Insurance companies can enjoy enormous benefits from advanced analytics, improving claims processing, fraud detection, underwriting, and customer care.
In an era where competition has forced prices ever downward and customers face few hurdles for switching providers, insurance companies have an imperative to find ways to extract more value and fuel better business processes with the data they already have.
The bad news is that many insurance organizations are currently relying on legacy technology and siloed data sources, which makes advanced analytics nearly impossible. The good news: organizations that find themselves in that scenario have the potential to enjoy enormous gains when they take the leap toward unified data.
Here’s a look at how data integration and aggregation can lay the groundwork for advanced analytics and transform an entire insurance organization.
The Problem: Dispersed and Siloed Data
Dispersed and siloed data is all too common among insurance organizations, thanks to years of acquisitions, mergers, and tech adoption that meets a specific division’s needs rather than serving the entire organization.
Unfortunately, this state creates inefficiencies and limits the organization’s capabilities. When data isn’t contained in a centralized location…
Obviously, this state is a problem for insurance organizations.
But it’s even more serious given the reality of insurtech startups. These digital-native companies don’t have the technical debt of the incumbents they’re competing against. They have much better customer visibility and are much more agile.
While incumbents may have better and more extensive data from their decades in business, insurtechs are alluring to customers because of slick front ends and streamlined experiences that appeal to a population used to Amazon and Netflix.
The Solution: Integrating and Aggregating Data to Enable Advanced Analytics
For most insurance organizations, integrating and aggregating data is a three-part challenge:
Let’s look at unifying data first. This involves merging data from multiple sources into a data lake that acts as a single source of truth. It also often requires identifying where data points are missing and figuring out how to collect and integrate those data points.
This isn’t always easy when multiple teams and organizations are involved. In our past work with insurance clients, we’ve found it especially important to make sure that that data collection isn’t dependent on an organization’s partners. While some partners can send data through an API, for example, others can’t – and the organization needs a way to get that data regardless.
We’ve found success by establishing rules for data collection that include workarounds: if data point X isn’t sent from a partner, for example, we develop protocol Y to scrape it from another source.
Then comes the question of standardization. As you can expect, when data comes from multiple sources, it exists in many formats.
For example, different sources might represent a customer’s name in various formats: “last, first,” “first last,” “first middle last,” and so on. Without setting a standard convention for representing names, these entries could be read as three separate customers. The second phase of data integration and aggregation, then, is to standardize data so it’s searchable to both humans and algorithms. It’s especially important to ensure that all new data flowing into the centralized data lake follows these protocols.
The Results: Improved Claims, Fraud Detection, Underwriting, and Customer Care
Integrating, aggregating, and standardizing your organization’s data is a bit like organizing your pantry and adding an overhead light. Suddenly, you can see all the ingredients you didn’t know you had, opening up new opportunities to try new, innovative, and delicious recipes.
Here’s a look at four specific areas of an insurance organization that can be transformed via advanced analytics once its data is in order:
Digital Transformation for Insurance Organizations Starts with Data
The end states promised by the phrase “digital transformation” may sound almost fantastical to an insurance company still using systems designed 20 years ago. But they’re attainable. Even better, we have a proven process for getting there – and it all starts with your data.If you’re interested in learning more about how we can transform your organization with advanced analytics and other components of digital transformation, get in touch today to start the conversation.