Insurance Client Stories-Contemporary Analysis

CAN has been fortunate to help a number of Life and Health Insurance companies work smart.  It has been a great relationship because clients from Life and Health Insurance companies understand what we do as they are experts in using mathematics to forecast human behavior on a biological side, and CAN is an expert in applying predictive analytics to forecast human behavior on a marketing and sales side.  Our customers invest in developing new products, and we use math to make sure they can distribute them most effectively.  The following are some of the solutions we have developed:
Marketing ROI with Terrain: Our clients wanted to know the ROI of their marketing campaigns, but had been struggling to develop a system that was able to determine the impact that their marketing was having on sales.  We agreed that it would be too difficult to explain the impact that a company’s marketing was having and instead we used CAN’s Terrain system to explain the impact that the economy and seasonal fluctuations had on sales.  With every predictive model their is a residual x-factor that can not be explained in detail.  So instead of including the economy, a major driver of purchasing decisions, in the X-factor, we included the company’s marketing in the X-factor.  While they did not exactly accomplish their goal of measuring the ROI of their marketing activity, we were able to explain how economics and seasonality impacted sales and the residual could be attributed to marketing, competitors and other factors.  Now our clients can get a reasonable idea if marketing is impacting sales.
Client Management: Using Pulse, CAN helped our clients understand and improve their client portfolio by modeling the factors of client profitability, loyalty and claim activity.  Each week we provide our client with a list of the clients that are at risk of leaving within the next 90 days, and a list of sales leads that have a high probability of being profitable and loyal clients.  Each month we provide them with a report on their client portfolio relative to the population and their goals.

Sales Management: Using Beacon, CAN has worked to connect agents and brokerages to our clients home offices.  Beacon has been used to focus the development of leads and marketing materials to best serve the needs of agents and brokerages.  Beacon also has been used to improve communications with training, regulations and promotions between home offices and agents by segmenting agents by learning styles and providing communication guidelines to our clients.

The Steps to Implement Predictive Analytics

The following is the step-by-step process that CAN would use to implement predictive analytics into your business systems:

Step 1

We select from our catalog of intellectual property which mathematical formula or survey questions will be most effective to explain the activity being studied, and develops a list of potential dependent and independent variables.

Step 2

We will meet with individuals on your team to learn more about your business, employees, and customers. This meeting is intended to be a discussion to determine the independent variables that are most likely to be significant and their correlation to the dependent variables. To encourage discussion, before the meeting, participants will be given a list of proposed dependent and independent variables, a description of the hypothetical model, and how the results will be applied.
At the beginning of the meeting, the we will give a brief introduction of how the hypothetical model will be developed as well as an overview of the proposed dependent and independent variables. After the introduction, one member of our team will work to moderate the discussion and take notes. The outcome of the meeting with be a list of:

  • Important Historical Events: Understanding historical events help to identify outliers and their cause(s), such as errors in the data, changes in business paradigms, or significant events outside of the business.
  • Assumptions: No model can be perfect, and thus require a certain number of assumptions. Assumptions are non-conscious theories about how the world works. It is important to understand the assumptions so that results can be accurately produced and interpreted.
  • Dependent Variable: The Dependent variable represent the desired outcome that is being studied. The predicted dependent variable is explained by the mathematical mixing of the independent variables. The value of the dependent variable will change whenever the independent variables change, and that is why it is called the dependent variable.
  • Independent Variables: Independent Variables are variables that are hypothesized to have an impact on the dependent variable. When the independent variables change, the dependent variable changes as well.

Step 3

After the second step, the our team will collect the data for the dependent and independent variables from internal and external sources. CAN will work with your team to securely transfer the data from your internal sources. If the necessary data is not available CAN will develop a survey. Once the data has been collected it is loaded into the CAN database, cleansed, and connected to the modeling environment.

Step 4

Contemporary Analysis will study the data and present an overview to your team to ensure that we are correctly interpreting the data.

Step 5

The data will then be run through mathematical models to determine which variables have the most significant impact on the activity being studied. Models are selected based on statistical robustness, standard error, and how well they represent the data.

Step 6

A research report will be developed to provide information on the variables and why they were selected, the quality of the data, the quality of the model, and suggestions on how the research can be applied. The report is developed both as a comprehensive study and an executive summary to facilitate those who are non-specialists, but want to gain an understanding, and for those requiring a greater level of detail.

Step 7

CAN will meet with your team to present the results of the research, the report, and suggestions of how results can be implemented.  The CAN team will also work with the management team to break down results into specific and actionable tasks.
Please contact us to learn how we can help implement predictive analytics into your organization.

How to Structure a Survey

We rely on existing data when available, however sometimes we have to collect primary data using surveys. Over the years we have developed many surveys — including a bi-lingual survey to measure the employment and consumption preferences of Omaha’s first generation latino population. The following outlines the basics of our methodology for how to structure a survey:

  • Incentives: The best surveys use social incentives instead of monetary incentives. Using social incentives requires that surveys are designed to make it easy for people to feel the satisfaction of giving their opinions and helping people. This means that surveys should be short with provided answers that clearly and completely answer the survey questions.
  • Questions: Every question needs to designed to provide the most information for the least amount of effort from the participant. This requires that only essential “business questions” are researched, and that each response provides multiple dimensions of information.
  • Answers: The best surveys provide answers that are able to completely answer the survey questions, because respondents will lose motivation if they can not truly express themselves. This doesn’t mean that you create pages of possible answer, instead it should focus how the question is answered to limit the possible answers. The format of the answers should stay consistent as much as possible so respondents don’t have to re-read the questions, and instead can focus on understanding the question and answering appropriately.
  • Security: Surveys are valuable because they provide people a protected and ambiguous line of communication. When respondents feel safe they are able to provide information that they wouldn’t disclose in normal communication.

Please let us know if we can help your collect and analyze data for your organization.

Keeping Business Intelligence Simple

CAN does more than optimize your sales, marketing, customer services, management and strategic planning; we optimize how you learn.  Our job is not to provide you with more information, data or work.  Our job is to provide you with supported recommendations that help you run your business more effectively.  CAN helps you with business intelligence to get the insights you need so you can get back to your life.
CAN keeps business intelligence simple by:

  • No Extra Data Collection: CAN’s systems are designed to only require access to your accounting data, because it is the most accurate data that companies already have.  Any additional data is provided by CAN either through surveys or by using CAN’s databases with data on economic variables, demographics, psychographics, real estate, consumers, and businesses.
  • Implementation: CAN systems are designed to be simple enough that businesses without computers could implement our systems, and businesses with more advanced infrastructure are able to implement using a minimal amount of effort.  We did this because we wanted the success of our systems to be independent of a company’s IT department, software trends, or industry whims.
  • Reporting: We have resisted the temptation to wow you with complicated visualizations and data tables, and instead CAN provides you with just the necessary information to answer your important business questions.

Beacon Client Stories

The following are 4 examples of how CAN’s Beacon system has been deployed to help companies.  When reading this post it will become obvious that CAN’s systems are catalogues of intellectual property that are used to help people sell, market, retain, manage and plan smart.  Since we are constantly developing new technology, surveys and mathematical models it is easier to focus on solving our customers’ needs, instead of on our technology.  At the end of the day no one cares how we do it, they just want solutions to their problems.  Here are some of the solutions we have delivered using our Beacon system:

  • Client Match Making: CAN built a survey to match managers and clients based on personalities, the needs of the clients and the strengths of the managers.  This resulted in increase client satisfaction and high project profitability.


  • Reseller Program: One of our clients had a reseller network to distribute their products.  They competed against other providers to become a core provider of different products.  CAN utilized our Beacon system to determine what would help our client become vendors preferred provider.  The result was a plan that segmented different resellers by what they valued, as opposed to wanted, in new products, marketing support, provider support and compensation.


  • Project Management: One of our clients, an architecture/engineering company, used CAN’s Beacon system to determine how to optimize their project management strategies.  We segmented projects by type of project and type of client to build a model that determines what they should bid on the project, who is the right project manager, and how many employees should be involved.  The model also provided a risk factor for each project to determine what the risk of the company losing money on the project.


  • Feedback from the Field: One of our clients with thousands of salespeople has used Beacon to improve their lead generation process by having their salespeople complete an 8 question survey after each client interaction, and completing a long survey each quarter.  The result is a monthly report of what leads are effective with different segments of salespeople, what types of leads should be generated next month, and whether the leads are delivered and called in a timely manner.

What We Value – CAN's Development Guidelines

At CAN we know the value in writing down our goals, principals and beliefs so that we don’t get sidetracked in the process of building our dreams.  We put our company values at the top of our priority list.  The following are the guidelines that CAN uses in the development of our systems.  We are careful to not let fads, customers, competitors and whims derail us from what we know is right. Listed below are our development guidelines.
[+] Creative + Math
Numbers can tell you what is working, and provide recommendations to optimize your processes.  However, math alone can’t create strategic plans, organizational structure, sales strategies and marketing plans.  Therefore, Contemporary Analysis is committed to designing our systems to utilize expertise of your employees, managers and executives.
[+] Results not Software
When you hire CAN you get results not software.  We operate the software, and simply provide you with the information that you need.  Focusing on results instead of software allows CAN to quickly adapt our systems to meet the needs of your business in a rapidly changing business environment.
[+] Built for Change
Contemporary Analysis continually invests in our systems often with monthly updates.  Our commitment to continual improvement allows CAN to keep up with or even out pace changes in the business environment.  This is essential because it will keep your business on the cutting edge.  Staying on the cutting edge is essential for success, because “If the rate of change outside your organization moves faster than the rate of change within your organization, the end is in sight”.

How to Increase Your Capacity for Change

Tadd and I have experienced a lot of change over the last three years in business as we have had to learn to run a business, increase our technical skills, and adapt to a rapidly changing industry. Consequently, we have had push ourselves to explore new opportunities, viewpoints, ideas and ways of doing things. In other words, we are constantly working to increase our Capacity for Change.
There is no shortage of brilliant ideas. However, successful implementation is rare. Implementation faces many barriers to success, which include, but are not limited to: politics, complexity, budget constraints, and counter productive habits. However we have found that the most common barrier successful implementation of a brilliant idea are individuals’ capacity for change.  Typically, capacity for change is a function of creativity, resources, intelligence, education, flexibility, values, risk tolerance and beliefs.
Tadd and I have tried to increased our capacity for change by:
Being Patient: Successful implementation doesn’t happen over night. It takes time, and sometimes years. We learned that if our goals were constantly changing we would never be able to accomplish any of them. Now when making goals we try to take a Long-range Focus and set goals carefully and accept that it might take a couple years to accomplish our goal. While we try to have patience we also are constantly looking for incremental progress towards our goals.
Make Space: We have reduced the clutter and commitments so that we can make space for new things. Right now we make space by setting aside time during Saturdays and holidays to explore and implement new ideas. We also try to systemize as much as we can so that we don’t continually have to do the same things over and over, and instead spend our time implementing new ideas.
Develop Horizontal Friendships: Everyone needs best friends. However, having a large number of horizontal friendships can also be valuable. Horizontal friendships are friendships with people that you wouldn’t be friends with naturally. Horizontal friends typically have different interests, lifestyles and personalities. If you spend time with these people they will increase your capacity for change by introducing you to new ideas, products and people outside your normal sphere of influence.
Stumble Upon Ideas: Some of the best advice I ever got was to just read everything I can, and not worry about retaining what I read. This sounds counter intuitive, but my mentor explained that I should make it a habit of stumbling upon knowledge. Everyday I try to scan Twitter and LinkedIn for interesting articles or ideas. Weekly I try to spend time reading a biography, a business book and a technical journal. I don’t care about when I finish, but only that I expose my self to the opportunity to learn something.

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