Operational risk solution of the year: Incisive Software

Microsoft Excel continues to be one of the most ubiquitous tools in the insurance business—but remains prone to errors, which can prove operationally damaging. For 2020, the stresses of the pandemic, working from home distractions and isolation provided an additional challenge, and, for users of spreadsheets, a recipe for increased operational risk.

Incisive's risk management software was created to mitigate such risks by enabling greater visibility into, and control over, spreadsheets and has helped users in the difficult pandemic environment.

Automation capabilities test for accuracy in formulas and calculated values, but also for hard-to find items like inconsistencies and references. The overlay technology saves significant time by highlighting results to draw the users' attention to potential issues and discrepancies. Users can also drill down into cells to see why formulas are not calculating correctly or working as expected.

Actuaries at insurer Safety National discovered the value of the software when working on a very large pricing model. The company was using Incisive's spreadsheet risk management solution to serve as a control mechanism for spreadsheets. The insurer deployed the software to drill down into complex Excel formulas to confirm they were robust or, if not, why they were not producing the expected results.

Leslie Martin, senior pricing actuary at Safety National, praised the visual nature of Incisive's solution as being "truly unique." "It does a great job providing a big-picture view of what is happening in a model or spreadsheet from a content standpoint, which is especially useful when reviewing models created by someone else."