Automated data extraction solution simplifies analytics and reporting at AHI

Automated data extraction solution simplifies analytics and reporting at AHI

How do you drive faster insights and accelerate business outcomes when faced with data platform limitations? Here’s how Antares helped national insurance firm AHI to do just that.


Experts in Power BI and reporting solutions. Contact us to find out more

AHI is a national specialist underwriting agency that provides market-leading accident, medical and travel insurance. Over the last 20 years, it has covered more than one million Australians in over 200 countries, while its in-house claims team and strategic partners have paid more than $400 million in claims.


The challenge

In the insurance sector – like most others – data is a critical enabler of business operations. Executives and managers depend on current reports and analytics to make informed decisions, as well as to identify, interpret and respond to operational issues. Therefore, stable data repositories and effective integration between databases and business intelligence systems are essential for productivity and performance.

AHI uses document-oriented database program MongoDB as its primary tool for storing and releasing data. While the program meets most of AHI’s data needs, it could no longer keep pace with the company’s growing demand for analytics capability. For example, as a non-SQL platform, there was no simple way to connect MongoDB to mainstream business intelligence and reporting tools like Power BI.

Additionally, staff could not easily access data to generate reports and analyse insights. Business users relied on IT to generate Excel reports when information was needed. This manual process was time-consuming, inefficient and expensive. With the requirement for robust analytics capabilities increasing, AHI sought an alternative approach to extracting data – enabled by better integration between MongoDB and business intelligence platform Power BI.

“Our core database system MongoDB is great for business processing, but not as strong when it comes to analytics. There aren’t many BI programs that plug into it to give us oversight. We needed a way to use market-leading BI programs, even though there are no connectors that easily work with MongoDB and relational database BI tools.”  –

Angus MacDougal, IT Manager, AHI.

The solution

AHI engaged Antares to design and implement a new process for extracting data from MongoDB and making it available in business intelligence and reporting platform Power BI. It was essential that the new process was fast, frequent and did not impose a burden for business teams.

Considering these requirements, Antares devised a solution which involved extracting data from MongoDB in JSON format, converting it to a CSV format and uploading to a cloud-based instance of SQL Server so that the data could be connected to Power BI.

Recognising AHI’s need for near-live data updates, Antares automated the process by coding data extraction and upload. This allowed staff to access data in just 15 minutes by connecting through Excel or Power BI from SQL Server to prepare their reports.

The solution design was as dynamic as possible, making it easy for future changes to be made by adjusting parameters rather than redefining business rules as was previously required.

The engagement was completed on time and to the client’s satisfaction. 

“Antares delivered this project much quicker than I could have imagined. They were punctual and responsive. When something needed to be done the response was always fast. I didn’t have to wait three weeks or even until next week for a resolution.”

Angus MacDougal, IT Manager, AHI.

Result

Antares’ automated data extraction process has delivered substantial productivity benefits for AHI. Business users no longer rely on time-consuming and inefficient processes to access data.

“This solution has given general staff the ability to concentrate on doing their jobs instead of figuring out how to do reports. By building more automated dashboards, people can focus on their core role. From a management perspective, we can produce ad hoc reports that we couldn’t previously.”

Angus MacDougal, IT Manager, AHI.

What next?

AHI plans to extract more data from MongoDB beyond the core dataset over the next 12 months. It will also investigate ways to streamline business processes related to analytics and reporting. While some reports are still being produced in Excel, AHI will eventually move to producing all reports in Power BI.

“I have absolutely no hesitation in recommending Antares. They’ve been fantastic throughout the engagement across everything from rates to the timeliness of project delivery and technical expertise.”

Angus MacDougal, IT Manager, AHI.

For more information about Power BI


Or see more case studies