Employee Spotlight – Rob Rice takes 1,000 pieces of data and paints a beautiful picture

Rob Rice is one of Velocity Risk Underwriter’s Senior Claims Data Analysts, and he loves data! If you enjoy the satisfaction of finishing a 1,000-piece puzzle, you’ll understand the thrill Rob feels when he can take complicated data and let it tell a story that anyone can understand.

After Rob graduated from the University of Tennessee with a BS in Finance and Accounting, he wasn’t sure what direction his career would take.  As he worked on his master’s degree in Computer Information Systems, Rob took jobs with financial services and healthcare organizations, handling compliance and basic reporting, but none provided him with the meaningful work he searched for.

In January 2019, Rob accepted a job with Velocity, and he hasn’t looked back. The work at Velocity provides open-ended possibilities. Velocity offers products to homeowners, small commercial business owners and large commercial corporations, which means plenty of data to analyze. Rob specializes in claims data, and with all business units experiencing losses throughout the year, Rob can study details about each and provide analysis on past claims and how that historical data can predict future claims.

Rob’s crystal ball leverages databases containing up to hundreds of thousands of data points that can be viewed in a multitude of ways to tell a story. For example, when a hurricane is anticipated, weather forecasters predict the direction of the storm, span of the storm over land, wind speed and amount of rainfall anticipated. Rob takes that data and predicts which Velocity policyholders are in the path of the storm, and based on building construction and roof materials, what Velocity’s worst-case losses might be. As the storm predictions change, Rob must quickly adjust his loss predictions, so he has developed ways to automate much of the data, which frees him up to find new ways to look at data.

“Rob is an invaluable asset, professionally, and a dependable friend, personally,” according to Maxim Turchan, Sr. Data Analyst at Velocity. “He frequently goes out of his way to help others, and is always on the lookout for ways to improve Velocity’s data infrastructure and operations. His mentorship of new analysts, myself included, helps to rapidly bring them up to speed both in terms of general industry knowledge and their specific responsibilities at Velocity.”

Rob remembers a recent project that required tremendous focus in a short amount of time. Underwriters had to sift through thousands of individual policies to look for specific language. Rob had to piece together the data from multiple source documents and create dynamic, easy-to-read charts and graphs for the Velocity leadership team. The work was intense, and he and considers it one of his favorite projects.

Velocity’s Chief Claims Officer, Rod Harden, believes that Rob is a tremendous asset to the organization. “He has been instrumental in improving the claims data practice.  His analysis on key parts of our business has helped to provide keen insights that have lended themselves to making several key strategic decisions.  His work ethic is above reproach and he always has a great attitude!”

When Rob is not completing data driven puzzles for Velocity, he is working on a second master’s degree in Data Science where his focus is analytics and modeling. He also likes to run and has completed four half marathons. He and his fiancée, Mary, hope to marry soon, but the Coronavirus has briefly delayed plans. Until then, they enjoy taking their mini golden doodle on hikes and watching documentaries together.