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Case study: Annual Savings of Hundreds of Thousands of Pounds Through Critical Process Reform

Migration of key business processes to a SQL Server warehouse, coupled with optimised coding, improves internal productivity and realises key cost savings.

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Background

Our customer, a health insurance provider, relies on its analytics environment and related processes to enable the production of departmental reports. Data is stored in SQL Server and is extracted to SAS through the running of multiple programs. This output data is shared with key departments, including credit risk, commercial and marketing, who utilise the essential data to inform critical departmental decisions. These decisions are fundamental to ensuring the ongoing effectiveness of the department as well as futureproofing success for the business as a whole.

Business issue

The customer achieved impressive growth over the course of many years, but its monthly data processes hadn’t managed to fully scale in-line. There were several limitations in the existing ETL processes – many of them had to be started manually and took several days to complete. During this processing time, analysts were prohibited from running SAS programs, severely limiting productivity.

Meanwhile, any unexpected issues or hold-ups during these processes had an impact further downstream within the business. Departments reliant on the information couldn’t generate departmental reports and inform decision making until the information was available. The cost of lost productivity due to unavailability of data and the analytics platform was estimated to total hundreds of thousands of pounds per year.

Underlying causes

Code inefficiencies had become exacerbated over time as the organisation expanded. There were several examples of duplicated tasks across teams, and areas where automation could reduce the need for manual intervention. Finally, with no existing documentation of their data warehouse, code amendments required a significant time to implement, creating a reluctance to implement change in the organisation.

Vision

The customer sought to reform its existing business processes to ensure the provision of departmental data within a reasonable timescale. They sought the support of Amadeus with whom they already had a close, valuable working relationship.

Amadeus solution delivered

Amadeus worked on essential improvements to the customer’s existing processes. This comprised several steps to achieving the customer’s vision:

  • Interviews with key stakeholders and decision makers pinpointed key business pains.
  • Major efficiency improvements delivered:
    • Platform reconfiguration
    • Code enhancements
    • Automation of manual tasks
    • Migration of appropriate processing into SQL database.
  • Retrospective documentation of data warehouse design.

Results

Following the implementation of this solution, the customer realised several substantial benefits:

  • Annual savings of hundreds of thousands of pounds generated through restored staff productivity.
  • Processing times slashed for producing business critical information to be shared with departments - month-end timelines reduced:
    • Claims extraction program run-time reduced from 12 3/4 hours to 7 1/2 hours.
    • Books extraction program run-time reduced from 5 hours to 3/4 hours.
  • Automation of formerly manual tasks alleviates the workload pressure on individuals and the requirement for out-of-hours manual intervention.
  • Business process and coding best practices enables efficiencies and ensures the customer capitalises on the strengths of its analytics platform.
  • Comprehensive documentation to guide the SQL Server migration. The documentation ensures longevity of the solution by making it easier to understand what processes are hidden underneath.

Download a printer friendly version of our customer case study