Business Intelligence Development

Centric delivers business intelligence solution for managing investment portfolio

The Business Need

The Investment group at a large national insurance company’s charter is to manage the cash earned by other Business Units within the insurance company by investing it in a wide variety of investment vehicles of varying complexity and durations.  The Investment Group had disparate systems and non-homogeneous business processes that were not providing the data needed to manage the investment portfolio efficiently, nor were they providing mechanisms to report performance back to the business units that provided the capital.  Issues included poor data quality, minimal data governance, and data anomalies across systems.  To manage the portfolio, the Investment Group staff relied on many manual processes, spreadsheets, and ad-hoc reporting applications.

Centric’s High-Impact Approach

This insurance company partnered with Centric to implement an asset management system based on the latest Business Intelligence best practices and technologies. After purchasing an investments specific data model, the team constructed a fully operational Data Hub, Data Warehouse, Data Marts and analytics capabilities to achieve robust portfolio decision making.

The project created standard business processes that provided for understanding needed data flows as well as the standardization of the incoming data. Next the team designed a data warehouse approach that allowed for the publication, uploading, enriching, and exporting of information to the needed subscribers. Finally the team created a mechanism for testing the highly complex data flows including mechanisms to test the multiple data transformations against initial requirements documents.

The implementation relied on a mix of technologies including standard financial analysis packages, Business Intelligence tools (Informatica and Business Objects), databases (SQL Server, Access, Lotus Notes, Oracle) and numerous test and data management tools. When complete, the data warehouse included data from over 400 data sources and relied on over 135 ETL adaptors.

To deliver this large multiyear program is was necessary to build a team with a diverse skill set and competencies: Project Management, Data Analysis, Integration Development, Business Intelligence Development, Testing, Business Process Reengineering and Organizational Change Management and Training. Centric’s responsibilities included overall program and project management, the management and staffing of the data analysis and testing teams, management of the integration development and business intelligence teams, business process expertise and finally expertise in organization change management and training.

The project was delivered in 3 distinct phases

  • The Project Initiation phase defined the overall data flows and processes, the technical architecture, and imported some of the needed portfolio performance and measurement data.
  • Phase 2 added additional data sources providing additional portfolio performance and measurement data.
  • Phase 3, the final phase of the project, involved shutting down several legacy Business Intelligence systems and incorporated its performance and measurement data into the Insurance Company’s data warehouse.

Results

This program is widely regarded as one of the more successful IT projects undertaken for the investment business.  By building the BI solution, the investment business now has a consistent, error free view into the performance of its investment portfolio.  It also has an efficient and accurate mechanism for reporting investment results back to the investing business units.  Furthermore, the project has resulted in the creation of a data management organization and has driven the standardization of reporting tools and technologies laying the needed architectural foundation to support the businesses future growth plans.