Neil Ross, Director and Founder
Industry: Public Sector
Department: Business Intelligence
million-pound insurance claim support
for the uncertain future with data
Helping customers optimize their data in the highly scrutinized environments of public and third sector organizations is no easy task. UK-based consultancy Integratis has been delivering tailored solutions in strategy development and business planning to their private, public and third sector clients since 2014. As a rapidly growing company in a constantly changing market, Integratis implemented the Alteryx Analytic Process Automation Platform™ to strengthen and differentiate their customer offerings and remain true to their core value of data-led decision making.
Neil Ross, founder at Integratis, spent over 25 years working in leadership and change management, where he identified a need for a more data-driven approach. “Organizations are faced with challenging conditions and are having to make decisions that impact on customers, employees, people, families and communities,” Ross says. “It is simply not good enough to go on instinct and minimal data — you need that robust body of evidence combined with forensic analysis to create real and meaningful insights that support decision-making.” As a curious person, Ross is always unwilling to accept a conclusion at face value, wanting to delve deeper and ask more questions to develop understanding and reveal meaningful insights, and it is with this ethos that the Integratis team serve their customers.
“Senior stakeholders, funders, CEOs, and CFOs are beginning to ask questions on future viability and what shape and scale services can be delivered at,” Ross says. “We can use Alteryx to model scenarios relating to demand or resources, and help our clients understand what the immediate future holds, and how it could change in an uncertain world.”
Director and Founder
As the business grew, so did the need for integration with multiple systems and applications, and the team at Integratis began evaluating platforms that would help them meet the demands of larger datasets. Graeme Atkinson, associate consultant at Integratis, was becoming increasingly frustrated with the limited capabilities of Microsoft Access and Excel, and the lack of consistency this offered when collaborating across teams.
“I would work through a large process and share with Neil, and then we would hit a run-time error, or the system would crash, Atkinson says. “We needed a system which would allow us to collaborate effectively with full traceability at every step.” In the public sector, the need for transparency is particularly pertinent with stringent and often unpredictable auditing demands. With the Alteryx APA Platform it is easy to demonstrate the efficacy of an approach with built-in documentation at each stage of a process or workflow.
Both Ross and Atkinson worked with the Alteryx team on three proof-of-concept exercises, including benchmarking, financial modelling and time/series forecasting to test the platform. For Atkinson, it was fascinating to uncover yet more capabilities as they added more tests. “I hadn’t realized just how many technology integrations you could achieve with Alteryx and the sheer scale of the data you can link to. The proof-of-concept exercises were revealing capabilities that we could instantly put into practice with current projects.”
It is simply not good enough to go on instinct and minimal data — you need that robust body of evidence combined with forensic analysis, creating real and meaningful insights that support decision-making.
The team at Integratis team embarked on their Alteryx trial with an experimental frame of mind, but the 2020 global crisis certainly brought the results into clearer focus. “Our clients are now looking at an immediate future which is full of uncertainties,” Ross says. “As pandemic constraints and restrictions change daily, so must policies and procedures and being able to model possible outcomes is a huge benefit. Alteryx allows us to predict and model multiple potential outcomes which helps our clients plan more effectively.” Examples:
1. Predicting business interruption scenarios for insurance claim documentation: One Integratis client was required to make significant insurance claims on business interruption policies in the wake of COVID-19. With Alteryx, they can now predict numerous future scenarios based on a pre-COVID baseline to present to the insurance company. “With a multi-million-pound insurance claim, it is critical to have strong supporting evidence,” Atkinson says. “Our client can show exactly how they reached their claim with accuracy and full transparency. This greatly reduces the likelihood of amendments and reductions by the insurance company. Alteryx provides a level of rigor that most companies just would not be able to achieve in Excel alone.”
2. Delivering a holistic recommendation for real estate acquisition: Another client is a charity working with young people with learning disabilities. The charity must assess a large range of land assets and decide which facilities to acquire to best serve their future growth and service objectives. This was previously a time-consuming task involving manual and ad-hoc data collection, with the risk of not assessing critical factors because the data was almost impossible to gather and compare effectively. “Our clients wanted all their young people and care-givers to feel that the service was always there for them,” Ross says. “It is critical to have facilities that are easily accessible, no matter the circumstance of the person in need. If you rely on public transport and travel from the local area, you have different needs than someone with their own car travelling from afar.” The Integratis team used the spatial analysis capabilities in Alteryx to add in factors such as local bus routes, combined with other geographical factors which may have significant impact. By standardizing and rationalizing in the Alteryx APA Platform, the client received a holistic assessment with very clear indicators on which land and building options would make a difference to their customers.
3. Unlocking socio-economic insights for children’s sports: Ross and Atkinson recently worked with data from the Active Schools initiative in Scotland. Active Schools is a Scottish government-funded program delivered by local authorities, dedicated to supporting quality sporting opportunities for children and young people. The Integratis team imported participation data from each individual school across Scotland to understand trends and patterns of participation in the program. By running analytical modeling in Alteryx and outputting to Microsoft PowerBI, they could present clear demographic, geographical, and activity trends to interested parties. Adding external data sources including the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation (SIMD), a tool for identifying areas with relatively high levels of deprivation, allowed breakthrough insights in a socio-economic context,” Ross says. “Interested parties can better understand if the programs and activities are being channeled to the right areas to allow children the opportunity to be active, regardless of the areas in which they live or even ask questions such as, is the initiative allowing girls to bridge the gender barrier? This was very powerful insight and would not have been possible without the flexibility of the Alteryx APA Platform.
A collaborative Platform that provided traceability at every step
Integration with numerous technologies
Ability to develop models to predict crucial outcomes amidst uncertainty
We can use Alteryx to model scenarios relating to demand or resources, and help our clients understand what the immediate future holds, and how it could change in an uncertain world.
So what’s next for Integratis? As the effects of COVID-19 continue to unravel, the role of data is pivotal in planning for an uncertain future, and the Integratis team is ready to support this. “The new normal is different for everyone,” Ross says. The Integratis team knows that the macroeconomic environment is constantly shifting and that the number one need for senior stakeholders, funders, and chief executives is to understand through data what the best path forward is.