Global Insurance Firm Modernizes Data Architecture with Snowflake

Description:

Saxony’s Ren Mohan, a data architect, led the development of architecture and initial implementation of a global insurance company’s modern data environment.

Overview

A Fortune 500 insurance firm with a global footprint needed to modernize their data architecture to abide by new guidance from Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB).

They wanted to improve measurements of insurance liability, simplified amortization of deferred acquisition costs, and enhance disclosures to their customers and auditors. Insuring more than 50 million people in two of the largest insurance markets in the world, the firm needed a right-sized environment to accommodate their high volume of data trafficking. Reaching customers via agents, brokers, partnerships with employers, and direct-to-consumer, the firm needed clear-cut annual reports of revenue for each line of business.

Ren Mohan, a principal architect at Saxony Partners, took the lead in analyzing the insurance firm’s current environment and proposed architecture that would transform their disjointed legacy systems into a cohesive network, streamlining their data. That would allow the firm’s actuary reviewers to review their data and find areas where they can expand their current policy offerings.

The new enterprise scale platform built with agile processes was operational in six months.

The Project

The company wanted to seize this opportunity to group their data in an organized fashion. Once the data is organized, they could look for patterns and use that information to make high-value predictions. But to do so, they needed to modernize their environment.

After evaluating both the specifics of the firm’s current data environment and its business challenges, Mohan’s team determined the firm needed a complete architectural overhaul and proposed a framework that could scale with the business.

The firm’s leadership made efforts to establish processes managing this modernization as an entirely new program. Focusing on data that was relevant only to the actuaries within the company allowed for resources to be devoted to building this infrastructure. The company’s legacy system, Teradata, was an on-prem system. That system frequently ran up against limits of both space and bandwidth.

Mohan and his team led an end-to-end implementation leveraging Azure Data Factory and utilizing ETL pipelines to load data into Snowflake. Utilizing the cloud data warehouse, Snowflake, the client overcame their business challenges of technological scalability and infrastructure cost. Snowflake Data Cloud simplifies the data pipeline and empowers self-service access to information available for any data professional – data scientists and business users alike.

Delivering high performance even as data volume and concurrent users increase, Snowflake makes designing architecture easy. Many traditional database administrator (DBA) activities such as disk capacity planning, upfront machine sizing, database design, and software upgrades are taken care of by Snowflake. All users can now combine complex data from disparate sources allowing for simple and speedy access to data.

With the move to a cloud environment, the new system maintains personal information compliance, and grants large modeling capabilities and scalability with business agility.

Results:

Here are some additional bottom-line impacts from this project:

  1. The client transitioned to a modernized environment that scales with business, lowered costs, and increased data performance.
  2. The new architecture helped the company’s adherence to FASB’s mandate.
  3. The refined environment and reporting allowed for people to find golden nuggets – high value activities that expand products offered to their customers.
  4. The client’s actuaries can swiftly run queries from across the globe against the database to create reports and dashboards, helping users visualize the data.
  5. The enhanced system increased efficiency by removing redundant in-force life insurance policy data determination process, saving the company time and money.