One of the top three insurers in the US was seeking to optimize the data processing and reporting workflow and a reduction in the skill level necessary for self-sufficiency in reporting.
As part of the solution, the insurance company was provided with TARGET Reports with the following results:
a 10 to 200 increase in self-sufficient reporting specialists
a 12 person data processing group was reduced to 1.5 persons with a 3-5x increase in productivity (TARGET Reports was used in conjunction with the Data Processing Suite)
reporting training period reduced to 2 hours for basic and an 1 hour (over the phone) for advanced features. Before it was weeks and months respectively,
reduction from 1 week to 1 day in duration of one of the reporting cycles
reduction from 50% to 0% of time spent on formatting
report format standardization
Before TARGET Reports, the tools employed included such packages as MSFT Access and Excel, which required extensive knowledge. Consequently, there were about 10 insurance professionals who were capable of generating the necessary reports themselves, while the rest had to rely on the IT department. This workflow was slow and error-prone.
After the introduction of Report Manager, the insurance professionals were able to generate ad-hoc reports themselves increasing the number of people who were self-sufficient from 10 to 200. TARGET Reports was hailed as a flexible solution that unloaded the IT department, significantly accelerated the reporting process, and reduced the number of errors (and the time spent on verification).
The following is a quote made by the Sr. Manager:
“The developers of TARGET Reports found the right balance of phenomenal flexibility and extreme simplicity.”
An e-mail received by the Sr. Manager from a Claims Specialist in the same company read:
“Thank you so much for everything you've ever taught me!!! I was able to run the 5 reports below in lieu of the 70 that it would have taken me before TARGET Reports came out. I just wanted to share my joy!”
Sr. Manager (member of Sr. leadership team). Contact info available upon request.
The following notes were made during a discussion that took place with the Senior Manager:
Effect: People with very low computer skills can formulate & solve problems on a professional level.
- TARGET Reports
UI: Reporting with TARGET Reports is conceptually different: more intuitive and ideologically driven. We no longer have to spend time on data access, formatting, and other tasks that are not directly related to analysis of the data.
Training: When training a person who only knows the basics of the Windows OS:
Basic: 2 hours of training to become self-sufficient in report-generation.
Advanced: advanced features would require an additional 1 hour by phone.
Basic: rudimentary tasks in Excel would take an unpredictable amount of time to train (usually weeks).
Advanced: impossible to train (months at best)
Formatting: The time spent on formatting went from 50% to 0%.
Flexibility: Report formatting and report structure survive modifications to data structure. Before, the entire report would have to be reconstructed.
Speed: Extremely rapid delivery of reports. The entire duration of the cycle including statement of work, implementation, testing, and approval went from 1 week to 1 day.
Standardization: Before TARGET Reports, we had a plethora of formats due to everyone having the flexibility to create their own formatting. Now, through TARGET Reports, we have a small number of standard professional styles used throughout our department.
wide use of scale-based grouping
easy access to what would otherwise be hard-to-implement features. (Example: median and deviation)
effortless conversion of tables to graphs and back
can be used as a procedural component to generate detailed and summary database tables
Superior sorting of groups by their summary information
We had TopN before it was introduced by Oracle
combination of sophisticated, multi-level grouping and TopN. For example, given a transaction table, to find top 10 representatives in every area by the total amount of goods sold would take me no more than 2 minutes. No easy alternative.
effortless data access
built-in dynamic view formation
a lot more
Reliability: There are no calculation errors. Excel UI did not protect against careless mistakes.
Interesting Effect: Allows a user the luxury to be intellectually curious. When specialists can make adjustments in 5 minutes (rather than 2 hours it would ordinarily take or involving the IT), they are motivated to be curious. TARGET Reports allows one to look at data in a multitude of ways without expending effort thus, from a reporting tool, it turns into an analytical tool – this is radically different from conventional tools.
Reusable Resources: Access reports had no re-usable resources. All reports had to be constructed from scratch. Now we can modify existing reports significantly reducing the time required for setup.
- Data Processing: when working with typical data processing and reporting workflows, such consulting companies as Accenture spend:
1/3 of the time on statement of work
1/3 of the time on implementation
1/3 of the time on testing
1/3 of the time is spent on the statement of work because it defines the implementation and, once the implementation is begun, making changes to the statement of work becomes a costly and time consuming endeavor. Yet, as any professional will tell you, no matter how good the statement of work is initially, it is never quite what comes out in the end and modifications are always necessary. TARGET solutions (and TARGET Reports in particular) allow for a very loosely constructed statement of work with easy adjustment thereof.
- Reporting load: “my department averages 40 report requests a month (new reports, reports requiring higher skills, modifications, etc.) Before, most of these would be full time 1 month long projects. Now each takes several days at most.”