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United Educators Case Study

United Educators (UE), otherwise known as “Education’s Own Insurance Company”, understands the unique risks involved with education better than anyone. It is a licensed insurance company owned and governed by more than 1,160 member colleges, universities, independent schools, public school districts, public school insurance pools, and related organizations throughout the United States.

UE constantly seeks new and innovative ways to improve its services and add value to its clients. There is no better example of this than their recent efforts to enable their insured institution’s leverage and compare risk management data. The result was an improved ability to make informed decisions about their risk management strategies and insurance coverage.

The insured institutions provided large amounts of data to UE through an Electronic Application Form (EAF). UE wanted its members to have access to this information in order to anonymously compare coverage and risk profiles against their peers.

They also wanted to deliver the information in a visually compelling way so that it would be easy to use, understand and literally “see at a glance” key comparison differences.  The challenge was to create complex rules and password protection to ensure the privacy of each institution’s data while still providing the flexibility to create, modify and save multiple peer groups, allowing for the information to be available through their website.

After a careful and thorough analysis of various business intelligence tools, UE selected SAP BusinessObjects Xcelsius in conjunction with InfoSol’s InfoBurst solution with XML Data Caching and database write back capabilities. UE also engage InfoSol to assist with the dashboard design, development and deployment.

In order to prevent clients from modifying peer lists too often, therby narrowing down individual school results, modifications to historical updates had to be tracked and reported back to the dashboard with the internal logic to prevent modifying beyond three attempts.

Similarly, randomizing the results to prevent the clients from filtering their lists to determine individual schools was designed into the application without performance degradations.

To access data from a public-facing dashboard through the InfoBurst server and to an internal database, the site handling the session token had to create a VPN connection to the InfoBurst server with domain acceptance through a carefully designed cross-domain file. This method has since undergone audit by a separate security team with approval granted.

In the first phase of the project, there were about 45 Key Performance Indicators included in the dashboard. Clients were able to create peer groups based on a number of criteria. From a list of institutions that could be filtered by type (Private/Public, 4yr/2yr) and State, they could build a group of similar institutions and save this group back to a database for future reference and analysis.

Once the peer groups were created, they could be compared to the blinded group based on 45 different benchmarks. Clients were then able to see if their insurance coverage amounts and risk mitigation strategies were in line with their peers.

Clients were also able to make comparisons to aggregate groups of institutions. For example, they can find out how they compare to all institutions with budgets higher than $25m, or student populations between 10,000 and 20,000. this information proved to be useful for member institutions when budgeting and planning for their insurance needs.

The initial rollout was well received and used by both clients and brokers. Planning for Phase 2 started soon afterwards.

In Phase 2, the dashboard was further enhanced to more closely match the accompanying website and over 80 more KPIs were added.

Each KPI result loads in leass than a second and includes the ability to filter according to custom-selected peer lists or by budget range, faculty size, institution type, enrollment amount, athletic class or region.

“This initiative has given our members easy access to a wealth of education-specific risk management data, to inform their decisions about keeping their campuses safe. This tool has already impacted the campus risk manager’s ability to make sure they are buying the appropriate amount of insurance and taking the necessary steps on campus to improve their institution’s risk profile.”

Bob Baird
Associate Vice President
Risk Management
United Educators

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