To get those answers to the CFO, however, requires the right risk management data mining tools and technology--something not every risk manager has at their disposal.
In the case of the aforementioned safety program, the need was clear. The risk manager determined their company was having a high incidence of losses related to deliveries in which vans were used (as opposed to trucks), mainly due to the fact that vans do not have lift gates to assist in the unloading process. The risk manger implemented a new safety program that targeted van deliveries. Now, based on the CFO's inquiry, the risk manager needs to do an analysis specific for losses related to van deliveries.
Using an advanced risk management system, the risk manager can create an advanced filter of customized accident data using keywords "van" and "unload." The report generates a detailed claim listing with the main goal of building a calendar of losses for six months. Next, the risk manager compares the distribution of these types of losses since the implementation of the safety program against the prior year. Has there been a positive impact? Was there a gradual decline in losses, a sharp drop-off, or consistent outcomes?
In this case, the results were positive: the new safety program was on the money and both the risk manager and the CFO are happy. The risk manager can now continue to use the RMIS platform to review the data to determine if additional changes, such as implementing better training procedures, are required.
While that scenario is hypothetical, similar exercises are being played out at organizations across the country. This scenario illustrates one way in which data analysis can provide value. Data can also be used to improve risk management results in a variety of ways, including:
-- Determine/identify/analyze trends (i.e., based on injury codes, cause of loss, state)
-- Identify and analyze potential problem areas that require more investigation (i.e., litigation costs in a particular state).
-- Isolate and analyze the various cost aspects of losses (i.e., managed care, NCM, PPO).
Those examples are just the tip of the iceberg, says Robert Dietz, a senior vice president at Specialty Risk Services, a national leading third party administrator (TPA) that provides claim administration and risk management services for both self-insured and insured clients.
"Risk managers need to rely on effective, easy-to-use technology that provides robust reporting and information management options," Dietz says. "They need intuitive tools to help them be more effective in identifying and analyzing their company's risk issues. With @venture 2.0, they can take actionable data and turn it into knowledge and value."
SRS' @venture 2.0, the latest iteration of the company's risk management information system (RMIS) platform, meets these needs and many more. Dietz explains that among the key differentiators of SRS' new RMIS offering, the concept of true "real time" access is perhaps the most important and critical improvement.
For example, with @venture 2.0's real-time notes and claims capabilities, the problem of data access becoming "stale" very quickly is no longer an issue ? something that can make all the difference to a risk manager who needs to take quick action on a claim.
"Clients can see adjuster notes as soon as they are entered into the claim system," Dietz explains. "This is something they would want should a serious claim issue occur."
SRS delivers the web-based @venture 2.0 suite via a secure website, delivering reports and information in a way that privacy and security can be assured.
Apart from access to real-time adjuster notes and claim information, other key @venture 2.0 features include:
-- 8 dashboard panels
-- Return to work, disability and litigation data elements from the company's claim system
-- Payment detail information
-- Downloads in XML, PDF, HTML or Excel formats
-- Access to all key functional claim data
-- View claims by type, provider or other commonalities
-- Single instance or pre-scheduling of reports
-- Customizable reporting options
-- Data aggregation of multiple client vendors to facilitate consolidated reporting
"Most of all, our new technology is about data," Dietz says. "@venture 1.0 was cutting edge, but with our latest version we have leveraged newer technology and processes to better present, aggregate and manage data for seamless, integrated reporting by our client community."
For example, if SRS is handling workers' compensation claims and another TPA is handling liability claims, @venture 2.0 gives risk managers the power to merge that data. This allows for a more efficient and global mechanism for understanding the total cost of risk to a client.
Plus, @venture 2.0 offers e-mail alert technology which allows users to create rules-based messaging. With that feature, when a claim has been reported that meets a certain criteria, the system triggers an e-mail to the risk manager, allowing for immediate notification and early intervention in the management of the incident.
"Because of emerging technologies, @venture 2.0 is now more robust and better equipped to give risk managers what they need, when they need it," Dietz says. "Now users can create a virtual database for an entire book of business, with increased flexibility of when and how they report such information."
Dietz adds that @venture 2.0 offers the risk community a complete business intelligence platform. In the important area of fees and pricing, users can create reports that show transactional costs.
"This offers more transparent reporting, which is a challenge for risk managers today," he says. "@venture 2.0 is an especially powerful tool in terms of cost control and pricing. As we know, transparency is critical in a post-Sarbanes-Oxley world."
From a pure technology perspective, @venture 2.0 falls on the Software as a Service (SaaS) side of the continuum, and offers world-class security as well. As a SaaS offering, @venture 2.0 requires only a Web browser, which translates into no software updates on a user's machine and lower IT costs overall.
@venture 2.0 offers an intuitive user interface, which supports both casual users who can access pre-formatted reports, and power users who can develop more "deep dive" reports.
"The @venture 2.0 technology is leveraged for the future," Dietz concludes. "It provides a tremendous value proposition to the business by providing tools in a single system. Most of all, it will help the entire risk management community develop action plans based on an easy-to-access, data-rich environment."
(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/.)
September 8, 2010
Copyright 2010© LRP Publications