Even If Data Is Integrated, It Still Needs To Be Successfully Managed
Unfortunately, even if you can capture and integrate disability data, the next logical step, to be able to make some meaningful analysis out of that data, is often easier said than done.
"Of course, the first hurdle is having integrated data," says Jeff Ninowski, product manager for CSC's RISKMASTER application suite. "If you have data in two or three disparate systems, the preferred situation is to have everything in a single system. But on top of that, you need a powerful data reporting tool to easily get data out, and use it to your advantage."
Ninowski says for many insurers and employers, managing data is a critical stumbling block, often a very cumbersome, frustrating process. For example, some data reporting tools can be very simple, but as a result, limited in their flexibility and usefulness. On the other hand, other data reporting tools may be very powerful and robust, but often are complex and frustrating for end users.
"The key is to hit the middle ground," he says. "You need a robust tool, but one that is easy to use.
"From a risk management perspective, data is king," Ninowski adds. "Data drives processes, so you can be more proactive than reactive."
Having easy, flexible access to a powerful, yet easy to use data reporting tool, for example, can enable end users in risk management to be able to spot trends before they result in claims. An effective data reporting tool also can serve as a strong communication venue, giving risk managers the ability to share data company-wide, so everyone in the business continuum has ownership stake.
"All those things make data important, everyone agrees," Ninowski explains. "But either their data is not integrated, or if it is, they have a very hard time using it to their advantage."
Ninowski says that by combining CSC's core workers' compensation module with the optional non-occupational and case management modules, customers can use RISKMASTER's powerful data management tool to effectively manage all employee disability claims data. Also, this type of integrated solution and data management capability helps organizations tear down the barriers that often exist between risk management and human resources.
Along those lines, RISKMASTER Integrated Disability Management connects directly to employee records, providing a flexible database design that can maintain a comprehensive history by linking pertinent claim data to employee records. RISKMASTER Integrated Disability Management, by integrating data from both disability areas, bridges the historical gap that leads to higher disability costs and longer return-to-work timelines for employees.
RISKMASTER Business Analytics is the leading tool for integrated data reporting, as it combines powerful user-friendly ad-hoc reporting along with dashboards to easily combine both workers' compensation and non-occupational data into meaningful reports. With all data in a single system, reporting is seamless and provides customers with access to all employee data.
"As far as we can tell, CSC is the only provider offering an integrated data approach to all disability claims," Ninowski says. "It's only logical that accessing and managing that data from a single system, with a powerful data reporting tool, will reduce costs."
To do that, RISKMASTER Business Analytics combines the power of ad hoc reporting, interactive visual analytics, scheduling and distribution, allowing end users to gain the knowledge and insight needed to take advantage of opportunities and mitigate future losses. With interactive Web access to claims and loss reports, database information and other business data, end users can easily create detailed, accurate reports.
Ninowski says that while detailed reports can be useful, they also can be long and unwieldy, and that's where Web-based dashboards can offer risk managers and other line of business managers a chance to easily filter the data they need to make sold business decisions.
"A robust system can create excellent reports, but they might be one hundred pages long," he says. "No one has the time to filter through all that data, so people often ask to see the data in a very simple way, yet have ability to interact and be able to take advantage of that information. A dashboard delivers that type of flexibility."
A dashboard is also timely, and presents a high-level overview of what's going on, Ninowski adds. And a dashboard can be delivered within a portal on the company intranet or via email. Also, with RISKMASTER Business Analytics, end users are able to customize a dashboard for their audience, whether it's the CFO or a claim adjustor on the front lines. It all relates to reporting and getting the best data out of the system for each individual user.
"Interactivity is very important," Ninowski adds. "In today's society, static data no longer works. Dashboards offer real interactivity and ownership." For example, a risk manager can use a dashboard as a modeling tool to determine what would happen if claim count goes down and severity goes up.
According to Ninowski, RISKMASTER's Business Analytics data reporting tool provides options to evaluate changes in workers' compensation or safety trends by company, location, job, employee and other criteria, and to easily identify the types of accidents that generate the greatest amount of lost time or money. Users can also sort this information by many variables to target safety campaigns at the most common occurrences, and then monitor the results. The data management system helps track lost time for multiple cycles: off work, on work or restricted duty.
"Having a flexible database design allows users to maintain a comprehensive history by linking pertinent claim data to employee records," Ninowski explains. "Whether you enter or upload the employee data, it can include hire date, employee number, job title, dependents and wage data. Plus, users can define their own fields without IT or CSC involvement. And tracking summary information is simple with RISKMASTER's Power View entry screen.
"Everyone offers a reporting option, but the critical outcome is how easy is it to manage the data, even if it is integrated into a single system," Ninowski says. "The answer is a robust, easy to use tool that will get the data out and make it as useful as possible. Having an integrated data scenario is half the battle, but being able to access and use that data in the most effective way is how you win the war of high claim costs."
For more information about CSC and RISKMASTER, call 800.345.7672 or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
(The above piece is part of our continuing Insights series designed to highlight key products and services to our readers. This paid-for Insights was written and edited by Risk & Insurance®
on behalf of our marketing partner. Additional Insights can be found on our Web site at www.riskandinsurance.com/.)
March 10, 2010
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