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Case Study

West Bend gains data visibility with modern platforms, legacy systems and new data models

West Bend Mutual Insurance executives work with Baker Tilly’s holistic team of functional and technical experts to position their company for success
Hands viewing data dashboard
Case Study

West Bend gains data visibility with modern platforms, legacy systems and new data models

West Bend Mutual Insurance executives work with Baker Tilly’s holistic team of functional and technical experts to position their company for success

Customer background

West Bend Mutual Insurance Company (West Bend) has been providing insurance coverage and services to individuals and business owners for more than 125 years. The $1.3 billion company offers auto, home, condo, identity theft, umbrella and renters’ insurance to consumers, as well as general business coverage, worker’s compensation, loss prevention and premium audit services for companies.

The business challenge

West Bend executives needed better visibility across all of their data to be able to design future products and gain a better understanding of populations across different types of insurance policies, to improve actuarial rates and regulatory reporting. IT leaders soon found that reaching those goals with a combination of new and old technologies would be difficult. To meet this challenge, West Bend embarked on a digital transformation journey to implement a new, packaged insurance administration platform in the cloud, as well as to build a new data warehouse to work with the new insurance platform. The new system would have to be customized to integrate several legacy insurance systems that house sensitive data, which presented many technical challenges. Data flow to the new platform was critical and required IT teams to understand the business’s goals, the data requirements and regulatory requirements. West Bend turned to the specialists at Baker Tilly to support their transformation journey.

The Baker Tilly approach

The Baker Tilly team worked with West Bend stakeholders to develop a “business first” approach to drive new data flow models based on the priorities of the business. Our team provided clarity to questions and architected the data models specifically to meet requirements for design, development, and testing. Once those models were built, they implemented the technology, using Microsoft’s SQL Server, Azure Data Factory, and Power BI. Throughout the duration of the project, the Baker Tilly team:

  • Developed new analytics and reporting models
  • Processed new system data into the legacy reporting solution and supported existing users
  • Utilized the Microsoft SSIS data migration and integration tool to stage integrated disparate data sources
  • Set up automated tests to ensure data accuracy and completeness: These environments are repeatedly pulling data that is constantly changing, so Baker Tilly implemented hundreds of automated tests to validate the data and make sure it stayed clean all the way through extraction, transfer and loading again
  • Kept the project on track: With hundreds of stakeholders involved, managing the huge scope of a project can be challenging. Using agile development techniques, Baker Tilly was able to help West Bend constantly narrow requirements back to their most immediate needs and keep projects prioritized

The results

West Bend received multiple business-facing solutions from the Baker Tilly team, each designed to surface the most relevant and accessible content for each set of users. Their product developers can understand which products are working well in the market, and better design future products. Data reveals which products are profitable and who are the right targets for new products. From an actuarial perspective, West Bend has better insights into their populations across different types of policies, and they can use that data to adjust or improve rates. Regulatory reporting and compliance are now easier, more consistent and reliable, with significantly improved testing capabilities. With new modern tools and data models architected for the future, West Bend now has a platform to move the business forward.

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