Browser was challenged by a global provider of property insurance to change the way their clients manage their portfolios. Together, we developed Insights – a business intelligence platform used by analysts around the world.
They were sitting on a burgeoning set of property data, and needed this to be accessible to analysts. Our goal was to design an application that could process data from multiple sources and surface valuable insights for analysts within a single, user-friendly experience.
The initial workshops highlighted the need for users to create their own dynamic display of investment opportunities, and track market changes that occur within those geographical locations.
For six-months we led a deep research project – interviewing underwriters, analysts and clients to understand how they calculated risk. We mapped out the entire workflow from the client request to the analysis to the final report. We used this to look for potential improvements and to design a new process.
Working closely with our client, we started mapping out user needs using the MoSCoW method. We identified three key areas that were slowing these people down: data processing, inter-department communication and producing client-facing reports. From these findings, we began prototyping ideas for an application where users could complete multiple risk assessments and management tasks in a single application.
We designed Insights around three core features: Maps, Charts and Reports. With Charts, users can visualise layers of information in multiple views, easily aggregating data via filters and templates to better understand an investment opportunity. This was integrated with Reports, so that users can could easily package data up for a deeper analysis by regional specialists.
Early user groups expressed a strong preference for visualised data. With Maps, we experimented with mapping live data onto geographical interfaces. Users can create their own dynamic display of investment opportunities, entering assets manually or pulling live data from the other features.
These features were built using React and library D3.js, while Maps was built using Mapbox. These progressive frameworks enable the creation of complex and interactive visualisations, with flexibility so that users can easily customise the platform.
Design should be invisible to the user, good design allows the user to engage without having to think about it. The insights provided by the deep research allowed us to design an application that performed just that.
Running a pilot helped us improve the application before rolling it out globally. We brought in test users from partner firms and walked them through the new functionality. With this thorough testing, we produced a backlog of additional requirements to refine the product.
Piloting also helped us gather valuable insight into how much training users would need. With Insights, we were rolling out a new way working that would be used by thousands of professionals across the world – we needed to have a robust launch and training programme in place.
Today, Insights is used by hundreds of companies operating in 132 countries around the world.
Insights is a private network application designed and built for one customer to provide them with a competitive advantage within the property insurance sector. If you would like to chat about a similar application for your organisation please contact our Strategy director John Beck.