Insurance Key Performance Indicators and RIM Program Optimization

Topics: Financial Services Records and Information Management

Key performance indicators (KPIs) are widely used in the insurance industry to measure the health of important business processes. Insurance companies regularly use their KPI measurements to benchmark themselves against competitors and identify best practices in other segments of the financial services industry. In addition to measuring the health of insurance processes, insurance KPIs can also point to deficiencies in the company's use of technology and content.

Many insurance KPIs focus on the traditional elements of a balanced scorecard, specifically for processes, finance, customer satisfaction and innovation. Core insurance KPIs based on these facets translate into KPIs such as cycle time, errors, unit- or activity-based cost, customer satisfaction and the ability to serve customers on the newer, more innovative online and mobile platforms that many insurance customers use.

Specialized Key Performance Indicators

As useful as general KPIs are, those who are not responsible for records and IT systems also need specialized KPIs that can gauge these systems' compliance with recordkeeping practices. This continues to improve compliance internally and demonstrates compliance for regulatory purposes.

The following are some types of records management/information KPIs that are useful for highly regulated industries such as insurance:

  • Measurements of growth trends and how much electronic storage is managed by the firm;
  • Measurements of the percentage of storage coded with metadata, which classifies records, nonrecords, copies of records and convenience copies and determines disposition and destruction dates;
  • Measurements of the percentage of the firm's IT application portfolio that are sources of "records" and the percentage of those record-producing sources that have appropriate data for records management purposes;
  • Measurements of user retrievals of records by record class. This measure is particularly useful for determining whether the company requires record classes that are created for business needs rather than for compliance purposes.

Challenges With Implementing Key Performance Indicators

One of the greatest challenges of improving the performance of records management programs is the difficulty of relying on manual processes to classify content into records or nonrecords and generating metadata to reflect record codes, custodians and disposition dates.

Fully overcoming this challenge and delivering program improvements may well require an investment in automated systems. In order to secure the funding for these investments, it is useful to pair the records and information management (RIM) KPIs with more generalized KPIs geared toward more generalized improvements in the financial process, customer satisfaction and innovation metrics that business owners focus on.

Using the combined set of RIM and line-of-business KPIs as a road map may open up opportunities to further digitize insurance processes, turn them into self-service platforms or normalize and simplify processes and their technology platforms in large, multiproduct insurance companies. When RIM managers are part of these improvements, it is easier to build in the tools required to automate records classification, declaration and disposition.

In turn, this should quickly turn into improvements in RIM metrics by reducing redundant, obsolete and trivial (ROT) content and the system's resources required to manage that ROT; increasing the percentage of storage volume with destruction review data; increasing the percentage of records with a record code; and reducing the percentage of inventory on hold. With more metadata information, there is less likelihood of overly broad holds.

When RIM KPIs are used holistically with line-of-business KPIs, the organization can have its cake and eat it, too, by being more compliant, better serving its customers and becoming more profitable. For more information and guidence on KPIs, see our whitepaper " A Records and Information Manager's Guide to Assessing Performance Risk for Financial Services."

Do you have questions about financial services solutions? Read additional Knowledge Center stories on this subject, or contact Iron Mountain's Data Management team. You'll be connected with a knowledgeable product and services specialist who can address your specific challenges.

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