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What do I do with my data? Data solutions for Insurance Agencies

This is a presentation I gave at the Netvu conference in March 2017. It covers how and what you and your company will need to do to prepare to be able to use data effectively and it deep dives into SSAS Tabular with Power BI.

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What do I do with my data? Data solutions for Insurance Agencies

  1. 1. 3-5, 2016 | San Antonio, TXNetVU17March 23-25, 2016 Nashville, TN How can I use my data? Creative solutions for real problems using analytics Ryan Deeds Director of IT
  2. 2. 3-5, 2016 | San Antonio, TXNetVU17March 23-25, 2016 Nashville, TN Who am I? 15 years Insurance IT Executive 13 Year Insurance Agency Data Proud Dad of 2 wonderful girls Built more dashboards than you can shake a stick at SQL expert ETL Expert Sagitta User and abuser Linkedin Take a look at http://www.deedsdata.com/dash - Full Power BI dashboard there for you to reverse engineer and play with.
  3. 3. 3-5, 2016 | San Antonio, TXNetVU17March 23-25, 2016 Nashville, TN What do I want you to take away? 1. There are many creative ways to leverage data today. API’s are making it easier and easier to integrate things with little to no programming. 2. Data management cultural changes are harder than the technology part. 3. Understanding your options when it comes to building an analytical solution for your agency. 4. Understanding SSAS Tabular with Row level security and why I believe it could be a game changer for you and your agency. 5. Understanding what Power BI is and the different ways it can be implemented.
  4. 4. 3-5, 2016 | San Antonio, TXNetVU17March 23-25, 2016 Nashville, TN
  5. 5. 3-5, 2016 | San Antonio, TXNetVU17March 23-25, 2016 Nashville, TN http://www.geocod.io – Super easy and cheap way to get addresses to lat and long
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  11. 11. 3-5, 2016 | San Antonio, TXNetVU17March 23-25, 2016 Nashville, TN Foundation 1. Basics - 1. Goal Setting – What do we want to gain from our data? Is it concrete or more theory at this point? Do we have the needed data? Do we have clean data? If not, is it important enough to the company to change the culture? Will this be a executive only tool or will the majority of the agency leverage it? 2. Accountability – Do you have the accountability needed to attain the goal above. If not are you willing to change the culture? 3. Data Management Strategy – what is the data that you must ensure is correct? What options do you have to create an audit on that data. Typically you can automate data audits with the data you expect to be there. 4. Data Sources – What data will I need to attain my goals. 5. Data Collection – commonly referred to as ETL 6. Visualizations and end user deliverables.
  12. 12. 3-5, 2016 | San Antonio, TXNetVU17March 23-25, 2016 Nashville, TN Don’t get fooled by glitz The technology ultimately used to get the data out to the consumers of that data is far less important than the underlying cultural changes that will need to happen to ensure you have good data to show. Spend more time on the accountability piece. If you have good data even excel at this point can act as a very good data visualization tool. The project will fail if you do not address data management.
  13. 13. 3-5, 2016 | San Antonio, TXNetVU17March 23-25, 2016 Nashville, TN Same Verbiage Get everyone's agreement on what to call each type of number used. Today someone may ask you for New business Written. You and the team need to make sure that everyone knows how to calculate Written if that is a term you use. Less words is better. We use 2 main words Booked and Estimated Commission. There were many more before – written, annualized, agency amount, received – Make sure you normalize the language.
  14. 14. 3-5, 2016 | San Antonio, TXNetVU17March 23-25, 2016 Nashville, TN What technology can I use? There are three different paths to get to a place where you have a robust analytical toolset where anyone in the company can get the information they need when they need it and depend on that information. 1. Vender Partners 2. Create your own 3. Buy a box product There is no magic bullet though. I can not stress enough that if you don’t figure out how to ensure the right data is going into the right places none of these options will get you an end result you will like.
  15. 15. 3-5, 2016 | San Antonio, TXNetVU17March 23-25, 2016 Nashville, TN Vender Partners SaaS Yodel, Vertafore, Riskmatch and many more coming 1. They will bring in a process to help get the project completed 2. They may have data scientists on staff 3. May have access to data you will not be able to get 4. Dedicated team that does this everyday 5. Expense will be controlled and known before hand 6. May have some limitations to customize the nuances of your data 7. Need a project team that has the ability to make changes to work flow that is necessary – the agency will need to follow the guidance of the partners to be successful. To often the C’s will buy something and then the ops team isn’t given the time needed to enact the changes necessary. This is not the partners fault. This is because the agency needs to buy in and follow the guidance as much as possible of the partner 8. No code- totally manageable by NonTechnical people(this doesn’t have to scare you and if you are a well rounded IT pro that brings value to your organization this shouldn’t scare you. )
  16. 16. 3-5, 2016 | San Antonio, TXNetVU17March 23-25, 2016 Nashville, TN My favorite Partner RiskMatch 1. Ready to go now. 2. Allow agencies access to data that they can get no where else 3. Solid business model that has incentives for carriers to get on board and offers a cost effective solution that will transform an agency if correctly implemented. 4. Will turn your account managers into true knowledge workers that are able to do gap analysis and coverage benchmarking for clients 5. Gives a solid good looking tool set for producers for prospecting and coverage comparisons 6. Long term efficiency gains streamlining the marketing process. 7. Great team with a very polished product. None of that will matter if your agency cant commit to following through on following the project plan.
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  18. 18. 3-5, 2016 | San Antonio, TXNetVU17March 23-25, 2016 Nashville, TN Boxed Product This could be entrinsic, tableau, domo, microstrategy, birst or any of these tools – link2 – comparison spreadsheet 1. Need to have someone on staff that knows the tool - 2. Most of these will need some form of underlying data structure and then you buy the tool on top of that. 3. Extremely robust capabilities for reporting and ad hoc analysis 4. Most are very Expensive – an example 1. Tableau Desktop consists of a Personal package that costs $999 per user per year and a Professional package that is priced at $1,999 per user per year. Tableau Online costs $500 per user per year, whereas the Tableau Server is priced at $10,000 per year for ten users (note that support costs an additional 25%). 5. Some Vender Partners will leverage these products and create a end deliverable for your agency. Vertafores solution is based on Birst for example. 6. Good support 7. Large communities that can be used as resources 8. Maintainability is a little questionable as you will need to have someone doing this work. Unless you have a Software Dev methodology in house then this can be all over the place and hard to knowledge transfer if there are weird ways the data or tool was used. If a vender partner does it then that removes this concern. Of course you pick up cost with a vender partner that is using one of these because licensing still costs and then the professional services 9. Very good looking products
  19. 19. 3-5, 2016 | San Antonio, TXNetVU17March 23-25, 2016 Nashville, TN Create your own This would be a scenario where you used the native tools to a database to create your own BI infrastructure. Buying a boxed product and create your own are similar but with boxed product you have an additional product on top of the data. 1. More realistic today than any time before. 2. Will have to have technical staff – SSAS Tabular will need only a data analyst 3. Can be ridiculously customized. Almost to a degree that can be nonbenefitial. Replicatable process and maintainability have to be considered. 4. SQL, Oracle and most RDBMS come with products that help visualize data. 5. You could do it for free with D3 java library and Mysql. The tools would be free you would have to create the authentication model and all the visualizations but it is very doable. Most tools today are using D3 for visualizations. So both vender partners and box products incorporate that library. 6. This can be a very cost effective solution but staff has to be considered. 7. My personal experience has been with MS SQL and I love it. 8. Almost pretty much anything. 9. SQL is a good skill set to have in house. Data is important – you understanding how to leverage your data is going to become more and more important
  20. 20. 3-5, 2016 | San Antonio, TXNetVU17March 23-25, 2016 Nashville, TN Deep Dive into my personal Process Im a Microsoft SQL user and have been for a long time. MS SQL comes with 4 tools. 1. Sql engine – the actual Relational Database Management System – 2. SSIS – data moving tool 3. SSRS – reporting tool 4. SSAS – Cubing tool Enterprise edition of SQL server will run you about 30k 1 time. Enterprise edition will enable you to do everything you are about to see.
  21. 21. 3-5, 2016 | San Antonio, TXNetVU17March 23-25, 2016 Nashville, TN Whats it look like
  22. 22. 3-5, 2016 | San Antonio, TXNetVU17March 23-25, 2016 Nashville, TN Code This is just the SQL for the top portion of our dashboard for the am role. For each role in the organization I have different stored procedures. Long term this gets nerve racking and hard to manage with a small staff or individual. On top of this is the SSRS report – which has its own complexity. Extremely powerful and customizable but lots of overhead long term. There's a better solution.
  23. 23. 3-5, 2016 | San Antonio, TXNetVU17March 23-25, 2016 Nashville, TN My new addiction SSAS Tabular with Row level security This is practically a codeless solution using a data model that your organization creates and includes AD authenticated security in a very easy way. 1. Very easy to get started. Grab a few tables, join them together and then have SSAS tabular hit the view and import the data. 2. Uses AD authentication. 3. Uses Excel pivot tables as a primary method of access bolstering users skill in that tool. 4. Took me 3-4 days to create vs 7-8 months of SSRS 5. Single source of truth that is consistent for all that access the model 6. With Power BI – super easy distribution mechanism with an unbeatable cost. 10 dollars per month per user. So for 100 user with Pro subscription(need for ssas) costs 12k a year. 5 year spend would be 60k.
  24. 24. 3-5, 2016 | San Antonio, TXNetVU17March 23-25, 2016 Nashville, TN From no dashboard to dashboard in a week 1. Get SQL 2012 enterprise evaluation edition or any enterprise edition 2012+ 2. Install SQL and SSAS in Tabular mode – this is really easy. Its following the prompts for the most part. Don’t let this freak you out and you may already have a server in place. 3. Move data from your AMS to SQL. Just Bring over Clients and policies and staff tables. You can use this, it is a utility that comes with sql. 4. Connect the Policies to the clients. And staff to their respective roles. You will need AD creds on that staff record or you can create a function to get them there or a multitude of different methods. But you will want those AD creds on the view for at least 1 role. AM is easy as policy data AM is typically pretty accurate. 5. Create new SSAS Tabular Project in Data Tools 6. Make sure you AD groups are in order for each role – So AM’s in AM group in AD. 7. Set up role level security dax code(example soon) 8. Save it. Deploy it. Go to Excel – Other data – analysis services – your sql server name – your model. Bammo. You know how a role level reporting infrastructure.
  25. 25. 3-5, 2016 | San Antonio, TXNetVU17March 23-25, 2016 Nashville, TN End user deliverable As soon as the model is published any one with excel can access it and only see the data that their role allows. It is a pivot table that allows you to slice and dice any way needed. This is an advantage as it bolsters your employees abilities in excel. A key tool in most of our businesses.
  26. 26. 3-5, 2016 | San Antonio, TXNetVU17March 23-25, 2016 Nashville, TN Whats SSAS magic look like? This is the beginning of the data model. Instead of a lot of SQL code it is just joins and then you can use user defined functions for some data massaging. Replicatable process is easy. Each role in the organization you want to deliver secured and personalized data to will need to be identified in the data. So here we have servicer code and then in Sagitta we have that users AD credentials. So we have a row now with that users creds for any row for AM. We have Prod, AE, Manager, AMA, AM, Owner roles.
  27. 27. 3-5, 2016 | San Antonio, TXNetVU17March 23-25, 2016 Nashville, TN SSAS Row Level Security
  28. 28. 3-5, 2016 | San Antonio, TXNetVU17March 23-25, 2016 Nashville, TN Calculations and Analysis for SSAS SSAS doesn’t use SQL for its main language. You will use some sql preparing the data and maybe with some functions but nothing like you saw in the retention report or the other dashboards. Its much flatter. It uses a functional language called DAX that is similar to Excel functions. An example of DAX is Estimated Commission:=SUM([EST_COMM_AMT]) - creates a measure that sums est comm no matter how you slice the data. Est Rev Pct:=( SUM(View_active_policies_tabular[EST_COMM_AMT])/ CALCULATE(SUM(View_active_policies_tabular[EST_COMM_AMT]),ALLSELECTED(View_active_p olicies_tabular))) - here is an example of DAX that gives the % of est rev that each grouping selects out of the total. And it will always work for any person that accesses that model. As your model matures everyone is able to validate and utilize the new functionality.
  29. 29. 3-5, 2016 | San Antonio, TXNetVU17March 23-25, 2016 Nashville, TN Tips Some department will own the model. In many cases for agencies that will be IT. When someone needs a new calculation added. So they want to see % of growth YoY – the business would submit that to IT or Analytics and the model would be adjusted. Once the adjustment was added anyone with access to the model would then be able to leverage it. This is perfect for agencies because we may want the data to be analyzed and used at a departmental or am level and those teams may be able to create more relevant visualizations but we don’t want those teams having to do technical things out side their skill set. The analyst have no ability to create new calculations, or change the data format but they can create and leverage all of the pieces to make super useful dashboards leveraging the single source of truth and the security model.
  30. 30. 3-5, 2016 | San Antonio, TXNetVU17March 23-25, 2016 Nashville, TN Understanding Power BI Power BI is a tool that allows you to access a ton of data sources and then visualize them. You build them in Power BI desktop 1.
  31. 31. 3-5, 2016 | San Antonio, TXNetVU17March 23-25, 2016 Nashville, TN Power BI on SSAS tabular If you choose a SSAS tabular model with row level security as a data source then power BI will leverage the same AD authentication rules set up on the model for Excel. There is a difference between Power BI using Tabular and Power BI using a mix of data sources. Always think about replicatible process and I think you will easily see how SSAS tabular makes that a reality. Power BI with out tabular SSAS is very powerful but there is a lot of massaging and changing of data that can at times be hard to replicate with the next load of data. It makes one off stuff very easy.

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