CIO Summit: QBE LMI forms business intelligence team, creates in-house BI application

App a third of the cost, reduces staff training time

QBE Lenders Mortgage Insurance head of business solutions and technology, Michael Hinton

QBE Lenders Mortgage Insurance head of business solutions and technology, Michael Hinton

QBE Lenders Mortgage Insurance (LMI) has turned to a new BI suite in an effort to gain greater insight into customer needs.

“We all experience difficulty getting information from our BI teams or insurance teams,” QBE insurance subsidiary’s head of business solutions and technology, Michael Hinton, said, speaking at the CIO Summit in Sydney,

“It was difficult because the data wasn’t available online. We took a purposeful strategy that said we were going to use our assets to create insights for us and our customers.”

See all the action from the event in the CIO Summit 2011 slideshow.

Hinton said the creation of a business insights team was crucial for the new BI strategy to work, as was a new attitude about the kinds of tools needed to conduct BI analysis.

“Our view at the time was really about focus, so we created the business insights team,” he said. “It was about finding new tools we wanted to invest in - we changed our attitude about analysis - so analysis could be done by any person in any business unit.”

Looking to companies like Google, Microsoft and Facebook for BI inspiration, Hinton’s new team developed an application in-house that was able to be used straight away.

“LMI Insights was the application we developed, and we made it easy to use so people could use it straight away,” he said. “...We had a 30 minute training session with the sales staff, and then ten days for the business insights team to ask questions of the team [to test their knowledge of the system].”

Rather than focusing on external options available, Hinton said developing the application in-house not only saved money, but proved to be less restrictive than other BI offerings.

“We used the tools for four weeks and we were blown away with what we could do with it,” he said.

“...Once the team got used to it, we asked them to do parallel estimates...it was generally a third of the cost, and this was with people who hadn’t used the tool yet...the business insights team can actually maintain and enhance the system.”

QBI LMI’s parent company, QBI Insurance, last month announced it was seeking a new CIO, after a review of its IT infrastructure.

Follow Lisa Banks on Twitter: @CapricaStar

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