Some simple steps to define your relationship to data in your insurance business

As I have discussed in this series, workforce data holds the potential to reveal untapped value within the insurance organization, and could translate into a profit increase. Yet how does the information outlined in the Accenture Strategy report, ‘Putting Trust to Work. Decoding Organizational DNA: Trust, Data and Unlocking Value in the Digital Workplace,’ and my blog posts, relate to your practical concerns as a business?

Your business collects data. This means you have taken a stance on data, whether intentionally or not. Here are some core questions to ask yourself and your strategic team, to assist in clearly defining an approach to workforce data.

Consent

How do you ask permission? Ideally, insurers should ask employees in a way that is clear, free of jargon and not hidden within an employee contract. Permissions should also be tailored to the business and the employee.

Security

How do you safeguard data? In a time when data is a critical resource, insurers need to take every precaution to ensure its safety is not compromised. Employees need to feel confident that if they share data within the working environment, external parties will not access it without their explicit permission.

Communication

How do you communicate with employees about data? It is important that employees understand the life cycle of their data, and have a say regarding its use.

Privacy

How do you employ measures to anonymize and aggregate data where possible? It is far easier to secure employee buy-in and safeguard data if there are systems that remove the personal details from the data.

Data-based decision-making

Have measures been put in place to ensure that decisions made by AI or human analysis based on data are unbiased and correct? This could include systems built into the AI itself, or diverse employee teams that have a say on how the algorithms track and summarize data. Employees should also be encouraged to question algorithms if they are not an adequate reflection of the business.

Employee control

Do employees have tools or other ways to manage their own data? As mentioned in this series, employees should feel a sense of ownership and agency with their workplace data. Insurers should encourage this and support it with the right digital tools.

Co-creation of data

Can employees participate in designing or reviewing workplace data and technology initiatives? Employees would be more amenable to data tracking if they played a role in defining what data is tracked. They could also offer practical insight as to how data should be analyzed in order to reflect the true status of the business.

Processes to report concerns

Are employees able to report problems or concerns with respect to decisions made by algorithms or the use of technology to collect data on them and their work?

Clear guidelines

Has your business established clear and fair guidelines regarding which data is appropriate to use, and do you have regular risk analysis and response plans?

Ethicists

Do you employ ethicists? This is a decision that depends on the size of the organization and the scope of data being tracked. However, employing an ethicist or an ethics committee is a great way to ensure the integrity of your data use.

In conclusion, workplace data will play an important role in your company’s future. However, the most important action you can take as a leader is to interrogate your current relationship to data, and reinvent the employment relationship with a focus on transparency and trust. If you operate from this foundation, you will be equipped to unlock greater financial performance in your business.

Unlocking the potential of your organizational DNA isn’t a journey you need to take on your own. Contact me to discuss your organizational DNA strategy.

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