BACKGROUND: SupportKids.com is an innovative service company with specialized programs to help families deal with child support issues. Most of Supportkids' services are designed to prevent child support from becoming delinquent or recovering unpaid child support arrears.

PLATFORMS: SupportKids.com is currently implementing a Microsoft SQL database on an NT server and Siebel Systems for CRM. ModelMAX Plus is a Windows application that runs under Windows 95, 98 and NT platforms. The data extraction capabilities within ModelMAX Plus provide for randomly sampling data in ASCII text files and ISAM and ODBC databases for decision support analysis via predictive modeling, profiling, segmenting and custom clustering.

PROBLEM SOLVED: SupportKids.com was expanding rapidly, and the company needed a way to make quicker and better decisions concerning the processing of child support cases. Automating the decision-making process was critical since it would enable SupportKids.com to grow while containing operating costs. Since adopting ModelMAX Plus last summer, SupportKids.com has been able to expand its national programs, generating an increase in case volume of approximately 100 percent without any increased costs. More importantly, case processing decisions are made with greater precision, resulting in considerable cost savings (waste avoidance) in subsequent processing. We introduced ModelMAX Plus as an automated decision-maker to assist in determining which services would be most likely to produce results for client families. Before the implementation of the predictive models built by ModelMAX Plus, SupportKids.com experts were required to manually review cases in a time-consuming, imprecise process. Since implementation of the models, the percentage of successfully processed cases has increased significantly; and the processing time has been reduced, enabling the company to help many more families.

PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: While the predictive models built by ModelMAX Plus have been instrumental in achieving rapid growth at SupportKids.com, they have also helped greatly reduce the amount of training needed to help new case workers become productive. As SupportKids.com continues its expansion, it intends to make use of the profiling, segmenting and custom clustering capabilities provided by ModelMAX Plus to learn more about which enforcement approaches are most effective in various circumstances.

STRENGTHS: The main strengths of ModelMAX Plus are its ease of use, short training and learning times, value/affordability, and the power and accuracy of its model-building functionality.

WEAKNESSES: The biggest weakness is that data manipulations performed prior to modeling had to be saved so that these same manipulations could be performed prior to scoring other data sets or refreshing a model. The next release of ModelMAX Plus, however, has a macro function that captures your steps, including data extraction routines and then recreates a model exactly with the click of your mouse. This will be a big time-saver when refreshing models.

SELECTION CRITERIA: The major reasons for selecting ModelMAX Plus for use at SupportKids.com were the ease of use and the ability to create multiple models with complete flexibility in their implementation. Unlike other products available in the marketplace, ModelMAX Plus offered Support.Kids.com the ability to begin developing our own model- building expertise without a huge investment up front, without exporting our critical business intelligence to an outside vendor and without extensive experience or expertise to start with on the part of our own personnel. The flexibility of building and refreshing our own models was also an important selection factor. We did not want to be locked in at the mercy of an outside vendor and paying for scores on a per-transaction basis.

DELIVERABLES: ModelMAX Plus produces reliable predictive models and other analytical tools such as variable profiles, cross tabs, custom clustering, decision trees, etc. The predictive models generate scores that are used in operational processing to determine which services are most likely to produce successful results for individual cases.

VENDOR SUPPORT: Support from ASA has been outstanding. Questions are answered promptly and courteously. The support staff is knowledgeable. Training was provided using our own data and business problems.

DOCUMENTATION: Manuals are complete and logically presented. The manuals are written in understandable language. We were pleasantly surprised by how easy it is to read and use the documentation.

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