Features needed for converting pricing models using an Excel converterOptalitix have determined that using Excel converters to convert pricing models is the most efficient and effective. Many clients require enterprise grade systems and as such Excel converters are the most suitable, they also allow model updates without requiring relying on developer resources for full system recoding. Our view on this is based primarily on cost, accuracy and speed.The best Excel converter platforms have the following features:
- Ability to convert Excel models: This is a core feature. The Excel converter needs to be able to faithfully convert the exact model calculations from the original spreadsheet, and this needs to be tested against other models. The converter needs to allow for complex formulae, and important model features like tables and graphs and have a solution for macro conversion.
- Testing: The Excel converter platform must allow the user to test converted models and produce the exact same results as the original spreadsheet.
- Connections: The converted Excel model needs to connect to all the other systems involved in the pricing process. This connection can be via an API (the standard method used by systems to interact), a hosted web environment that can be embedded on a client’s website or a custom integration with the underlying quote or administration system.
- Model governance: The converter should be able to track model versions and model use as well as keep a record of the underlying calculations for checking and debugging as well as monitoring changes made to the model.
- Model updates: All models go through multiple changes and versions. Any Excel converter must allow the user to update models quickly without impacting other core systems, allowing for proper user testing before promoting to a live system.
- Databases and dashboards: The system must keep a database of model usage, and provide an overview of the health and usage of the underlying system using visual dashboards.
There are many complimentary features that are useful but generally these are available in the better converter systems or in underlying insurance pricing platforms.