Innodata Isogen Solution Helps Motorists Get Behind Wheel Faster
Each year, more than 20 million vehicles are involved in accidents, from fender benders to head-on collisions. To process claims for the vehicles damaged in these accidents, local body shops, car sales and insurance workers need accurate data on the values of thousands of different makes and models of vehicles. The values can vary greatly depending on the age and condition of the vehicle, its custom options and pricing in specific local markets. Insurance adjusters need quick access to this market data, and accuracy is essential to ensure that all claims are settled equitably and to identify potentially fraudulent ones.
An information services firm started supplying data on vehicle values to a handful of insurance companies in 1980. By the late 1990s it had grown to be the leading source of total-loss vehicle data. However, gathering so much varied data in thousands of local markets, aggregating and verifying the values, and then making all the information available upon demand to its customers was taxing the company. The firm determined that its best option was to outsource the digitization of those records.
The firm turned to Innodata Isogen, which quickly developed dedicated teams to research and mine data from a wide range of sources, including car ads, local newspaper want ads, Internet postings, catalogs, magazines and other listings. Data fields include the source, vehicle make, model, year, price, odometer reading, dealer name and phone number. Also logged are vehicle descriptions, such as the condition, color and options like sunroofs, trim, special wheels and other custom orders.
The data sets, which can include text and image components, had to be developed for decades of vehicles and localized for each community or region, and then made available quickly and easily to clients via the Internet.
The data had to be collected, converted and turned around within 24 hours, so Innodata Isogen deployed a suite of tools and programs to automate large portions of document tracking, digitizing and verification processes. Production teams can create new records and edit or update existing ones, and the records are measured against historic and real-time data for speed and accuracy.
Although many of the listings being digitized include duplicate data across multiple publications, the company requires that there is no duplication within its database. To that end, Innodata Isogen developed a custom software solution that flags duplicate records to subject them to human editorial review. Once flagged, the records cannot move on to the compiling band transmission stages until they have been either verified or deleted.
Since the company operates in multiple markets and vehicle types and values are different in each, Innodata Isogen also developed customized scripts that ensure that all content is served only to a market in which it is relevant. An insurance agent in Alberta, Canada, for example, will not get a vehicle value from Boca Raton, Fla.
Text data are provided in ASCII fields, and then move seamlessly between Innodata Isogen and the firm's mirrored work groups. To further speed the delivery of claims and estimates, the firm makes the sorted data available to its clients over the Internet via a broadband service.
The project has won extensive recognition in the industry. In a trade magazine survey, vehicle repairers ranked the firm first because of the ease of use of its estimating products and technical support. In addition, the information services provider was named one of Deloitte & Touche's "Fastest 50 Technology Companies" in Chicago, and it also earned American Business Awards' "Best Business Turnaround" honor.
More than 1,600 clients signed up for the firm’s virtual private network software within six months of its introduction. And by outsourcing the business processes to Innodata Isogen, the information services provider has kept its core employees focused on growing the business, which they’ve done by turning in strong year-to-year gains in income, profit and value of its publicly traded shares.
The project also benefits the firm’s clients. Faster turnarounds enable local repair shops and insurance agencies to process claims quicker. This, in turn, helps the repair shops and insurance companies cement stronger relationships with their customers.