Claims are a big-ticket item that often ends up in the crosshairs when the C-suite goes looking for a place to cut costs. But simply slashing costs can backfire if customer service suffers. (Thanks social media.)

With a multitude of people, systems, and vendors involved with every claim, it can be a challenge to understand where the dollars are going and why – especially if you don’t live and breathe claims on a daily basis. It’s up to you to find the story within all your claims data and relay it to the C-suite in a way that makes sense. And by the way, you don’t have all day to do it.

Here are 4 tips to help you pull your claims data together into a cohesive narrative that will give the C-suite what it wants – and tell the story that you need:

What’s your story? It may sound obvious, but you have to understand what your claims data is telling you before you can hope to communicate it to others. And that starts with having the right technology.  The right technology will help you analyze your claims data so you can extract insights and actionable information – just what the C-suite is looking for.

Focus on the bottom line.  Top executives want to know how claims are impacting the bottom line. The cost of claims, however, involves more than just hard dollars. Your company’s reputation, workplace morale, and even productivity are also at stake. The best way to keep costs down – and customers happy – is to resolve claims quickly and efficiently. Whatever you can do to streamline your process to improve customer service and get claims closed faster will ultimately save money. Just 1% reduction in claims costs can add a sizable bump to your bottom line – just what the C-suite is looking for.

A picture is worth a thousand words.  Graphics are more than just eye candy. They put context around the data and convey specific facts in a more effective way than numbers in a table ever could. Today’s claims software can transform the most complex data into an easy-to-understand graphic with just a click or two. A well-executed graphic is invaluable for making a point clearly, concisely, and quickly – just what the C-suite is looking for.

Have key metrics at-the-ready. If the C-suite has questions, they want answers. Now. A well-executed dashboard can be just the ticket to answering those questions quickly. It shows you everything you need to assess the health of your claims operation at a glance and in real time. Keep your dashboard focused on the six to eight metrics that matter most to you and your company. For the most intuitive layout, put the most significant metrics at the top of the screen and more detailed information at the bottom. Then if you get a call about, say, the closing-ratio percentage, you should be able to answer in 5 seconds or less – just what the C-suite is looking for.