The proliferation of business intelligence technologies has resulted in a world in which decision-making processes are increasingly efficient and better informed. At the same time, the sheer number of reporting platforms in use at most enterprise firms presents a challenge. In short: How do we organize all of these reports in a way that ensures access to everybody who might benefit from them?
It’s a question that a leading global insurer recently answered by implementing a version of Thorogood’s Reporting and Analytics Hub, a proprietary tool that allows for the curation of a clean, searchable, centralized catalog of reports from across a variety of platforms. Like most firms of its size, QBE utilizes a number of different reporting tools throughout its organization. One of the world’s largest underwriters of insurance and reinsurance products, its policies cater to a range of markets that includes home, car and travel insurance. With more than 14,000 in 37 countries working in a data-intensive industry, the firm relies upon hundreds of different reports while conducting its business.
Using metadata tags to index and organize
The driving force of the Reporting and Analytics Hub is the ability to assign metadata tags to each report that is flagged for inclusion in the catalog. During the development process, Thorogood worked with QBE to develop a list of categories where each report can be assigned. They trained company administrators on how to manage tagging for new reports, ensuring that the system could be seamlessly updated post-implementation. Each report is color-coded according to file type, making navigation even easier. The result is a central catalog that is populated with all report-related information, including the ability to launch the report with one click from the location where it is stored. Administrators control which reports are visible in the catalog to which users, while still leveraging the underlying reporting platform’s security as an ultimate safeguard, giving users the ability to see information about all existing reports without necessarily giving them access to run them.
Users access the catalog via their web browser, where they land on a home page that features a customizable list of favorites along with a search bar and a list of filtering options. Once a user locates the report they wish to access, they have the ability to launch that report within the platform in which it natively resides. If the user anticipates utilizing that report on a regular basis, they may choose to add that report to their personalized list of favorites, thus enabling quick access to the most frequently used reports.
Each user’s activity is monitored by an analytics component that Thorogood developed using Google Analytics, enabling administrators to track traffic to specific reports, and, thus, identify reports that are either frequently or seldom used.
A consistent, sustainable user experience
Since its launch, Thorogood’s Reporting and Analytics Hub has come to occupy an integral role in QBE’s reporting operation. In addition to saving time and amplifying the potential audience for each report, the tool has encouraged users to work in a more collaborative and connected manner. Integration with Google Analytics enables administrators to monitor the traffic flow to each report, which helps inform the curation of the catalog by lending insight into frequently and seldom accessed reports.
Even with potential changes to front-end technologies down the road, users at QBE will have a consistent and familiar experience for accessing their most valuable reports. Regardless of the platforms that QBE utilizes within the course of its operations, users of the hub will always have a comprehensive understanding of the reports that are available to them. The result is decreased duplication, increased collaboration, and a broader collective intelligence informing business decisions.