Decision Inc. transforms data analytics for Risk Benefit Solutions
Risk Benefit Solutions (RBS), one of the leading financial services advisory firms in southern Africa, has rolled out a QlikView-based analytics solution with partner Decision Inc. The solution has given the organisation instant access to essential information, which originally took days to analyse and prepare. RBS has realised a 50% reduction in time for its financial reporting – enabling it to make business decisions faster.
RBS provides services and solutions across insurance-broking, risk management, corporate risk advisors, employee benefit administrators, consultants and health and wealth management. RBS has been in practice for more than 20 years, offering a number of innovative solutions to a strong client portfolio.
The challenge which RBS faced was to establish a methodology whereby they could use corporate data to analyse income down to the policy level. The old system had clumsy, static reports, and when anyone needed to drill down into the data, or verify parameters linked to it, it was a long and tedious process.
“We used to see our accountant’s faces drop when we asked for a specific layer of data,” says Sean Pretorius, COO, RBS. “They had to go and source and edit the information, analyse it, and only then, a week later, would we get the information we required.”
RBS needed to identify where there were issues, how customers were behaving, and make more informed decisions around the management and structure of policies.
Says Andrew Espin, Decision Inc.’s General Manager of the Cape region: “The solution had to deliver richer insight into how each policy was performing, assess income status and offer data that provided insight into customer interaction and behaviour, as well as notify RBS of any changes.”
Decision Inc. was selected for the implementation due to its successful track record with RBS. The relationship forged throughout this process meant RBS was already invested in the capabilities of Decision Inc., and the latter understood RBS’s business requirements and had insight into systems that benefited the installation.
“One of the reasons we worked with Decision Inc. is the people,” says Pretorius. “The second is the implementation. They took the time to understand our business and really listen to our requests. They didn’t give us a generic solution; they tailored one to give us exactly what we were looking for.”
Decision Inc. developed a robust QlikView installation, which has provided RBS with the tools required to overcome its challenges while delivering superb detail at the most granular level.
The system is capable of assessing each current policy status and forecasting what the budgeted value would be over the period of a year. It has allowed for the organisation to not only access and analyse data on a more efficient scale, but provided it with information to determine income over a variety of time frames – six months, a year, two years – on each policy. Once the time frame has elapsed and the actuals come through, the system then allows for users to match projected numbers against the actual working budget for each policy.
“The client is now able to track budget versus actual down to a very granular level, right to a singular policy number,” adds Espin. “In addition, as part of the budget analysis, we were able to generate a budget which went down to the policy level as well, and this has played a pivotal role in the success of the project and how well it resolved the issues faced by the client.”
Decision Inc. resolved another challenge for RBS during the process – the ability to examine how profitable any one account executive is in terms of income generated versus expenditure. For example, one account executive could be earning a lower number each month, but due to reduced expenses their profit is high whereas another has impressive numbers, but expenses impact these to make them less profitable. The new system now offers a clear breakdown of these figures and utilises a formula that can calculate profitability across expenses, investment and splits to get the overall value per account executive.
Decision Inc. also developed a budget analysis tool which could generate a budget that goes down to policy level and a finance model which integrated with legacy budgeting parameters and requirements.
“We now have the ability to see where the holes are, which offers us a massive amount of value in the performance management space as we have the details we need to have meaningful discussions and to track activity against budgets,” adds Pretorius.
RBS now has a cohesive system which enables them to budget and forecast accurately. Decision Inc. met the parameters of the brief and delivered a robust and dynamic solution within the time frame specified.
“The solution has allowed us to identify detail as and when required so we always know exactly where we stand,” concludes Pretorius. “We can address issues immediately and, thanks to the system’s capabilities, it is creating a culture of self-management. Account executives can now pick up the information themselves and resolve issues as they arise rather than having to go through a variety of line managers and processes.”
The QlikView implementation by Decision Inc. has had a positive impact for RBS. It has boosted productivity and employee engagement, given richer insight into business processes and client behaviour and transformed the amount of time spent on information gathering and data analysis.