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LexisNexis® Risk Solutions leverages technology, data and advanced scoring analytics to help professionals in government, law enforcement, financial services, receivables management, insurance, human resources, health care and other industries make critical business decisions. In the fall of 2008, Reed Elsevier (parent company of LexisNexis) acquired ChoicePoint, Inc., a provider of complementary solutions with a leading position in providing valuable data and analytics to the insurance sector. While the combined businesses of LexisNexis Risk Solutions and ChoicePoint generated more than $1.4 billion in revenue, the success of the acquisition relied on the ability of LexisNexis to help ChoicePoint modernize its technology and replace expensive, fragmented, and outdated systems that limited its growth potential.

The Challenge
Spun off from Equifax, Inc. in 1997, ChoicePoint grew quickly, often through acquisition. As it grew, ChoicePoint kept its business decentralized so that individual units operated different, and sometimes duplicative, technology platforms. Its largest division, Insurance, operated off an expensive and outdated mainframe-based architecture, while its public records data center used an old, inflexible relational database. As a result of these and other issues, ChoicePoint struggled under high information technology (IT) management costs and its growth was constricted due to its inability to adapt its technology and develop new solutions to meet evolving business needs. In order to derive maximum value from the integration of ChoicePoint, LexisNexis needed to migrate ChoicePoint to a more cost-effective and dynamic technology infrastructure.

The Solution
To address these challenges, LexisNexis decided to transition ChoicePoint solutions to a LexisNexis proprietary technology platform. Based on prior experience migrating other solutions to this platform, LexisNexis knew it would reduce costs, improve productivity, and create opportunities for product innovations and enhancements to fuel the growth of the combined company.

To manage, sort, link, and analyze billions of records within seconds, LexisNexis developed a data intensive supercomputing platform that has been proven for over ten years with customers who need to process large volumes of data. Customers such as leading banks, insurance companies, utilities, law enforcement and federal government, leverage the platform technology through various LexisNexis® products and services. The platform specializes in the analysis of structured and unstructured data for enterprise class organizations.

The platform can process, analyze, and find links and associations in high volumes of complex data significantly faster and more accurately than current technology systems. The platform scales linearly from tens to thousands of nodes handling petabytes of data and supporting millions of transactions per minute. HPCC Systems® is comprised of a single architecture, a consistent data-centric programming language, and two processing platforms: the Thor Data Refinery Cluster and the ROXIE Rapid Data Delivery Cluster.

The core of the technology platform include three components: the programming language called Enterprise Control Language (ECL), the Thor Data Refinery Cluster and the ROXIE Data Delivery Cluster. ECL is a declarative, data-centric programming language optimized for large-scale data management and query processing. The expressiveness of the language provides for increased productivity by enabling data analysts and developers to define "what" they want to do with their data instead of giving the system step-by-step instructions. As a result, developers can express complex queries and transformations with less programming time and fewer lines of code than other conventional programming languages. The Thor Data Refinery Cluster is responsible for ingesting vast amounts of data, transforming, linking and indexing that data, with parallel processing power spread across the nodes. The ROXIE Rapid Data Delivery Cluster provides highly scalable, high-performance online query processing and data warehouse capabilities.

LexisNexis decided to stage the transition, focusing initially on the ChoicePoint public records business. This strategy leveraged the company’s prior experience migrating other public record-centric applications to the HPCC Systems platform. Additional divisions, such as the insurance division, were migrated gradually, in order to minimize disruption and ensure a seamless transition.

Results
By moving to a centralized operating model, consolidating disparate systems, retiring the mainframe and transitioning ChoicePoint solutions to the HPCC Systems platform, LexisNexis Risk Solutions was on track to achieve substantial savings from the first five years. The transition to HPCC Systems  is also improving technology staff productivity. Research estimates that the HPCC Systems platform will reduce time-to-market cycles by approximately 70 percent, thereby making the integrated ChoicePoint divisions more competitive. Finally, the transition stayed on schedule and minimized disruption to both LexisNexis ongoing business operations and the customer base. The public records business was successfully transitioned in 2009 and the company is now in the process of transitioning the ChoicePoint insurance division.

There is already strong evidence that the migration of some of the Insurance products from legacy technology to HPCC Systems is improving both performance as well as hit rates. In many cases, LexisNexis has seen an immediate 8-10% improvement in hit rates as a function of better matching and linking technology, which is a derivative of the HPCC Systems technology. Moreover, the response time of interactive transactions for certain products has improved by a factor of 200% on average, simply as a function of moving to HPCC Systems.

In Summary:

Challenge: LexisNexis Risk Solutions needed to integrate ChoicePoint, which was hampered by redundant, out of date technology.

Solution: LexisNexis Risk Solutions transitioned ChoicePoint to the HPCC Systems platform.

Results: 2 years into the integration, LexisNexis was on track to achieve substantial savings from the first five years.

  • LexisNexis anticipated a 70% reduction in new product time-to-market as a result of moving ChoicePoint to the HPCC Systems platform.
  • LexisNexis saw an immediate 8-10% improvement in hit rates as a function of better matching and linking technology, which is a derivative of the HPCC Systems technology
  • The response time of interactive transactions for certain products has improved by a factor of 200% on average, simply as a function of moving to HPCC Systems.