Tata AIG Life Insurance Company (Tata AIG Life) plans to implement a business intelligence tool by December 2011. Stating that BI is inevitable in the financial services space, Samrat Das, CIO at Tata AIG Life, says that his company has reached the inflection point of maturity to be able to adopt BI.
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“The maturity curve for BI at Tata AIG has evolved in the last eleven years with the organization putting the building blocks in place including transaction systems, portal, workflow applications and modules, transaction reports, and the first form of multidimensional analytics. The stage is now set for ODS (operational data store) to work as the first step towards BI,” he says.
The insurer intends to use the business intelligence tool, among other things, for effective product-pricing, product positioning, and market segmentation, informs Das. “Pricing of an insurance product depends on the level of risk associated with it,” Das explains. “A business intelligence tool can help us accurately assess the risk profile of each customer and in turn of the products we offer. A good marketing plan can be prepared based on the changing risk patterns and trends across different product portfolios.”
Data quality project
Along with implementation of a business intelligence tool, Tata AIG Life plans to invest in a data quality initiative. Das informs that in insurance sector, the life of the data of the life insurance customers is around 10 years. This data includes a customer’s financial, medical, employment, and other personal details. Maintaining data accuracy of sensitive customer information for such a long period can be a challenge. Data quality initiative will help the company to fulfill these needs.
Another factor driving the data quality project at Tata AIG is compliance. “Regulatory authorities have become stricter about data accuracy and reporting standards. Data quality is a must to meet the compliance objectives,” Das says.
What new is required
Tata AIG Life currently employs an elementary form of decision support system that includes in-house developed MI tool, ad hoc query reports, and Microsoft Excel. Our data architecture requirements are complex and meeting those needs with the current systems sometimes becomes a challenge, says Das. The business intelligence tool is expected to bring in a new system of report generation that would satisfy the needs of departmental users and provide the top management with action-oriented and predictive reports.
As part of the project, Tata AIG Life will create a single repository of data that can integrate and pool in its existing databases, MS SQL, Oracle, and DB2, and the fragmented departmental data. The organization is also on the hunt for an operational single platform data store that can facilitate real time BI. “We are open to any make of business intelligence tool including open source options,” says Das. He adds that ease of implementation and avoidance of technology overkill will be high on Tata AIG Life’s priority list with respect to product evaluation.