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DataIQ Awards 2018 winner – Transformation with data: Zurich Insurance

Who are they?

Zurich Insurance Group is one of the largest insurance groups operating on a truly global basis. It has 55.000 employees in more than 170 countries. In the UK, it’s mission is to become the leading provider of financial services, “giving you customer service you’ve never experienced before. We’re committed to ‘doing the right thing, in the right way and for the right reason’ for you, our employees, and the communities we work in.” 

What did they do?

Like many large organisations that have grown through acquisition, Zurich Insurance had a complex and fragmented data estate made up of over 20 separate legacy systems. Management information (MI) had become sprawling and unco-ordinated with over 400 processes being supported and extensive legacy reports being produced. To address the problems which this was causing for the UK property and casualty market managers, a data transformation programme was launched by the data architecture and analytics (DAA) team. Following the arrival of a new chief data officer, a core team of ten was expanded to 30 individuals working across data architecture, data quality, devops and portfolio management. The goal was to revolutionise the way data is stored and used by Zurich Insurance through the creation of a strategic data asset. To build this new data platform, DAA partnered with Baringa, which provided technical and solutions leads, business analysts and data architects. It also worked with Wipro for capability testing.  The data transformation extracted over 13 billion rows of data with 900 attributes across 50 tables, allowing 12 legacy reporting solutions to be identified for decommissioning. Regular reports have also been reduced by nearly 200 as part of the process of documenting, simplifying and offshoring of processes. The new strategic data asset reconciles to the reporting system with an error rate of just 0.2%. By the end of 2018, the new data store will see accurate and timely reporting as a result of all data being stored uniformly with no need for additional manipulation. This has eliminated the ETL processes which were previously required to support reporting into each line of busness when data was extracted from different source systems. The new strategic data asset has been specifically tailored to meet the needs of business users.  The next phase will see self-service reporting and dashboards using Qlik Sense and NPrinting, allowing lines of business to interact with and access data to create bespoke insights. Underwriting and actuarial teams are already supported in their decision-making by the strategic data asset. The creation of a new data team, the data asset and future data visualisation and reporting solutions, the transformation represents a significant culture change for Zurich Insurance. 

What did the judges say?

Many organisations talk about data transformations, but delivering one in a way that moves the business forward is no easy task. The judges were impressed by the way Zurich Insurance had recognised the opportunity and pursued a roadmap for change with discipline and rigour, as well as results. 

DataIQ Awards 2018
Year: 2018
Category: Transformation with Data

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