Sympany has been advocating for private people and companies for more than 100 years. This Swiss insurance company offers health and accident insurance, as well as property and liability insurance. Sympany’s headquarters is in Basel.
At an insurance company, data has always played a central role for setting rates and reporting. With current technologies, there are new data sources and analytical tools available. These open up new possibilities for offering customers better services and products and making customer relationships more personal.
A significant part of Sympany’s evaluation infrastructure is a high-powered enterprise data warehouse. As part of the implementation of a new ERP system, an interim solution for evaluations with restricted functionality was designed, which therefore bore the name “GoLive-set.” The goal was to implement a state-of-the-art data warehouse and to keep business operations running full speed ahead during the implementation phase. The changes in the data warehouse required adjustments in the IBM Cognos Analytics front end, as well as in the interfaces and reports.
The challenge was to convert the existing reports for the departments to the new data warehouse as quickly as possible. However, professional resources were at a premium, so external support was required. It would have to be possible to deploy the partner quickly and flexibly and the partner would need to have very good IBM Cognos Analytics skills.
valantic was able to fulfill all of these requirements. In particular, its extensive Cognos expertise and experience from other projects for health insurance companies were very helpful for the quick implementation.
Overview: Conversion to the new data warehouse and IBM Cognos Analytics:
New access rights concept, which reveals responsibility for data and reports
valantic’s consultants understood the logic changes in the back end in the shortest possible time. The reports used had to be adapted to the new data warehouse, which meant that the report data changed logically and structurally. At the same time, Sympany and valantic tested the migrated reports for possibilities for technical improvement. Therefore, there was an adjustment on both the technical and content levels. The departments accepted the reports during the migration phase, in parallel with ongoing daily business. All analytic information was thus always available and could be used by the business without restriction.
Results & customer benefit
Since July 2020, all Sympany departments have been working with the new data warehouse and the optimized IBM Cognos Analytics. It was possible to end the resource-heavy parallel operation earlier than planned, which resulted in significant savings. The departments use all data in a quality-assured, high-performance environment.
With the new solution developed by Sympany and valantic, departments can call up all data quickly and link data elements from different tables easily and clearly, something that was not possible with the old solution. Data analysis is much easier for the employees. Furthermore, the new data warehouse is structured much more clearly, which in turn improves performance. In the process, valantic also introduced a new “ownership” concept. The new rights and access concept guarantees that today and in the future, responsibilities for the existing data and reports are clarified, and with a growing need for analysis, they display all available reports in the overview.
Sympany and valantic tackled the migration to the new data warehouse successfully and with minimal effort for the departments. Reporting is stable and runs in the new environment to users’ complete satisfaction.
Learning & recommendations for action
In the beginning, many users couldn’t see the great benefits of migrating to the new data warehouse. The readiness to invest resources in the project was correspondingly low.
Sympany and valantic succeeded in revealing the benefits to users and at the same time, requiring as little work of the departments as possible. During the project, it became clear that especially changes to existing and proven structures should be tested well. Most of the work, questions, and problems arose where adjustments to data structures initiated by the departments were made. Worth recommending is also that companies should plan acceptance with the departments at the very beginning of the project and agree on content and procedure in binding fashion.
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