In order to be successful in the fiercely contested insurance market of the future, insurers will have to undergo a digitisation process, especially in controlling and reporting. But what is the right way?
The challenges that insurance companies will have to face in the next few years include, in addition to strong legal regulation and new competitors in the form of InsurTechs, extensive changes in the context of digitisation and a sustained low-interest phase, which will result in a lack of investment income. The challenges require well-positioned and profitable operating divisions in order to cope with the growing competition. Effective controlling reveals problems and ensures that the challenges can be met through active management. Therefore, controlling and reporting departments must also undergo a digitisation process. The replacement of classic DIN-A4 reports with dashboards is in full swing. Q_PERIOR presented how visualisation, automation and standardisation of the reporting system can be designed in a pilot project from the German Insurance Academy in the context of a webinar. The focus of the analysis was on dashboards (cockpits), which represent a flexible instrument for corporate management and reporting. A survey conducted during the webinar revealed that 50% of companies have already begun digitising their reporting systems using modern reporting tools. While 100% of the participating company representatives considered visualisation to be essential in reporting, very few companies were clear about the approach and the choice of appropriate tool. In a market analysis conducted by Q_PERIOR, more than 150 providers of dashboard solutions were identified. The offerings range from open source to high-quality SAP solutions. Essential distinguishing features are recognisable in terms of individualization and quality of presentation.
In order to be able to find the right tool for your own company, you must first define the requirements for your own reporting system. In addition to selecting the correct key figures, the success of reports is determined by many other factors. In addition to information tailored to the viewer, a report should be based on a consistent database, be decision-supporting, interactive and clear.
The use of dashboards in reporting makes it possible to standardise reports by regularly filling the most recent figures with reports that have been set up on a proactive basis. Thus, the report remains the same in terms of structure and presentation and enables a clear presentation. For this purpose, reports only need to be created once and can then be used again in each subsequent reporting cycle.
Once set up, the report can be filled in automatically or by clicking on the most recent figures. The dashboard is filled in real time from the connected data sources. Multiple data sources can easily be connected and consolidated into a consistent database within the tool.
“This automation eliminates a significant portion of the monthly workload for controllers”, explains Alexander Hennig, finance and controlling expert at Q_PERIOR. “This leaves considerably more time for the important tasks of decision support and decision preparation, with a significantly higher quality of the delivered reports”, continues Hennig.
Dashboards in reporting visualise data. This visualisation not only has a pleasing visual effect, but also increases the quality of the decisions made based on the data visualised. It is no wonder, as visualisation makes it easier to identify problems and risks and to derive needs for action more quickly.
In addition to the advantages of standardisation, automation and visualisation described above, dashboard tools also offer other useful functions: