Data is the Currency for Insurance Carriers
Robert Regis Hyle | March 10, 2015
Companies are generally valued by the amount of sales they make, or in the case of insurance carriers, the amount of premium dollars generated. Insurance, of course, is not like most businesses because the product carriers sell is a promise to pay a claim, whether it is for a house damaged by a fire, a life lost, or an illness treated.
You can keep track of your promises, but what brings value to those promises—and what makes insurance companies successful—is the amount of data they have collected on their customers, their agents, and the decisions they have made in the past.
Technology changed the way many industries operate today, but none more so than the insurance business. The collection of data has been around for hundreds of years, but it has only been in the last 15 years that companies have been able to unlock the secrets within that data to understand the purpose behind the decisions they have made regarding the issuance of their policies.
This has also created new problems. Criminals were never interested in breaking in to an insurance office and stealing personal data. Today, though, data security is one of the major issues facing every carrier—large and small.
The data is there and the tools are there to draw deep information from within, but the insurance industry still has work to do. For one thing, the amount of data collected is growing at an enormous pace. No one ever thought there could be too much data, but the truth is business users can be overwhelmed by what is available. It’s not surprising that many business users feel uncomfortable when faced with this challenge.
That is where good IT departments need to step up. Business users are crying for value from the data and technology can bring it to them. Never has there been a more important partnership between the business side and IT than in the area of data analytics.
Today’s decisions are made based on what reams of data tell us and even though we have long since passed the stage of “garbage in, garbage out,” the correct decisions require our best effort to produce viable and compelling information.
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