Mensura Goes for Extra Service(s) for The Customer With Dynamic Business Intelligence Environment Based on TimeXtender
Mensura offers solutions for the legal obligations of companies with regard to prevention and protection, insurance cover for industrial accidents, absenteeism management and child benefits. Whereas the ‘industrial accident insurance’ was incorporated in a separate structure, the other activities fall under the ‘Mensura Services’ organisation.
Mensura’s Protection and Prevention department, with 450 employees, has more than 40,000 active customer-employers which together employ 650,000 employees.
Until 2012, the Protection and Prevention department used an AS400 system with a backoffice application in Cobol, supplemented by Lotus Notes. At the end of 2012/start of 2013 the department completed the migration to a brand new Back Office operating system. Alongside their AS400 system, Mensura had been using SAS for Business Intelligence for years.
“As a BI solution, SAS is too complex as a BI solution for Mensura Services and too expensive to meet the specific needs. Also, we can only use it to generate static reports”, says Freddy Maetens, CIO at Mensura.
Start Small, Think Big
Mensura decided to conduct an in depth market analysis before deciding on a new Datawarehouse and Business Intelligence solution for the Protection and Prevention department. The project team took its time to examine the different packages; in the end the combination of TimeXtender – Targit turned out to be the best choice.
The solution was not only budget-friendly, but also offered an excellent integration with the database environment of the new backoffice system. The platform also offers – according to Mensura – many more possibilities in terms of future reporting than the former environment.
Rudi Andries, BI Project leader at Mensura Services: “Our philosophy is ‘Start small, think big’. We wanted to start small with the Business Intelligence project, but without losing sight of the bigger picture.”
No Code Required to Build Datawarehouse
TimeXtender is used at Mensura to build a Datawarehouse. This will be the foundation to build BI reports with Targit.
Mensura is very enthusiastic about TimeXtender’s user-friendliness: “Our in house technical knowledge regarding databases is not very extensive. However, TimeXtender’s graphic interface allows us to build an entire data set with a minimum of code. You can safely say that a Datawarehouse is generated with TimeXtender, and not developed,” says Rudi Andries.
As a BI solution, Targit immediately won over the employees as well. Rudi Andries: “The integration with the backoffice is excellent; Targit opens a dynamic window to the data saved in the back office for our doctors. And our sales department will be able to consult the numerical data much sooner in the future too. The angle can be easily adjusted depending on the questions at hand.
Flexible Working in Several Environments
TimeXtender’s architecture allows the ICT employees to simultaneously set up a test environment with the production environment. If necessary, the software supplier’s support department will efficiently handle any questions.
With a single click the user decides how the data needs to be visualised, filtered and sorted and what chart he wants to include. In other words, no more endless reports with useless information. – Rudi Andries, BI project leader, Mensura
Focus on The End User
Reporting activities at Mensura were strongly driven by the IT department in the past. With the switch to TimeXtender and Targit, the focus will go from IT to end user.
Freddy Maetens: “The aim is to gradually let the end user take over and generate or adjust their own reports based on the available data in the system. In fact, TimeXtender offers a useful tracing function that allows the user to find out at all times how the BI environment was built up and where the information comes from. Every part as well as the whole of the solution is extensively documented by TimeXtender.”
Extra Reporting as Competitive Advantage
In its services to the customer, Mensura’s Prevention and Protection department goes further than its formal commission. For big clients, Mensura periodically provides an extensive report: anonymous group reporting. For 12 aspects that need to be selected (BMI, smoking behaviour, cholesterol, movement factors…) the customer receives an interesting benchmark regarding the situation of his personnel.
“The anonymous group reporting as an additional service to customers provides a valuable competitive advantage for a Health & Insurance company such as Mensura. An approach that is very much appreciated by customers”, clarifies Freddy Maetens.
From Static Snapshot to Dynamic Dashboard
Before, Mensura’s anonymous group reporting was nothing more than a snapshot, a pdf report, often comprising reams of paper. Targit’s implementation allows Mensura to convert the static report into a dynamic dashboard.
Any Mensura employee is able to completely personalise a report with a couple of mouse clicks, depending on the customer’s specific wishes.
Rudi Andries: “With a simple mouse click the user decides how the data needs to be visualised, filtered and sorted and which charts he wants to include. In other words, no more endless reports with useless information.”
Flexible Absenteeism Reports With Sogeti
After the initial implementation of TimeXtender and Targit, another department, Mensura Absenteeism was facing an acute reporting problem. Up until then the department was using a self-developed tool, which supplied monthly statistics about absence from work. In the short term this tool would be impracticable because of changing technical preconditions.
Mensura and TimeXtender partner Sogeti discussed a speed-up of the migration to the new reporting platform. After a short demonstration in this department, and in view of the positive experience with TimeXtender and Targit, the decision was made very quickly.
Erik Bruyndonckx, BI Expert Lead at Sogeti: “Every customer asks for a customised absenteeism report, according to his parameters: according to department, seniority, sex… Our strategy is to prepare extensive data sets in advance with TimeXtender. Based on this, users are able to create personalised absenteeism reports in Targit.”
“Erik Bruyndonckx managed to produce the absenteeism BI solution and reports in barely a matter of days. Sogeti’s expertise has enabled us to quickly anticipate a relatively serious ad-hoc problem. The best proof of the environment’s flexibility”, adds Freddy Maetens.
TimeXtender’s graphic interface allows us to construct an end-to-end BI solution using a minimum of code. You can safely say that a Datawarehouse is generated by TimeXtender, and not developed. – Rudi Andries, BI project leader, Mensura
Freddy Maetens: “A successful BI project is the result of co-operation between people. Everything begins with the enthusiasm of the TimeXtender employees, who believe in the future of their product for the Health & Insurance sector.”
“Mensura users showed amazing involvement with the project, and increasingly started appreciating the new BI environment. Proof: they use it for things that had not been planned initially. In this way, we also guarantee, as an IT department, a better level of service”, concludes Freddy Maetens.