly with the business and IT to determine the best possible future state solution. The ideal partner would address the following issues:

Reporting Pains

Data Pains

  • Needing to manually pull data individually for each client through many individual reports
  • No central location for real time online reporting
  • Visualizations being manually created through Excel or in PowerPoint presentations
  • Data used for reporting required manual input into one screen as well as within the CRM system
  • Custom form data was being saved in XML format and being extracted and stored only one client/form at a time

Building the backlog

PSC Group began by meeting with business and IT stakeholders to understand and solution requirements, focusing on the business value of each feature set and any major technical shortcomings of the current solution.

Together, we reviewed The Horton Group’s current functionality, data structures, and desired enhancements.  Business stakeholders painted a compelling vision of a Business Intelligence platform that could be effortlessly extended on the fly reporting, less overhead for IT staff, and more power to the business users to use data and visualizations.

Project Engagement

PSC recommended that jobs be set up to roll up client data and store in the existing roll up data tables so as to keep a single source of truth. This also expanded the capability for XML data to be extracted in larger scales as opposed to data available for a single client/form. Views were created on existing data structures to provide better insight for reporting needs.

 

The Results

PSC Group took a streamlined approach to these data limitations as well as a single source of truth to better supply reporting data for current and future state of reporting. Power BI was an excellent solution to address these issues and offer a reporting platform that utilized their on-premises SQL Service license and allowed users to report off of the data available.

PSC utilized existing infrastructure to feed Power BI as the reporting repository for all tailored reports and created the ability to allow on the fly slicing of data metrics for a specific client and their past premiums, as well as other market leaders to compare policy premiums. These data structure improvements enabled The Horton Group to surpass prior system limitations and provided increased visibility to Business stakeholders.

The PSC team was great in helping us bring our ideas around data to life.  Building out our data strategy is a long journey – and I find that taking the first steps can be incredibly difficult.  PSC Group understood early on where we were trying to go, and helped us take the first steps and make it a reality.

-Dan Horton, CEO The Horton Group

 

 

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