- Designing WhereScape solution to maximise cost and data efficiencies
- Managing data mart and reporting solutions
- Retained to work on extended scope and new projects across the business
- Becoming MS Amlin’s strategic partner of choice for data management
MS Amlin delivers insurance and reinsurance services to businesses around the world that face complex and demanding risks. The company operates in the Lloyds market in the UK, and in the continental European and Bermudian markets. With more than 1,800 people in 20 locations, MS Amlin is a leader in the Property and Casualty, Marine and Reinsurance markets.
When Red Olive started working with MS Amlin, it was already sophisticated in terms of its use of metadata and the control it had over corporate data definitions. In May 2020, the company began a project to switch its information reporting to new systems. Some work had already been completed by a large systems integrator to establish the base data lake to store the data but virtually no business application from that lake had been created.
As part of this process, MS Amlin wanted to move away from its legacy MicroStrategy reporting platform and retire its DW2 data warehouse platform. The company needed expert help to analyse its legacy reporting solution, and to design and develop a set of reporting data marts over its new CDS data warehouse, with the aim of creating a suite of new reports using the Microsoft Power BI platform. The reporting data needed to cover all areas of the business, including underwriting, claims and finance.
Designing a proof of concept
MS Amlin was looking for recommendations for the most cost-effective and productive approach to this project. Red Olive put together a recommendation for data warehouse automation software, using WhereScape, and demonstrated the effectiveness of this solution on a small-scale proof of concept project, using defined deliverables from the client.
This exercise convinced MS Amlin that WhereScape was the right solution for its needs, both for replacing the existing DW2 data marts and for integrating and exploiting data from its internal Portunus system. There are many advantages from choosing data warehouse automation, including:
- Reducing the need for technical IT involvement
- Empowering people who understand the data model to make changes without the need for coders
- Making seeing data lineage much easier than using code
- Generally targeted at data analysts, enabling solutions to be developed faster
- Can be ported to a new database type more easily than other solutions
“There were around 2,400 reports identified within the legacy data system,” says Angela Egbunu, Project Manager at MS Amlin. “We condensed that down to around just 50 reports, once we had removed duplications and reports that were no longer needed in the business. The end goal was to have access to relevant and useful reporting that was presented in a much more user-friendly way.”
Why Red Olive?
MS Amlin needed external experts to help it to make the right decisions for future proofing the data strategy for the business. It was looking for trusted guidance and previous experience of projects of this scope, alongside an understanding of the specific needs of the insurance industry.
“This project was a huge undertaking,” says Jefferson Lynch, CEO of Red Olive. “The existing system had many hundreds of tables and multiple of those holding many billions of records. The primary goal was to remove dependence on some old systems to enable them to be retired and hence costs reduced, which we achieved. In addition, it is now much easier for the internal team to have complete and reliable visibility over the data.”
“Red Olive came in as experts in data marts and reporting,” explains Angela, “building the data mart for us to feed the data into the reports. Red Olive started as part of a dual vendor process, but during the project we rationalised to a single vendor and chose Red Olive to be our data partner. Red Olive has played a key resource and expertise role in the project, and we continue to collaborate with the team on ongoing projects.”
How Red Olive has helped
From a project that had an initial scope of six months, Red Olive has been working closely with MS Amlin for nearly two years, because of the additional scope and functionality. We have worked across other projects such as the Lloyds Mark ‘Part VII’ regulations, IFRS 17 regulations and improving reporting on major catastrophe modelling.
In addition, we are working on a joint initiative to define a new target operating model for the way internal teams work, making MS Amlin’s ability to handle new requirements much more efficient.
For the initial project, our solution now fully integrates with the company’s existing corporate data management processes and systems. For example, it takes attributes from the corporate data catalogue so that definitions and lineage are clear, and feeds newly derived fields back into the corporate catalogue accurately.
If you are looking for more clarity on how to get more value from your existing data, getting more functionality from WhereScape or moving to the cloud, get in touch with us by emailing [email protected] or ring us on 0203 745 9790.
We have also improved and extended MS Amlin’s already rigorous testing framework. Our own testing automation solution, ROSIE DQ, has a WhereScape implementation which we have incorporated into the MS Amlin solution so that every single data object has testing history tagged to it.
This enables the manager responsible for running the data platform to see the lifecycle of any data object: when it was created and first tested, what changes were made when, when these were retested, whether the changes at first failed testing, and when they passed the final time. This gives a clear and intelligent overview of the data, improving accuracy and efficiency.
“Red Olive’s role is very much as a strategic partner to MS Amlin in this process,” says Calum Gordon, Head of Data and Analytics at MS Amlin Business Services. “On the back of this engagement, we’ve now done quite a few other subsequent projects where Red Olive has supported us. There are four companies within MS Amlin and Red Olive has worked across each of the individual companies – the team is definitely our strategic partner of choice in this area.”