Not that long ago, the term “Big Data” was introduced into the insurance lexicon. At first, big data was going to revolutionize just about everything – from mundane businesses to space travel. Not to be left behind, insurance publications and analysts started touting all of the revolutionary changes that big data was going to bring to the insurance industry. As companies started to investigate big data they found that the definition of what big data really is didn’t necessarily make them take the leap into the abyss known as emerging technology. Smart move.
Big Data, like love, is a many splendored thing. In the eye of the beholder it can be a revolutionary treasure trove of data that will create new business models, speed the development of new products, and fix a myriad of problems. Others, call them the doubters or the skeptics, couldn’t see how big data was going to instantly transform the insurance industry. The truth is that big data has the ability to be transformative to insurance with a lot of work, investment, and a better understanding of the information and its uses.
The technology necessary to realize the benefits of big data is Business Intelligence (BI). However, business intelligence applications alone are not a magic wand that gives meaning to all of those bits and bytes. In fact, companies soon found that there was a whole lot of preparation of data that would be required to make a lot of the data useable. And that preparation wasn’t quick and easy. The work required to develop a master data model is daunting to say the least, requiring significant planning and work effort.
Before big data became the 800 pound gorilla in the room, there were other technologies that were far easier to implement, less costly, and easily understandable to insurance company management. That older technology is Process Analytics. Process analytics differs from BI in that it is more Business Process Management (BPM) than BI. Process Analytics renders a myriad of data into actionable operational information quickly and easily. Process Analytics, for example, is the backbone of management reporting using performance information from applications and reporting that information to managers and executives.
While process analytics is not new technology, it is a known technology and with modern data-base design it is an easier to use version of BI. What is new is the ability to pair process data with third party data and use that data to create new insurance products and services, move into new geographies, and improve claims handling. For example, a company wants to expand into several new states. A third-party database can be loaded that shows all of the agencies in a particular state. If the product you are looking to introduce is designed to be for high net-worth individuals, a listing of agencies isn’t going to do much. By bringing in an Experian database that isolates where those high net worth people live and merging that data with the agencies that operate and serve those locations will help to ensure a successful product launch.
VUE Performance Analytics is specifically designed to provide detailed KPI information on all agencies and agents allowing managers to keep track of sales by many different categories. More importantly, VUE’s Performance Analytics is designed to be used by the business user and does not require IT involvement to access information. Although big data is great for some industries we think easily accessing the information required to efficiently and effectively manage your distribution process is the better choice.
Vice President of Corporate Strategy
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