AXIS Expands Use of Category Reports (February, 2008)
New and powerful applications of Category Reports have been introduced in AXIS 12.2 to increase your flexibility in building customized Calendar Year Reports and to enable more control over the runtimes and storage impact of AXIS batches according to their purpose.
What are Category Results and Category Reports?
Category Reports have been available for some time in AXIS but are now being applied in new and powerful ways, based on new types of Category Results that have been introduced in AXIS 12.
The calculated results of Calendar Year Projections in AXIS are produced by interactive and batch Cell processing. These calculated results drive the production of Calendar Year Reports at all levels of model aggregation (Cell, Subfund, Fund and Office) as well as feeding other important AXIS reports such as the Summary Report. Up until now, this has required over 1200 different Calendar Year Projection lines to be stored with every Cell which significantly impact runtimes and storage space used by a Dataset.
Furthermore, the calculated result lines available in Calendar Year Projections have been growing significantly in size and complexity as AXIS has been enhanced to support more applications, more products, more accounting frameworks, and to provide more detail to assist in reconciliation, validation and analysis of results. The expansion of liability module Cells to support up to six independent reserve calculations simultaneously has also compounded the growth in size of the Calendar Year Projections potentially produced.
To address the cumulative impact of this increasing flexibility and power of AXIS and to facilitate future enhancements, new types of Category Results have now been introduced within the basic Calendar Year Projections structure, and many existing Calendar Year Results lines have been moved into these new Category Results. Category Results are only generated and stored by AXIS when they are required by the data being processed or when they are triggered by options selected by the user in the Dataset, thus allowing improved control over the total size of stored projections and the resulting AXIS run times.
Category Results are really just specific subsets of Calendar Year Projections lines, "categorized" by a common purpose. Like Calendar Year Projections, once enabled, Category Results calculated lines and formula lines are available for use in reports whenever the Cells supporting those categories are processed. This allows the new Category Reports using those lines to be selected, deselected, built or revised any time after the Cells have been processed, without requiring a Cell recalculation. Category Reports use the same interfaces for editing and viewing results as do the regular Calendar Year Reports, and they can be incorporated within Calendar Year Reports making them very easy to use, and minimizing the impact of this structural change on users.
Originally, we just used Category Reports to enable further breakdown of calculated Calendar Year projections for a model, by supporting user definable "categories". Asset Categories, Liability Categories, Reinvestment Categories, and Reinsurance Treaties are all examples of this application of Category Reports, which depend on the user creating and using appropriate "category" objects of each type within their models. Most of these categories are also instrumental in advanced calculations such as the definition and execution of Reinvestment Strategies or the implementation of aggregate level reinsurance arrangements.
The new Category Results and Reports we have now added as part of the restructuring of the Calendar Year projections are a different type. In particular these new Categories are vendor controlled and predefined to meet specific purposes. As of version 12.2, we have the following new vendor defined categories: US GAAP Details, NAIC Details, Reserve Components, Reserve Release, and Fund/Loan/Dividend Movement. Of these, US GAAP Details, NAIC Details, Reserve Components, and Reserve Release categories support all six Reserve Sections in the cell assumptions, although not necessarily all six at the same time. In each case the user will be required to specifically enable the calculation and use of the relevant Category Results within the Calendar Year Projections before performing Cell Recalculation in order to access the additional report lines available for each of these Categories.
How Will Category Reports Help You?
The Introduction of Category Reports will benefit you in the following ways:
- The lines available for reporting the results of Calendar Year Projections are now organized into a shorter list intended for use in the basic Calendar Year Results reports and a number of special purpose lists supporting each new Category Report. Most of the vendor reports turn off the Category Reports by default, making new reports based on the vendor defined Calendar Year Reports shorter than before. Building special purpose reports will now be easier using shorter selection lists by category.
- You can now customize your Calendar Year Reports in a more flexible way. You can use Category Reports as sub-reports within the main Calendar Year Reports or as stand-alone reports. You can display or hide the Category Reports after they are calculated. You can also incorporate any Category Report lines from any of the six reserve sections into your main Calendar Year Report if they are applicable.
- Your interactive and batch cell recalculations will run faster than before. The Category Results Tab in the Dataset Parameters dialogue offers you a way to turn off the code supporting calculations for the Results categories that you do not expect to need and as a result your run time reduces. All calculated lines that remain in the main Calendar Year Reports will produce the same answers as before, of course.
- The average size of datasets will be reduced and the speed of higher level calculations (Subfund and above) will improve since the size of the stored Calendar Year Projections that must be written to and read from disk can be optimised according to the purpose of the application.
- More detailed calculated result lines will be made available to you for each category. Most of the new categories related to reserve calculations will support all 6 reserve sections. For example, you can have a US GAAP Details or Reserve Release Components Category Report for the fourth or fifth reserve whereas only one specific reserve section may have supported these details in the past.
In summary this structural change in stored results within AXIS will improve our ability to provide more and more detailed and useful calculated results in AXIS while allowing users to optimize run times and disk space usage according to their needs.
Future Enhancements Related to Category Reports
We have just started the implementation of Category Results and we have plans to move more sections of the Calendar Year Projections into Category Results and Category Reports later this year. These may include the Side Fund Reconciliation (UL), Dividends on Deposit Reconciliation (Par), Coverage and Amount Movement Report lines, PFAD Analysis, Required Surplus Component Analysis and MCCSR Calculation details.
As more and more Category Reports become available in AXIS, we plan to further enhance the interfaces used to build and select available reports of each type, in order to improve the ease of use and convenience.
Please refer to the Related Articles in the list below for more information on these new reporting options and how they can be used for specific reports, or contact GGY for assistance.