|Title of Invention||
RISK DATA ANALYSIS SYSTEM
|Abstract||A risk analysis system, comprising a risk analysis unit, comprising a memory device, including a storing portion and an analyzing portion; wherein the storing portion stores the at least one quantitative analysis including at least one value for at least one performance measure as a function of at least one risk assessment phase for each of a plurality of analysis dimensions, and the analyzing portion stores an algorithm for determining quantitative results; and a processor coupled to the memory device; wherein the processor retrieves the at least one quantitative analysis & using the at least one quantitative analysis determines one or more performance measures for a plurality of risk assessment phase; an interface unit for receiving at least one quantitative analysis of each of a plurality of files ; said interface unit comprises an input device for communicating information to said risk analysis unit and output device for communicating information from risk analysis unit.|
|Full Text||FORM 2
THE PATENT ACT 1970 (39 of 1970)
The Patents Rules, 2003 COMPLETE SPECIFICATION
(See Section 10, and rule 13)
1. TITLE OF INVENTION
RISK DATA ANALYSIS SYSTEM
ACCENTURE GLOBAL SERVICES GMBH
GESCHAFTSHAUS HERRENACKER 15,
82 00 SCHAFFHAUSEN,
3. PREAMBLE TO THE DESCRIPTION
The following specification particularly describes the invention and the manner in which it is to be performed : -
1 DEC 2005
RISK DATA ANALYSIS SYSTEM BACKGROUND
For entities (including businesses, companies and individuals), such as those that issue insurance or grant loans and/or leases, assuming risk is an unavoidable part of doing business. An absolute necessity for such entities is the ability to effectively and efficiently assess risk ("risk assessment"). Risk assessment involves not only determining the nature and extent of the risk but also the potential for profit gained by assuming the risk.
For entities involved in any type of risk assessment, it is crucial to have well trained people to make the risk assessments ("risk assessors"), and to monitor, analyze and update any processes used by the risk assessors for risk assessment ("risk assessment processes"). Audits are generally conducted either manually, or by using a system that can only determine basic information including the number of risk assessments made, the risk assessors that performed the risk assessment, the amount charged to assume the risk (such as a premium, interest or fee) and the time frame for the risk assumption. Unfortunately, this basic information is not sufficient to determine whether risks are being assessed in an efficient and cost effective manner. There are limited means to determine whether an entity is effectively assessing risk, however, these limited means tend to be costly and time consuming.
As such, there is a need for systems that can review risk assessment processes more completely in order to provide information that can be used to determine which processes are beneficial, whether the consideration received for assuming the risk is appropriate, and whether risks are being handled efficiently and effectively. In addition, there is a need for technology-based solutions that enable and support such systems by providing automated and customizable data storage, retrieval and analysis.
A system is presented that takes an outcome oriented approach to analyzing risk assessment, training risk assessors as to best practices for assessing risk, and enabling a quality assurance process (the"Risk Data Analysis System"or" RDA System).
The RDA System generally includes a system that implements the RDA System in a timely and efficient manner (a"Risk Analysis System"). Each aspect of the RDA System, including performing the RDAP, conducting a best practices training, and enabling a quality assurance process (shown in FIG. 2), may be implemented or supported by the Risk Analysis System. The Risk Analysis System generally includes a risk analysis unit and may also include an interface unit. The risk analysis unit may include a database that can be custom-developed or developed within the framework of existing database software such as, Microsoft Access. The database is configured to store and efficiently retrieve the information used and produced by the Risk Analysis System. The database may include an analyzing portion, which may include modules for developing questionnaires, developing databases, selecting files, performing the quantitative analyses, synthesizing the quantitative results, generating reports, conducting the scoring processes, and any subset of the foregoing. The automation and customization provided by these modules improves the speed, accuracy and comprehensiveness of the RDA System.
The RDA System may determine performance measures, such as economic gain opportunities in risk assessments, identify in which phase of the risk assessment life-cycle these performance measures are the greatest, focus improvement and training efforts on these risk assessment phases using a hands- on-based approach, and use the performance measures to monitor past, current and future compliance with the best practices associated with these risk assessment phases. The RDA System includes a group of methods, methodologies, questionnaires, software, hardware and analyses that analyze risk assessment processes by providing a view of the current state of the risk assessment processes, developing or improving best practices, providing training as to the best practices and enabling the monitoring of compliance with the best practices.
The RDA System may also include one or more methods such as, performing a risk data analysis procedure ("RDAP"), conducting best practices training, and enabling a quality assurance process. The RDAP uses nformation relating to risk assessment processes and evaluates this information in terms of the life cycle or phases of risk assessment. The RDAP includes preparing for the RDAP, conducting the RDAP to generate quantitative analyses and qualitative results, and generating reports that include recommendations and suggestions for improvement based on the quantitative analyses and the qualitative results. As previously discussed, much of the RDAP may be implemented in a Risk Analysis System.
To begin the implementation of the improvements and recommendations suggested by the RDAP, best practices training is conducted. Conducting the best practices training includes an outcome focused learning approach used to instill a results orientation for risk assessment. More specifically, conducting the best practices training includes providing hands-on training for best practices; providing content expert presentations; providing networking opportunities; providing feedback and improvement mechanisms; and enabling the determination of best practices.
Enabling a quality assurance process allows the monitoring of compliance with the best practices after the RDAP has been completed and includes developing a framework, developing a quality assurance database, and conducting a scoring process. As previously discussed, much of the enabling a quality assurance process may be implemented in a Risk Analysis System.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
Described herein are numerous embodiments, which will be understood by those skilled in the art, based on
the present disclosure. Some of these are described below and are represented in the drawings by several
figures, in which:
FIG. 1 is a block diagram of a Risk Analysis System;
FIG. 2 is a flow chart of a method for improving risk assessment processes and outcomes;
FIG. 3 is a flow chart of a method for performing a risk data analysis procedure ("RDAP");
FIG. 4 is a flow chart of a method for preparing for the RDAP;
FIG. 5 is a flow chart of a method for conducting the RDAP;
FIG. 6 is a flow chart of a method for conducting the quantitative portion of the RDAP;
FIG. 7 is a flow chart of a method for generating the reports of the RDAP;
FIG. 8 is a flow chart of a method for. providing training for best practices;
FIG. 9 is a flow chart of a quality assurance process; and
FIG. 10 is a flow chart of a method for developing a framework.
A system for improving processes and outcomes in risk assessment (the "Risk Data Analysis SystenY'or the"RDA System") includes a group of methods, methodologies, questionnaires, software and analyses for analyzing risk assessment processes in order to improve them by providing a view of their current state, developing or improving best practices, providing training as to best practices, and enabling the monitoring of compliance with the best practices.
The RDA System takes an outcome oriented approach to analyzing risk assessment processes. The RDA System may identify economic gain opportunities ("EGO") in risk assessment, identify in which phase of the risk assessment life-cycle ("risk assessment phase"or"phase") EGO exists, and focus improvement, training and monitoring efforts on these risk assessment phases. In general, EGO is a measure of leakage determined for each risk assessment phase, and represents the revenues lost and losses incurred in the phases due to inefficient practices.
Therefore, the risk assessment phases that have a higher EGO may be identified and targeted for improvement during a best practices training, and future monitoring by a quality assurance process.
In one sense, the RDA System can be considered a"toolkit"that includes a collection oftools"or components that can be used in many combinations to analyze risk assessment processes. It is convenient to group these tools as follows : a risk data analysis procedure ("RDAP"); the recommendations; the best practices training; the quality assurance process, the quality assurance database, and the Risk Analysis System. The Risk Analysis System and the quality assurance database implement, support and automate the remaining tools. The Risk Analysis System may includes risk analysis software ("RAS"), score generating software ("SGS"), and quality assurance software ("QAS"), which provide the technical support for the remainder of the Risk Data Analysis System. The RDAP uses information relating to risk assessment processes and evaluates the information in terms of the risk assessment life cycle. The RDAP may include qualitative and quantitative portions, which together with the Risk Analysis System,' generates the recommendations. The recommendations may be used in the best practices training to improve the risk assessment processes. The quality assurance process, along with the Risk Analysls System and" the quafffy assurance database, hefps to sustain the recommendations.
These groups of tools can be used separately and the individual tools within these groups can also be used separately. However, when used in combination with each other, a highly effective analysis can be obtained. One example of the tools included in the RDA System as they are used in combination is shown generally in FIG. 2. In this combination, the tools embody a method for improving risk assessment processes and outcomes 100. The methods for improving risk assessment processes and outcomes 100 generally include, performing a risk data analysis procedure or RDAP 102, conducting a best practices training 104, and enabling a quality assurance process 106.
Because risk assessment processes tend to coincide with the risk assessment phases, the RDA System may analyze risk assessment processes in terms of each risk assessment phase in order to identify opportunities for improving the risk assessment processes. This analysis enables an evaluation of how well the individual risk assessment processes yield profitable outcomes and how well they are executed.
In general, the process of risk assessment goes thru at least six (6) risk assessment phases. The first phase involves identifying exposures. This is the phase in which all the risks that might be encountered in a particular case are identified. The second phase, evaluating exposure, involves determining the likelihood that the exposures will become actual losses and the potential extent of the actual losses should they occur. In some cases, the second phase may be combined with the first into a single phase. The third phase involves making the risk decision. In this phase, a decision is made based on the results of the second phase regarding whether to assume the risk. If, during the third phase, it is decided that the risk will not be assumed, the life-cycle of the risk assessment process stops at the end of the third phase. However, if the risk is assumed in the third phase, the life-cycle continues with the fourth phase, setting the terms and conditions. Setting the terms and conditions involves determining the details under which the risk will be assumed. These details may include, the duration of the risk assumption, the duties of the entity from which the risk will be assumed, the precise definition and scope of the risk assumption and any other term except price. Setting the price for which the risk will be assumed is generally done separately in the fifth phase because the price depends, in part, on the particular terms and conditions under which the risk will be assumed. The next phase is negotiation. In this sixth phase, the set terms and conditions and/or price may be adjusted in order to make them acceptable and so that a risk relationship is established.
Additionally, in some cases, a seventh phase is also included. This seventh phase, setting the service program, involves determining the effectiveness of any service resources that were used. Service resources are internal and external services that may be used to evaluate, mitigate or otherwise respond to different aspects of a risk and generally include loss control, claims and premium audits.
Loss control audits involve assessing risks and exposures before and/or after a risk has been assumed. Premium audits, which may also include interest or fee audits, generally involve either a voluntary or a physical audit of a business that is or will be the subject of a risk policy (such as the insured operation covered by or to be covered by an insurance policy and the collateral for a loan) to see if the premium, interest and/or fees charged were the proper amount based on the assumptions made by the risk assessor. Additionally, there may be risk assessment specific service resources such as claim audits and default audits. For example, if the risk assessment is underwriting, an additional service resource may be claim audits.
Claim audits generally involve special handling of claims made under an insurance policy, which is a costly method. In another example, if the risk assessment is lending, an additional service resource may be default audits. Default audits generally include determining the circumstances under which there is a default on a loan repayment. The effectiveness of any service resources that are used is evaluated by determining the over or under utilization of the service resources. Over utilization of a service resource occurs when that service resource is used beyond the point at which its use produces a monetary savings or measurable improvement.
Under utilization occurs when a service resource is not used in situations where its
use would have produced a monetary savings or loss cost impact. Although this phase is the seventh phase, it applies to the use of service resources before and/or after a risk is assumed.
Because many entities involved in risk assessment have large and complicated organizations, the RDA System can analyze risk analysis along various dimensions ("analysis dimensions"). These analysis dimensions include line of business, geographic location, type of risk assumed, branch, division, office or any
other dimension along which analysis is desired. For example, an entity may want to compare the performances of each of its branch offices in terms of the type of risk they assume. In this case, the RDA System would analyze risk assessment in terms of the office and type of risk by determining the EGO for each branch office for each of the types of risk they assess.
Risk Analysis System In order to implement and support the RDA System in an efficient and timeeffective manner, a Risk Analysis System has been developed. Each aspect of the RDA System, including performing the RDAP, conducting a best practices training, and enabling a quality assurance process (shown in FIG. 2), may be implemented or supported by the Risk Analysis System. An example of a Risk Analysis System is shown in FIG. 1, and indicated by reference number 1000. The Risk Analysis System 1000 generally includes a risk analysis unit 1002 and may also include an interface unit 1004.
The interface unit 1004 generally includes an input device 1014 and an output device 1016. The output device 1016 may include any type of visual, manual, audio, electronic or electromagnetic device capable of communicating information from a processor, memory device or other computer readable storage medium to a person, processor, memory device or other computer readable storage medium. Examples of output devices include, but are not limited to, monitors, speakers, liquid crystal displays, networks, buses, and interfaces. The output device 1016 may receive the communication from the risk analysis unit or other computer readable storage medium via an output signal 1012. The input device 1014 may be any type of visual, manual, mechanical, audio, electronic, or electromagnetic device capable of communicating information from a person, processor, memory device or other computer readable storage medium to any of the foregoing. Examples of input devices include keyboards, microphones, voice recognition systems, trackballs, mice, networks, buses, and interfaces. Alternatively, the input and output devices 1014 and 1016, respectively, may be included in a single device such as a touch screen, computer, processor or memory coupled to the processor via a network.
The interface unit 1004 may include a plurality of input and output devices (not shown) to enable a plurality of risk assessors or the group of premier risk assessors to enter quantitative analyses directly into the input device. The interface unit 1004 may communicate with the risk analysis unit 1002 via an input signal 1010
The risk analysis unit 1002 basically includes a processor 1020 coupled to a memory device 1018. The memory device 1018 may be any type of fixed or removable digital storage device, and (if needed) a device for reading the digital storage device including, floppy disks and floppy drives, CD-ROM disks and drives, optical disks and drives, hard-drives, RAM, ROM and other devices for storing digital information. The processor 1020 may be any type of apparatus used to process digital information. The memory device 1018 may communicate with the processor 1020 via a memory signal 1024 and a processor signal 1022. The memory device may also receive communication from the input device 1014 of the interface unit 1004 either directly via an input signal 1014 (not shown) or through the processor 1020 via the input signal and the processor signal 1022. The memory device may similarly communicate with the output device 1016 of the interface unit 1004 directly via the memory signal 1024 (not shown), or indirectly via the memory signal 1024 And the output signal 1012.
The memory device 1018 may include a database 1029 that can be custom- developed or developed within the framework of existing database software such as, Microsoft Access. The database is configured to store and efficiently retrieve the information used and produced by the Risk Analysis System. The database 1029 may include a storing portion 1030. The storing portion 1030 may store questionnaires, quantitative nalyses, qualitative results and quantitative results of an RDAP, customized and/or industry best practices, ecommendations, reports, questionnaires, and any other information or data. The memory device 1018 may also include a quality assurance database (discussed subsequently) as part of the database 1029 or as a separate database. The database may also include an analyzing portion 1032, which may include modules for developing questionnaires, developing databases, selecting files, performing the quantitative analyses, synthesizing the quantitative results, generating reports, conducting the scoring processes, and any subset of the foregoing. The modules may be stored in the memory device 1008, the processor 1020, other computer readable storage media, or a combination of the foregoing. Alternatively, the modules may be encoded in a computer readable electromagnetic signal. When implemented as software code, the modules may be object code or any other code describing or controlling their functionality.
The automation provided by these modules improves the speed, accuracy and comprehensiveness of the RDA System. During the RDAP, the Risk Analysis System may be used to prepare for and conduct the RDAP, and generate reports as a result of the RDAP. In preparing for the RDAP, the module for developing questionnaires may be used to develop and store, in electronic form, a questionnaire that is designed to elicit
and capture information needed by the RDAP. While enabling the quality assurance process, the module for developing questionnaires may be used to adapt the questionnaire used during the RDAP for use as an audit tool. The module for developing databases may be used in preparing for the RDAP to customize the database1029 so that it can store the particular information elicited in a particular RDAP. The module for performing the RDAP may then, together with the interface unit 1004, capture and/or store the information elicited by the questionnaire in the memory device 1018 or other computer readable storage medium.
Additionally, the module for file selection may perform some or all of the steps of the file selection process during which the files upon which the RDAP will be performed are selected. File selection may include generating a performance report, performing an account run, performing a calibration step, and designating certain files as selected files. The Risk Analysis System can generate a performance report from information stored in the database 1019 that provides a summary of the profits and losses along a desired dimension or dimensions. In addition, the Risk Analysis System can prepare an inventory of accounts and/or policies along the dimensions for which problem areas were made evident in the performance report (perform an account run). The Risk Analysis System may select individual files for analysis using one of a number of search routines (perform a calibration) and designate the files chosenas" selected files." The module for generating reports may include a module for synthesizing the quantitative results. The module for synthesizing quantitative results may include risk data analysis software ("RAS"). The RAS generally communicates the quantitative analyses, qualitative results, customized and/or industry best practices, and instructions stored in the storing portion 1030 or other computer readable storage device to the processor 1020, according to which the processor 1020 generates quantitative results. The RAS, together with the processor 1020, may synthesize the quantitative results by aggregating the values captured by the questionnaire. The RAS may include the quantitative analyses themselves as part of the quantitative results. The quantitative results may then be communicated to the storing portion 1030 or other computer readable storage device for storage and/or to the interface unit 1004 for display.
The module for generating reports may also include a recommendation generator. The recommendation generator generates recommendations based on the quantitative results. The memory device 1018 or other computer readable storage medium communicates the recommendation generator to the processor 1020 via a memory signal 1024 upon receiving the relevant request from the processor 1020 made via a processor signal 1022. Further, the module for generating reports may compile the recommendations and the qualitative results into at least one report. The report may then be used for best practices training.
The module for conducting the scoring processes may perform an audit and generate scores for erformance metrics based on the information captured during the audit process. For performing the audit process, the module for conducting the scoring process may include score generating software ("SGS"). During an audit process, the SGS generally instructs the processor 1020 to evaluate files in terms of how well they follow the best practices and recommendations, and to generate scores for the files that reflect the evaluation. The SGS may additionally or alternatively generate audit recommendations based on the scores. The SGS may be implemented independently or together with the RAS.
Quality Assurance Database The quality assurance database is configured to store information within the cope and dimensions, and for the performance metrics defined for the quality assurance process. In ddition, it may be configured to store an audit questionnaire.
The quality assurance database is generally developed from the database used during the RDAP. For example, the quality assurance database may be developed fromand/or stored in the database of the Risk Analysis System, as previously discussed. However, it can be developed from almost any database structure. As previously discussed, the quality assurance database may be implemented in the database of the Risk Analysis System. However, the quality assurance database may be implemented in any memory device or other computer readable storage device.
Risk data analysis procedure The risk data analysis procedure ("RDAP") uses information relating to risk assessment processes and evaluates this information in terms of the risk assessment life-cycle. To optimize the effectiveness of the RDAP, the Risk Analysis System, including the RAS, can be used to implement the RDAP. The results of the RDAP provide a clear scorecard regarding the quality of risk assessment processes in terms of the accepted standards used by the risk assessment industry (collectively the"industry standards") and identify and prioritize opportunities for improvement. In general, information is obtained from documents in files relating to individual risk assessment cases, such as the loan-related documents in a loan file for a specific loan for a particular customer or the underwriting-related documents in an underwriting file for a specific insurance policy for a particular client. The industry standards used are those that apply
generally to the risk assessment industry and can be customized to include the industry best practices relating specifically to the type of risk assessment being analyzed (the"customized industry best practices").
The RDAP 102 is shown generally in FIG. 3 and includes preparing for the RDAP 200, conducting the RDAP to generate quantitative analyses and qualitative results 202, and generating reports from the quantitative analyses and the qualitative results 204. Preparing for the RDAP 200 is shown in more detail in FIG. 4 and generally includes defining the analysis dimensions for the RDAP 300, developing a questionnaire 302, developing a database 303, and selecting files from which the information is to be obtained (the"selected files") 304. As previously discussed, the analysis dimensions are used to categorize the information used for the RDAP and the results generated by the RDAP into groups that provide insights into the desired segments of a risk-assessing entity. Although the analysis dimensions may be pre- defined and static from one RDAP to another, it is more useful to define the analysis dimensions for each RDAP so that the results are customized for the particular entity involved. Additionally, the analysis dimensions may be further broken down into subgroups. Using subgroups helps to demonstrate specific problem areas within each of the analysis dimensions. Examples of analysis dimension subgroups include geographic area of the risk, policy or loan duration, degree of risk involved, resources used in risk assessment, types of liability, external and internal data sources used in risk assessment, number of claims or defaults made, uniformity of the information used and overlooked exposures.
Once the dimensions for the RDAP are defined, a questionnaire is developed 302. This questionnaire is used to elicit information from the selected files so this information can be used to create quantitative analyses and to determine compliance with the industry best practices and/or the customized best practices during the RDAP. The questionnaire may be a form questionnaire, a customized questionnaire or a partially customized, questionnaire. A form questionnaire generally includes standard questions applicable to most risk analysis situations including questions designed to elicit information used to determine compliance with industry best practices and is not altered for any particular RDAP. A customized questionnaire is developed for a particular RDAP and includes questions that use the particular terms and language of and elicit information that is particular to the entity for which the RDAP is to be performed. Additionally, the customized questionnaire includes questions designed to elicit information used to determine compliance with the custom best practices. However, the questionnaires may also be partially customized in that, although they use standard questions for each RDAP, the language is altered so that entity-specific jargon or terminology is used and questions are added to elicit information specific to the entity being analyzed and to determine compliance with the customized and/or industry best practices.
For entities outside the United States, significant amounts of customization are generally required because the types of relevant information are most likely going to be different.
Whether developed as a form questionnaire, a customized questionnaire, or a partially customized questionnaire, the questionnaire is designed to elicit information relating to the risk assessment phases. Table 1 shows an example of questions that may be included in the questionnaire according to the risk assessment phase from which they are designed to elicit information.
|Indian Patent Application Number||448/MUMNP/2005|
|PG Journal Number||35/2008|
|Date of Filing||10-May-2005|
|Name of Patentee||ACCENTURE GLOBAL SERVICES GMBH|
|Applicant Address||GESCHAFTSHAUS HERRENACKER 15, 8200 SCHAFFHAUSEN, SWITZERLAND.|
|PCT International Classification Number||G06F 17/60|
|PCT International Application Number||PCT/EP03/013019|
|PCT International Filing date||2003-11-18|