The onboarding process can be challenging for both TPAs and their clients. Migrating data from one claims management system to another is often a difficult, resource-draining part of that process. Wesley White’s article 10 Data Migration Best Practices For Any Organization summarizes the extent of the challenge:
Migrating data to a new information management system from multiple sources is a complex and often headache-inducing undertaking. Data migration is often necessary to keep up with technological advancements and industry standards, but it requires great effort. Data from various storage areas—both onsite and in the cloud—must be evaluated, analyzed, cleaned up and organized before it can be combined and reconciled.
The right technology can help to reduce the tremendous burden that data migration places on new clients. It can also transform the onboarding process and showcase the unique insights, savings, and benefits your organization delivers. As White notes, “It doesn’t have to be as hard as you may think to get past these challenges and successfully migrate your data.”
Assisting with the pre-migration phase
Research from the independent research firm Bloor paints an ominous picture of data migration projects. Of these projects, 37% exceed budgets, 67% take longer than expected, and 84% fail to meet expectations. In Why do so many data migration projects end in disaster?, Colin Rickard, a data management director with Experian, is asked to explain the high failure rate. “Often there has just not been enough analysis done at the start, so you end up with a lot of data problems at the end,” he responds.
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It seems as if everywhere you turn, someone’s referencing AI. “Artificial intelligence is essential for business,” states a news article. “AI is the only way forward,” insists a colleague. And the scariest of all: “If you don’t implement AI quickly, you’ll be left in your competitors’ dust.” The constant refrain of AI, AI, AI can leave you feeling like your organization has lost the race before it has even entered it.
The truth is, AI is changing the world at a remarkable pace. And, eventually, nearly every industry and business will benefit from it. “Whether you work in retail, banking, transport or the public sector, AI will be an integral part of the way you do business in the future as it has huge potential to improve decision-making, increase efficiency and power new ways of working,” states the article How to Get Your Business AI-Ready.
But that doesn’t mean AI is the best solution for your organization right now. Implementing AI takes a massive commitment in the form of time, resources, and money. It requires a critical mass of data and properly trained staff. By prematurely jumping into a high-profile AI program, you risk ignoring the valuable tools already available and stalling other strategic projects underway. Instead, a more practical approach—one that uses software scaled to your operations—will move the most important metrics now, while developing an analytics culture that will make AI more feasible down the road.
AI has become a buzzword. What exactly does it mean?
In its prolific use, the meaning of artificial intelligence has become skewed. Some have come to view it as a magical solution capable of instantly transforming business all on its own. Others equate it with automation. Neither of these is true, however. AI requires much preparation and strategy (more on that later), and where automation follows pre-programmed rules, AI involves machine learning. AI is designed to mimic human thinking by making predictions and adjusting its processes based on new data insights. In this way, AI is quite different from many previous technological revolutions, during which technology took over specific, static roles within processes.
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Data silos not only create obstacles to effective operations, but can also directly affect your bottom line. Listed below are five common issues associated with siloed data and ways to avoid them.
1. Creates a dependency on inefficient external reporting applications
Multiple platform architecture complicates the reporting process. While third-party reporting tools can be used to analyze data across multiple systems and produce unified reports, there are costs incurred. Forrester reports that nearly half of all data professionals spend at least as much time prepping data as they do analyzing it. This inefficiency worsens in cases where reporting reveals a need to modify how data is captured or organized, forcing analysts and IT resources to trace data all the way back to its original source and then make changes.
In some cases, third-party reporting tools can also create a gulf between those who master the reporting technology and those seeking answers from the reports. In a recent interview, Christopher Ittner, chair of the accounting department at The Wharton School, discussed how this division affects the business process:
“What we are finding is that in a lot of companies, there are great data scientists and great business people but what is missing is business people who know enough data analytics to say, ‘Here is the problem I would like you to help me with.’ And then they can take the outcome from the data scientists and see how they can best leverage it. That is where we must get to in the next couple of years if we want to take advantage of the digital technologies.”
Providing users with direct access to reporting that requires no prep work solves both issues. End users can become their own data analysts and answer the business questions that apply to their work. Without the requirement to master the technical process of assembling, scrubbing, and joining data from multiple systems, reporting becomes more efficient, effective, and scalable.
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Insurance carriers that rely on multiple-vendor application stacks to manage core functions such as policy management, billing, and claims administration may be placing limits on the strategic advantage IT departments can offer. As the number of supported vendors increases, more IT resources are forced to focus on managing application stacks rather than identifying and developing competitive technological advantages.
An Ivanti survey analyzed in The CIO’s Conundrum: Can IT Move From ‘Keep the Lights On’ to Creative Thinking? underscores the tension between maintenance and innovation. “In this survey, what became crystal clear was the counterbalancing of maintaining essential IT services with the desire to be bold and to act as a creativity dynamo.” Matthew Smith, President, Demand Generation at IDG Communications, notes that the survey results indicate that organizations “need to liberate their CIOs to think ahead of the curve rather than obsess over day-to-day operations. But today IT is all too often still regarded as a support function or information leaders are too stretched to drive competitive differentiation.”
Sandra Gittlen writes in Whittle down application sprawl, “out-of-control application stacks can jack up costs, introduce vulnerabilities, add to infrastructure complexity, jeopardize licensing and waste staffing resources.” This pulls resources toward the maintenance side of the spectrum and away from the strategic side. Glitten concludes, “IT’s value is not in supporting technology, but in understanding the business and using technology to achieve business goals.”
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When it comes to the ability to manage risk and losses, risk managers often face the challenges that come with claims data that is spread across multiple systems and spreadsheets. At the same time, they’re being asked to do more with less. In a previous post, we looked at ways an integrated claims management solution—one that includes multiple integration and workflow automation options—can transform claims administration processes. But you don’t have to be a self-administered organization to benefit from claims management functionality in a RMIS. The following features are just a few examples how such a solution can help you consolidate all of your organization’s claims data in a single system, streamline workflow processes, and perform analysis that contributes to more informed decision making and improved claim outcomes. … read more
“Protecting Data in Motion”, a March 2018 Risk & Insurance article, points to the fact that during the first half of 2017 alone, at least 2200 breaches—totaling over 6 billion records—were publicly disclosed. And those were the numbers prior to the reporting of the Equifax data breach.
As claims organizations improve operational efficiencies by using technology designed to eliminate paper-intensive, inefficient, and error-prone processes, it’s critical that the vendors they work with monitor and address security vulnerabilities. … read more
A recent Business Intelligence article draws from a Redhand report claiming that “of all of the subsectors of the RMIS industry, the third-party administrator sector is the one that is the most in transition.” The article suggests this may be due to the fact that TPAs are trying to remain competitive while relying on fewer resources than insurers.
What is clear, according to the Redhand report, is that TPAs are trying to level the playing field with technology. “As will become obvious, there has been a lot of investment and improvement in the TPA sector regarding information technology…” The larger question is, are these substantial investments in upgrading systems even focused on the right area? A survey of customer data indicates this may not be the case.
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A recent article, “Transforming into an analytics-driven carrier“, examines best practices in what is a multi-stage journey that requires equal parts business and analytics leadership. The end goal is an organization where:
- Data-driven decision making is the standard
- Analytics is central to claims adjustment, underwriting, and pricing processes
- Analytics drive the entire business, functions are better integrated, and organizational silos no longer exist
The transformation is also dependent on having the right technology in place in order to begin to get buy-in and build momentum as a strategic vision for the organization is implemented. As a McKinsey Quarterly article puts it, companies must begin to build a foundation which enables change. “People have been talking about data-driven cultures for a long time, but what it takes to create one is changing as a result of the new tools available. Companies have a wider set of options to spur analytics engagement among critical employees.” For carriers still looking to move off of core legacy systems that struggle with modern requirements, even starting down the path to becoming an analytics-based insurer may seem out of reach. … read more
A major study by Accenture spanning 15 years of research compiled across more than 70,000 claims reached a troubling conclusion. Nearly half of an adjuster’s day is lost to low value, non-core administrative work. What makes up a large portion of that waste? In a word, paperwork.
Managing the completion and submission of required forms for each claim—from locating the latest version of a required document, to rekeying claim data into multiple forms and letters—is a key driver. To make matters worse, submitting the wrong forms (or omitting required data) can lead to substantial fines. These fines, however, are not the only costs created by relying on a manual claims reporting process.
The Hidden Costs of a Manual Process
There are three financial impacts from a manual process that are often overlooked:
- The cost of finding data
- The cost of bad data
- The cost of data silos
Together, these hidden costs can be a substantial hit on any claims operation. … read more
When clients are actively engaged with their carrier, the organization gains the opportunity to provide higher value services that can help clients make strategic decisions and drive down costs. Paper-based and labor-intensive processes, legacy systems that struggle with modern requirements, and data siloed in disparate, unconnected applications all run counter to this effort. Origami Risk, however, provides several features that allow carriers to fully engage with their clients and deliver actionable, strategic data that can impact clients’ bottom line.
Meeting the Modern Demands of Today’s Client
In our recent Trends That Will Shape 2018 post, we highlighted how the increasing demand for 24/7 access to information and self-service is expanding from the consumer market into all types of organizations. For insureds and agents, this translates into a desire for greater access to critical data, and to have it customized to fit with the way they want to work with it. … read more