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Data Catching Up With Core Systems Conversation

Robert Regis Hyle | April 21, 2014

For years, the main discussion point surrounding insurance technology involved core systems. It still remains at the top of the list, but inching its way closer to the top is data. Whether carriers are searching for better ways to use it (analytics); how to store it (data warehouses); or the large amount of data being accumulated each day (Big Data) the issue merits increased focus.

In an article published this week in our April issue of ITA Pro magazine, Kelley Buchanan, managing director for the PwC insurance practice tells contributing editor Michael Voelker, “There is a tremendous amount of consumption and production of content, and that amount has continued to accelerate in recent years. The term ‘big data’ may be the trendy term today, but the truth is that the big data wave—the sheer volume of information, its veracity, the velocity at which it is received and which continues to increase, and its relative value—are all things carriers struggle with.”

Karen Furtado, a partner with Strategy Meets Action, wrote in a blog elsewhere on this website, “There is a notable push to capitalize on internal data and expand the use of external data. This data drive is fueling investment in underwriting and policy administration systems so that business intelligence, predictive analytics, master data management (MDM)/data warehousing, and big data analytics can be leveraged effectively.”

As Buchanan suggested, data is something that all carriers struggle with. Why else would it receive so much attention? When insurers face challenges it is usually because those challenges are multi-pronged. It is always easier to tackle problem head-on, but with data there are just too many issues for a one-size-fits-all type of fix.

As data continues to grow, finding quality data analysts will be important for insurers and virtually every type of industry that deals with data. That’s pretty much every type of industry out there, though. Finding any specialized employee in a competitive market is a challenge, but as data continues to grow and the competitive nature of insurance hinges on how that data is mined, the issue comes into greater focus.

There is no secret trick for finding quality people, and really there aren’t many secrets involved in trying to keep them. Just make sure you value their contribution for what is becoming: the most important issue the insurance industry deals with.

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