Digital transformation is forcing insurers to quickly reassess how they collect, store and share information. Traditional data management approaches need to give way to more comprehensive data governance practices that recognize the critical importance of data throughout the organization.

Effective data governance, as I mentioned in my previous blog post, requires organizations to implement systems, processes and rules that govern how data is used in every part of the enterprise. For many insurers this is a huge shift. But it’s essential. Without proper data governance, insurance providers will struggle to manage their data resources effectively. Their executives and knowledge workers won’t have quick access to relevant, up-to-date information. This will be a huge stumbling block in the fast-moving digital economy.

Instilling data governance practices is no short haul. It’s a long journey. And it needs to be led from the top. The leadership of the business must ensure that all employees understand why the organization is adopting a data governance strategy. Senior executives need to clearly communicate the strategy’s objectives and identify on-going milestones. They must promote a culture where workers are eager to embrace change and adopt new approaches.

Each insurer will have to determine its own data governance priorities and objectives. However, these five steps are essential:

  1. Create a high-profile unit within the organization that will oversee the implementation of the data governance strategy. This unit will form the core of the data governance oversight team once the strategy is complete.
  2. Define roles and responsibilities for managers and knowledge workers involved in collecting, processing, managing, securing, distributing and applying internal data.
  3. Establish data governance policies, procedures and operating processes.
  4. Set criteria for measuring and improving data quality.
  5. Identify technology resources required to support the data government unit and its strategy.

Effective governance of the creation, management and use of enterprise data is not optional for insurers. Increasingly, it is expected by customers, required by knowledge workers and demanded by regulators.

For further information about improving data management and data governance have a look at these links. I’m sure you’ll find them useful.

Exploring Next Generation Financial Services: The Big Data Revolution

Accenture Technology Vision for Insurance 2016: People First

Accenture Technology Vision for Insurance 2015: Stretch your boundaries

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