Driving business growth with better data

Zenith Insurance uses SAS® to centralize data to improve reporting and prepare for Solvency II

Using SAS, Zenith Insurance improved business performance through more efficient use of its data. The insurer – part of Markerstudy Group – supports a network of approximately 3,000 independent intermediaries, and can support reporting and analytical needs of hundreds of employees who require access to this information.

Prior to using SAS, a team of eight employees at Zenith supported the needs of 80 people, including claims handlers, salespeople and management. Today a team of 12 supports more than 300. An improved reporting environment means the business is able to make better, faster decisions about claims, ultimately improving the customer experience. Better information in the hands of claims staff means they can approve claims – or uncover claims that require further investigation – more rapidly than before.

When Markerstudy acquired Zenith, the company was faced with the challenge of merging multiple disparate data systems into a single, user-friendly platform. A clear data quality strategy and auditable structure was also necessary to prepare for upcoming Solvency II regulations. Working with SAS® Data Management, Zenith brought all the company’s data into a SAS enterprise data warehouse, a unified platform designed with IT and business collaboration in mind. High-quality data helped streamline reporting and, most importantly, offered management a clearer view of the business, giving it the confidence to make decisions knowing the information it was using was accurate.

“As our business expands, it’s important for management to have a solid overview of how the different lines of business are performing at a group level. A siloed structure with multiple data sources slows decision making and does not allow analysis of data at a granular level,” says Jason Cabral, Group Head of Pricing and Management Information at Zenith. “SAS is instrumental in helping us achieve a more accurate view of our data, allowing us to move faster and be more competitive.”

From how we assess a customer’s risk to providing a price to the customer, we use data to make the most informed decision, which enables us to deliver the best price possible to market.
Jason Cabral - SAS Professionals Convention 2014 customer speaker

Jason Cabral
Group Head of Pricing and Management Information

Better data driving better decisions

While Zenith was in a period of rapid growth, the management team relied on reports and information pulled from numerous departments and disparate systems. In the past, this meant hours spent collecting information and collating it into spreadsheets, which were often out of date almost as soon as they were completed. Because of the manual processes, inconsistencies in data and the significant amount of time and resources required to collate the reports, the approach was inefficient.

Along with the help of a business intelligence consultancy firm, SAS and Zenith rolled out a coherent data management strategy and brought all the company’s data into the SAS enterprise data warehouse. “Data now drives all the decision-making processes across businesses in the insurance industry,” says Cabral. “We now receive the amount of data we used to receive in a year, all within the space of less than a week. We rely on SAS to analyze this data. From how we assess a customer’s risk to providing a price to the customer, we use data to make the most informed decision, which enables us to deliver the best price possible to market.”

Empowering employees with a powerful point-and-click solution

“The more data you can provide, the more people want to use,” Cabral continues. “By empowering our teams with the tools to create and analyze their own reports, we achieved a marked improvement in speed and operational efficiency.”

At the outset of the project, Zenith established a team to train staff on self-service reporting and ad hoc queries. Users across the business quickly recognized the benefits of the new, easy-to-use system, which is now part of their day-to-day activities. The team initially used SAS to build their reports, but now the same reports are built automatically, saving both time and resources.

The implementation transformed the way the operations teams handle day-to-day reporting and analysis needs. The graphical user interface of SAS® Enterprise Guide® cut out the need for writing code and put the power into the hands of the users, who can simply point and click to run a query or pull a report.

“It’s economies of scale because we have a team of 12 people, but they’re supporting over 300 internal staff, and they also link up with external parties,” says Cabral. “To be honest, we wouldn’t be able to do that without SAS. It would be unmanageable if we were creating the database from scratch in order to send things out to the business.”

Looking to the future, Zenith plans to increase the use of SAS® Business Intelligence tools to further improve efficiencies within the fraud investigation team. With more than 1,000 potential fraud cases a day, the ability to build predictive models and quickly analyze factors will help Zenith’s fraud investigators prioritize cases and achieve greater gains in fraud detection and prevention.

markerstudy-group-logo

Challenge

Zenith Insurance needed faster, more accurate data to empower employees and improve decision making.

Solution

Benefits

  • Nearly four times as many employees are now supported with analytics and reporting.
  • Significant improvement in speed and operational efficiency due to reliable, integrated data.
  • Accurate assessments of customer risk and pricing to deliver the best offer.
  • Better prepared for Solvency II regulations.

The results illustrated in this article are specific to the particular situations, business models, data input, and computing environments described herein. Each SAS customer’s experience is unique based on business and technical variables and all statements must be considered non-typical. Actual savings, results, and performance characteristics will vary depending on individual customer configurations and conditions. SAS does not guarantee or represent that every customer will achieve similar results. The only warranties for SAS products and services are those that are set forth in the express warranty statements in the written agreement for such products and services. Nothing herein should be construed as constituting an additional warranty. Customers have shared their successes with SAS as part of an agreed-upon contractual exchange or project success summarization following a successful implementation of SAS software. Brand and product names are trademarks of their respective companies.

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