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Microsoft BI Solution Provides Rapid Insight and Competitive Response, Estimated 12x Return on Investment

Allstate

The Allstate Insurance Company is the nation's largest publicly held personal lines insurer. A Fortune 100 company with $133 billion in total assets, Allstate sells 13 major lines of insurance, including auto, property, life, and commercial. They provide financial services to more than 17 million across the US, employing a diverse group of more than 70,000 professionals. As an industry leader, Allstate prides itself on growing shareholder value, servicing the evolving needs of its customers, driving corporate responsibility, and supporting a number of charitable organizations in the communities it serves.

Challenge

Allstate's southeast US region needed a business intelligence solution that would allow the region to make timely business decisions, react to changing market dynamics, and position itself to win business against its key competitors. Allstate operates in a distributed branch model, but centralizes the IT functions at the corporate headquarters. Although a sophisticated business intelligence solution was leveraged at the corporate level, the southeast region's granular market data was unavailable in the corporate data warehouse and thus the solution did not provide the needed value for the region.

In order to make business decisions at the regional level, data was manually aggregated from both the corporate and local branch sources into basic reporting tools such as Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Access. This data aggregation process was time-intensive and prone to human error. Regional leadership in the southeast determined that an automated business intelligence solution, tailored to the needs and data streams of the region, was needed to better compete in the marketplace.

Streamlining and consolidating the manual data collection and reporting processes would drive value for Allstate by significantly reducing the time required to aggregate and fix data, while allowing for more time to analyze the data and make informed business decisions. The direct result of a comprehensive business intelligence solution would be an increase in current and future product sales with an improved profit margin.

Solution Deployed

The Perficient team engaged in a full strategic assessment of Allstate’s needs and evaluated the tools and processes already in place within the organization. After several weeks of meetings with senior executives and department leaders, the Perficient team fully documented the business requirements for a new solution that would accomplish the business objectives. Perficient ultimately recommended Microsoft SQL Server as the business intelligence platform to replace the existing Excel and Access data reporting and analysis solution.

The Perficient team developed a central data warehouse through an Extract, Transform, and Load (ETL) process to automate the data aggregation process. Microsoft SQL Server and SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS) serve as the foundation for the data warehouse providing centralized data storage and high-performance reporting, which supplies the distributed branches with easy access to the data. Perficient then implemented SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) to serve the data warehouse information to Allstate’s key managers and decision makers. Perficient implemented Reporting Services Authentication to enable information security within the reports and leveraged the SQL Report Builder component of SSRS to provide to provide ad-hoc reporting capability.

Business Value Delivered

The custom business intelligence solution designed and developed by Perficient produced success on a variety of levels for Allstate. The business intelligence solution automates data gathering from multiple sources, provides visualization and analysis capabilities leading to rapid insight and competitive response, and resulted in an estimated 12x return on investment. Allstate immediately realized significant time savings in data collection and consolidation, turning what previously encompassed several weeks of manual data aggregation into an overnight process without error. The regional team gained efficiencies in the reduction of these non value-added tasks, thus enabling more opportunity for data analysis and effective decision making. The solution enabled operational efficiencies across the region and Allstate also leveraged the business intelligence solution to drive improvements in marketing and product development.