REVIEWER: Tony Paris, VP of IS at Pioneer State Mutual Insurance Company.

BACKGROUND: Pioneer State Mutual Insurance Company specializes in property/casualty insurance for individuals and businesses. Pioneer and our network of independent insurance agents have faithfully served tens of thousands of policyholders. We have earned a fine reputation for providing clients with the best insurance protection for their premium dollar.

PLATFORMS: Windows Server 2003, SQL Server 2000, Intel Processor.

PROBLEM SOLVED: In recent years, Pioneer experienced high growth and remained profitable. However, we faced tougher competition from larger insurance providers and from direct online insurance companies. As a result, we are now  expected to provide the most accurate coverage possible and more expert advice to our agents. Therefore, a business performance management (BPM) dashboard solution was required to evaluate Pioneer's business performance and support timely decision-making.

PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: Implementation began with the iDashboards professional services team working with our executives to identify 12 business key performance indicators (KPIs). These KPIs are the metrics critical to providing accurate coverage to our clients and advice to our agents, such as policy and claim counts, written premium, incurred loss and loss ratio. Working with our executives and IT staff, iDashboards consultants storyboarded the dashboards' layouts, navigations and drill-down paths. As a result of the joint effort between iDashboards and the Pioneer team, a dashboard solution was developed that met our requirements of delivering timely and accurate KPIs to the executive team. Our executives are now able to monitor their KPIs and drill down to immediately examine trend breaks and exceptions. For example, if policy count suddenly begins to decline, our executives can drill down to the underlying problem areas. The data can be drilled by line of business, by geographic location or by insurance agent.

STRENGTHS: iDashboards is very easy to use and visually engaging for end users. It helped us leverage our data warehouse investment by delivering KPIs in a visually rich and easily understandable context. iDashboards was deployed in weeks, instead of months, significantly cutting implementation costs. The software's direct connection to our data also reduces maintenance time and cost and will allow us to easily expand the scope of our dashboards to other corporate areas.

WEAKNESSES: We would like to see a real-time alerting feature in the dashboards. We expect that iDashboards' Business Activity Monitoring (BAM) module will address this.

SELECTION CRITERIA: We looked for an executive-level dashboard solution that would help us deliver visually rich, responsive and personalized BI dashboards to analyze, track and drill down through a wealth of information.  iDashboards was a cost-effective Web-based solution with all the features we expected from an enterprise-quality dashboard. The software offered direct database connectivity and fast implementation.

DELIVERABLES: iDashboards can be accessed by our executives at any time through Pioneer's intranet. KPIs can be retrieved through our BPM dashboards for individual analysis or for group discussion during meetings. Our executives can absorb subject-matter expertise to justify policy-scoring decisions and to prioritize activities such as marketing campaigns. In the future, we envision expanding portions of the BPM dashboards to our independent insurance agents. By empowering our agents with policy KPIs, information will be better communicated to policyholders.

VENDOR SUPPORT: iDashboards has provided excellent support, from installing the software and identifying necessary dashboard metrics to answering support questions and assisting with product upgrades. The iDashboards professional services team provided on-site support during the entire implementation process, including continuing on-site support with product upgrades. iDashboards also offers regularly scheduled user training courses.

DOCUMENTATION: Documentation is complete and easy to understand both for end users and for administration. The user manual can be accessed through the software.

5750 New King Street
Suite 110
Troy, MI 48098
(248) 952-0840

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