The Hartford Financial Services Group’s individual life insurance unit used reporting software a sales worker discovered on Google to visualize several new leads on a digital map—and a big increase in sales followed, said the group’s CIO.
After the insurance unit’s sales dropped 35% in 2009, John Glooch, CIO for the company’s individual life technology business, consolidated data from several sources into a single data warehouse. Glooch also decided to replace an old sales reporting system that aggregated data from several sources, because he determined that sales workers couldn’t effectively leverage the information stored in the data warehouse.
Glooch learned of another reporting system called Tableau from a sales desk manager who Googled “best of breed reporting software.” The software included more user intuitive interfaces for non-tech savvy people, he said. Tapping into his $50 million budget, Glooch licensed both Tableau desktop and server software and connected them to his data warehouse. Then he got out of the way. Sales workers have created hundreds of reports, but “every one of them has been produced by the business without any IT involvement,” said Glooch.
The implementation went live in August 2011. Tableau’s visualization tools use digital maps that depict sales by region, the number of sales targets within specific geographies, and the premiums produced by specific field offices. The reports cross-reference this information against average salaries and the number of high net worth individuals in specific regions, thereby helping the company target prospective customers.
With Tableau, the unit’s 200 sales workers were able to identify leads and clients they hadn’t previously targeted for life insurance policies, Glooch said. The unit recorded 20% sales growth for 2011 vs. the industry’s average of 4% growth, according to researcher LIMRA.
Glooch is urging the company’s other business units to use Tableau. But he may not be able to fulfill those goals. The Hartford in March put Glooch’s group, along with insurance and retirement services, up for sale.