By André DeBlois, InEdge
Montreal, QC (June 11, 2014) – There are plenty of development methodologies that have been explored by specialists in the field of Analytics, but surprisingly few have been specific to the delivery of Analytics for insurers. This may be due to the tendency for development teams to feel pulled in several different directions. For example, there is the desire to exploit leading-edge tools and technologies, while reducing risk of project failure and delivering functionality in a foreshortened timeframe. Is it really possible to do all these things simultaneously?
It is, when the six key factors influencing project development and delivery have been identified and are carefully managed, in a delivery approach that is tailored to the specific Analytics needs of the insurance industry.
Exceed Client satisfaction
First, the delivery approach must ensure client satisfaction by rapidly demonstrating the business value of the analytical solution. Long delivery time-frames, irrelevant requirements or non-business driven requirements, large data sets, and inadequate design, must be completely eliminated from the delivery approach.
Ensure buy-in from stakeholders
Obtaining buy-in from senior business and IT management should not be overlooked, and every effort must be made to secure the sponsorship and regular involvement of key stakeholders. The project cannot be developed in isolation. In addition, senior management can quickly set priorities, mobilize resources, and assist in resolving differences of opinion should they arise.
Leverage external expertise
Equally important, analytics project managers should not hesitate to leverage external expertise. Success in Analytics delivery requires skilled resources with knowledge of the business domain and the technology. Resources with experience in delivering Analytics will avoid common Analytics delivery missteps and pitfalls. Similarly, there is now need to shy away from pre-built components. Taking advantage of trusted technology offerings has the effect of reducing both risk and shortening delivery time.
Keeping the channels of communication open is another key to success. The business and technology resources must maintain a tight collaboration by leveraging all possible collaboration and communication means. Strong and coordinated communications amongst all team members permit to focus on the right deliverables.
Deliver Analytics with good data quality
Analytics with good data quality is what the Business expects. Resolving data integration related issues might be long for some organizations. Starting with small variety of data and reduced data history allows to prove the recipe for the data issues resolution while delivering Analytics.
Allow flexibility with changes
Finally, the delivery approach must accommodate changes to specifications fluidly and gracefully. If and when new business needs are identified — even during development — they must be integrated according to priorities. A flexible delivery approach keeps the project in tune as per expectations. Best practices evolve. The delivery approach must too.
The field of Analytics is evolving at a rapid pace. Nowhere is this truer than in Analytics for the insurance industry. Insurers are very keen to take advantage of leading-edge tools and technologies in this respect, yet may hesitate because the right delivery approach is not known to them. The six factors outlined above represent a field-tested approach to delivery that counters forces that cause projects get bogged down. Embracing them produces a delivery approach that is a cost-effective, low-risk and eliminates pernicious missteps.
For more information, read 6 Factors for Success in the Delivery of Insurance Analytics.
About the author
André DeBlois is an Engagement Manager at InEdge. André has over 25 years experience in information technology. Throughout his career, André has demonstrated a talent for business development, architecture, model building, and project management, as well as for gathering business requirements, producing business solutions, and implementing information technology methodologies, normative frameworks, and competency centers. He has been instrumental in numerous successful projects, mainly in the Financial Services sector in Canada, United States, and England. Before joining InEdge, André worked in management and consulting at DMR-Fujitsu, Covansys and Atkinson, Tremblay & Associates.
InEdge is a leader in Insurance Analytics solutions. Experienced at quickly leveraging data, InEdge seamlessly and powerfully creates business advantage for its clients. Since its creation in 1994, InEdge has designed and implemented some of the most sophisticated analytical applications available today. Our clients add up to an impressive roster of Property & Casualty and Life Insurance companies. Our Analytics solutions improve and make easier decision-making at all levels for our clients.