Progressive Insurance

Progressive Insurance takes data "out of the black box"

The Progressive Group of Insurance Companies has come a long way from its start in 1937 as small Ohio auto insurance company. Since then, Progressive has expanded into new markets and pioneered new services including comparison rates and 24-hour customer and claims service. Today, Progressive is one of the largest US private passenger auto insurance groups, with annual premiums of more than $15 billion.

Watch Rohan Mandelia of Progressive Insurance share how he is using Tableau to share data with the sales team in clear, actionable ways that allow them to become true partners to the agencies they serve.

Tableau: What sort of data are you looking at through Tableau and who are you sharing it with?
Rohan Mandelia, Data Analyst: I work in the sales and distribution organization. We have a sales force of about two, three hundred people. It's fairly lean; each salesperson has a pretty big territory to manage, between 150 to 200 individual agency accounts. We have about 50,000 or so of local, independent insurance agents scattered around the country.

What I do in my group is give the sales team information that's easy to use, easy to understand and really actionable. So we give them information all the way from high-level territory management numbers and job objectives, how they're performing month-over-month in order to meet their goals for the year. And we also let them take that information and drill down all the way down to individual agency performance so that they can start making connections with the information, seeing how individual agencies, seeing how their performance rolls up to their job objectives. They can understand who they need to see, when they need to go to them, what do they need to talk about in order to move those numbers that they see kind of on the front page—that's their bread and butter.

Tableau: What has the reaction been?
Rohan: The reps get together once or twice in a year just in their own region. And the idea with these meetings is that they get an update on what the business is doing and what we're doing for them.

Every time I get to go there and roll out a new set of features the ‘aha moments’ that happen—my favorite was when people literally got out of their seats to come closer just to get a better look at the screen, because they were like, "Wait, it can do what? How easy was that? Wait a minute, can you show me that click again because it took you one click and it takes me 20 minutes to build a report."

Tableau: What is the benefit of using Tableau with this data that you’re sharing with your sales team?
Rohan: They're ‘people’ people, you know, they're not ‘data’ people. And when you give them something that strips away all of the stuff that you've traditionally associated with looking at data and you turn it into information, that's when it's really helpful.

You're showing people a better way and you're showing them that it doesn't have to be antiquated—you don't have to go through a bunch of different reports and make those connections yourselves, because those are not the skills we're hiring you for. You're a sales rep. We want you to be able to sell. And everything else should be invisible in the background.

Tableau: What does giving the sales team that insight doing? What is the benefit?
Rohan: When you give a sales rep the power of all of that data analytics and that data story they can just take it to the agency's office and answer questions right there on the fly. It's such a powerful message.

They have the information that they know the agency needs, they have the information to help them grow their business, and they have the information to help them really partner with the agency as opposed to just selling them stuff.

Tableau: How has it benefited you to be able to provide that kind of information?

What Tableau gives me is the ability to really create something that's game-changing.

Rohan: What Tableau gives me is the ability to really create something that's game-changing. It has changed the culture of how data is used at Progressive within the sales force, and it changes the way our salespeople think of us as data people, numbers people. All of a sudden, you know, it's user-friendly and it's approachable and it's helpful as opposed to being something that is, you know, a black box that they know nothing about.

It's a great feeling.