Data holds the key to an effective cyber-crime strategy. But the very abundance of the data poses challenges for those insurers seeking to exploit it.

Data provides the most significant opportunity for insurers to transform their financial crime capabilities. New data sources are becoming available – both within the enterprise and outside its boundaries – that offer unprecedented potential to understand and preempt the threats that abound, from simple claims overstatement to organized fraud and concerted cyber-attacks.

But making sense of this abundance of data is a significant challenge.

First of all, it needs to be channeled from all of its diverse sources into a centralized monitoring system. Maintaining the quality of the data under these circumstances can be difficult. In many cases, the problem is complicated by a lack of clearly demarcated roles and responsibilities within the business, the IT function, and the fraud and financial crime units. An even bigger problem arises when the data strategy is not properly aligned with the overall organizational strategy.

Ultimately, insurers need an integrated view of their relevant data. To get this, they have to pool data that, in many cases, has been stored and processed separately by division, channel or geography. It doesn’t help that many carriers still have siloed structures, with poorly integrated systems and no single repository of customers.

Accenture’s research shows that while the single view of the customer has become almost a cliché, little more than half of financial services organizations have achieved this. And fraud management data is typically fragmented across layers of channel and product-based controls.

By using big data technologies to provide centralized access to data – rather than centralized storage – insurers can employ analytics to obtain valuable insights and make informed decisions quickly and flexibly. This kind of agility is more valuable than ever, given the rapid evolution of financial crime and the ever-increasing stringency of regulatory requirements.

In my next post, I’ll share the three major elements that are needed to use data and analytics effectively in combatting financial crime.

To read my first post on this subject, click here.

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