Find out why insurers should transform data into an independent digital asset.

Insurers wanting to improve and personalize customer experiences need data, but not just any data. As Alison Kennedy said in her post on becoming a data-driven insurer, getting the right data is essential, whether from internal or external datasets. Analytics and insights are only as good as the data on which they are based.

For insurers, data presents various challenges, including:

  • Legacy systems. It’s not always easy to get data out of these systems.
  • Data in silos. Data can be difficult to find when it’s stored and managed by different business units and in different formats.
  • Variable data quality and veracity. In older, more manual systems, the potential for error was high.
  • Data ownership. Privacy and security issues, and regulations must be considered.

As the potential use cases for data explodes, insurers need a deliberate strategy to meet these challenges. I recommend treating data like a product and transforming it into an independent digital asset. This way, carriers can move beyond the idea of “single-use” data, where data is tightly coupled with a single use case, and the value of data can be maximized.

As the potential use cases for data explodes, insurers need a deliberate strategy to meet these challenges. I recommend treating data like a product and transforming it into an independent digital asset. This way, carriers can move beyond the idea of “single-use” data, where data is tightly coupled with a single use case, and the value of data can be maximized.

To develop a more mature data model, insurers should take the following steps:

  1. Determine the business objective and define a product-centric vision of how data can be used to support this objective.
  2. Take an inventory of existing data assets, and of legal and regulatory rules applicable to data services.
  3. Decouple data from applications and ensure informed consent is acquired from data owners and subjects.
  4. Standardize tools, templates and methodologies so that a single logical view of the data can be maintained.
  5. Automate the movement of data, logging everything that happens to the data so that data stewards can see its visible footprint and regulatory compliance can be ensured.
  6. Provide better access to users, to foster innovation and the development of new uses cases.

At Accenture, we call this taking an industrialized approach to data. It’s a method that can help insurers become more agile and dynamic in their response to shifting markets and changing expectations, and build trust and value within the insurance ecosystem, with partners and customers alike.

The volume of data available to insurers is growing exponentially. Those insurers that transform themselves into a robust data-driven company, will be the ones that glean the insights they need to give their customers the personalized experiences they demand and to outperform their competitors.

To learn more, read the report: Becoming a Data-Driven Enterprise

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