DEESIDE INSURANCE KTP PROJECT
The Deeside Insurance WBA Project
The Deeside Insurance Web Based Application (WBA) project is a
Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) between:
The project is funded under the DTI
Knowledge Transfer Partnership scheme. The overall objective of the project
is to develop, and embed in the company, a robust tool kit for building Web
Based Applications and to launch a series of insurance web sites and affinity
schemes. A two year programme of work is envisaged comprising seven stages
each as follows:
- Background and Reviewe: The work will commence with necessary background
work to allow familiarization with insurance industry business
processes/current IT practices. Deeside Insurance uses software systems
supplied by OpenGI Ltd to access current quote information supplied by most
major insurance companies. This database can be accessed using an appropriate
software interchange format (written in XML). The associate is also expected
to review the current state of the art in Web Base Application (WBA)
development (including a literature search of relevant research), considering
current tools and techniques relevant to the building of e-commerce web sites
relevant to this project. All ideas will be assessed for relevance and
potential for adaptation. The current IT infrastructure of the company will
also be reviewed by the Associate in consultation with senior management, to
establish the IT requirements to deliver project and future outcomes and
- Search Engine Optimization: Review current thinking on SEO and produce an
SEO strategy document to be referenced when constructing the initial WBAs
(for company and affiliate customers) and, also, the WBA tool kit. Review and
update the SEO strategy document in the middle and at the end of the project,
briefing Management on any key changes.
- Building and Launch of Initial WBA: The WBA will be for car insurance. The
reasons for this choice are: (i) car insurance represents the largest market
segment for the company; (ii) the company already has a legacy car insurance
WBA (which lacks functionality); (iii) car insurance is likely to be the
segment most in demand for affinity schemes.
- Development of a WBA for a Key Affinity Customer: The Associate will develop
and set up an affinity scheme (white labelling) insurance web site for an
immediate customer (e.g. a national retailer or a premier league football club)
using, as the basis, the WBA developed in tasks 9 and 10. A key objective will
be to identify necessary additional functionality/requirements for the affinity
scheme that will need to be reflected in the capability and versatility of the
toolkit (stage 6). The Associate will engage with the affinity scheme customer
and staff through to the launch of the WBA.
- Web Usage Mining: Customer web usage will be investigated by the Associate
using data mining technology. The focus will be on the way that users engage
with: (i) the existing (legacy) WBA for car insurance; (ii) the WBA developed
in task 9; (iii) the developed affinity system. Established Web Mining
techniques to cluster/classify users of the WBAs. This stage will commence
with pre-processing of web log data to which existing clustering and
classification algorithms will be applied. The aim will be for the Associate to
identify and interpret usage patterns which can be usefully applied to
influence organisation of WBAs.
- Development of a WBA Tool Kit: This is the main objective of the work. The
development process will comprise: (i) Tool Kit Requirements, (ii) Tool Kit
Specification and Design, (iii) Tool Kit Implementation and (iv) Tool Kit
Evaluation. Requirements will be founded on on experience obtained producing
the car insurance WBA, the affinity scheme application and the web mining
results. The toolkit/template editor will probably take the form of a
Graphical User Interface (GUI) supported by a sophisticated database. The
Associate will produce design diagrams and story boards illustrating
operational views of the system. The insurance toolkit and template editor
will be implemented using an appropriate development strategy coupled with
module and system testing. The most reliable development strategy is likely
to be an Object Oriented (OO). Evaluation will be undertaken by producing and
launching a 'suite' of 4 insurance WBAs including 2-affinity schemes. The
evaluation will be conducted conjointly by the Associate, the knowledge base
partner and members of staff at the company.
- Staff Training and Future Development: The insurance WBA tool kit created
within the project will continue to be maintained/developed on completion of
the KTP project by in-house staff at Deeside Insurance. This will be enabled
by the Associate through: (i) the production of a user manual and (ii) staff
training. Through dialogue with management, staff and clients, the Associate
is also expected to explore functionality appropriate for the tool kit to
support business growth.
2. PROJECT TEAM
The project team currently comprises (May 2008):
- Shane Williams (company supervisor and LMC chair) -
Deeside Insurance Ltd.
- Frans Coenen
(lead academic and academic supervisor) - Department of Computer Science,
the University of Liverpool.
- Tim Williams (company facilitator) - Deeside Insurance Ltd.
- Katie Atkinson
(academic support) - Department of Computer Science, the University of
(KTP associate) - Department of Computer Science, the University of
The KTP advisor is Idris Price.
3. PROJECT DOCUMENTS AND NOTES
(Local access only.)
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Last updated 1 May 2008.