Natsure reinvents data warehouse environment with Decision Inc.
Specialist underwriting management agency Natsure contracted Decision Inc. to transform its ineffective data warehouse solution with a solution that integrates more effectively with its business processes and delivers accurate reports.
Natsure is an underwriting management agency specialising in several niche business-to-business areas of insurance such as aviation, heavy commercial vehicles, lifestyle, personal accident and renewable energy. It aims to be the preferred partner for specialist intermediaries by setting a high benchmark for service delivery and innovative product solutions.
Natsure’s existing data warehouse solution was neither accurate nor complete, rendering data that was unreliable. The company was frustrated by the lack of value it received from the system, as it could not effectively report on business-critical elements.
“We had partnered with different providers who were tasked with creating something from multiple data sources. Unfortunately, 18 months down the line, they could still not make it happen,” says Bernice van Leeuwen, COO of Natsure.
Such was the complexity of the data warehouse environment put in place, Natsure did not fully understand how it linked to its data sources or could derive value from the system.
In 2019, Natsure started looking for a different technology partner and reached out to Decision Inc. to investigate what was delivered as part of the data warehouse capability. This was essential before it could look to turn around the environment.
To this end, Decision Inc. recommended conducting an Information Landscape Audit (ILA) to baseline the current Natsure data warehouse and reporting environment, highlighting the current challenges and associated risks.
The audit saw two of its consultants work on-site for two weeks, after which they could effectively unpack the systems put in place as well as how they were used. In turn, this would provide Natsure with a clear roadmap on how to mature its current reporting and data landscape.
“This was quite a challenging environment as Natsure was disillusioned by the previous service provider and not seeing a return on its investment. As a result, not only did we have to assess what they were using, but we also had to find the most efficient way of transforming that into something which they could realise value from. Throughout the process, we kept in mind how Natsure had to take ownership of its data and not be reliant on any third party to ensure its quality needs were taken care of,” says Reghard van Jaarsveld, Data Lead at Decision Inc.
Van Leeuwen agrees it was a difficult environment for the Decision Inc. team to enter.
“The Decision Inc. team were highly professional and focused. They handled our scepticism with patience with the implementation going well,” she says.
Following completion of the ILA, the Decision Inc. team reported back to Natsure with its strategic recommendations to overhaul the data warehouse and reporting environment. The most efficient way to do so would be to refurbish what had been put in place and work closely with the Natsure team to ensure it would deliver on expectations.
“Our projects run sprint-based methodology that see us planning for a week or two, then delivering in four to six weeks. This provides clients like Natsure with an evolutionary delivery process and enables us to work closely with their employees to deal with the change management associated with a new solution.”
Van Jaarsveld says maturing a company’s data, reporting and analytics environment is a journey
“Your staff, technology and processes must mature together. The critical success factor is always people and how they adapt and adopt technology. Natsure’s team was onboard from start to finish and committed to ensuring the success of our engagement. The Decision Inc. team was merely an enabler to realise Natsure’s vision for data and analytics.
“As such, our commitment to professionalism, continuous communication with our client, and our competent team with the skills to deliver on specification and deadline were critical components to the success of this project.”
Following its completion, Natsure had a configurable environment that sat on top of its existing infrastructure. This has enabled the company to pull data, perform algorithms and create reports faster than before.
“Even though we are still in the initial phase of dashboarding, the project has already shown its potential. Decision Inc. has enabled us to create user-friendly dashboards, which our divisional heads will use to manage their business units. We are excited by the potential of this project and looking forward to the results it will deliver six months down the line,” says Van Leeuwen.