In my first blog, I pointed out that having readied its data for its own use, the obvious next first step for a company is to complement its data with publicly available open data will, in time, be superseded by a more subtle, collaborative approach, let’s call it Data Monetization 2.0.

I think the example of the grocery chain I cited last week is an early indication of what will come because it is aimed at members of the same ecosystem: making shopper information available to the companies producing the goods that those shoppers are buying. In other words, all the parties using the information have business aims that are in broad alignment.

In my view, this type of ecosystem-based approach is going to make good sense for insurers for a number of reasons—not least because, I believe, ecosystems generally are going to make more and more sense for insurers going forward.

I say this because, as recent research from Accenture has made even clearer, insurance customers have considerably raised expectations. As the results of our 2013 Accenture Customer-Driven Innovation Survey show, insurance customers now want more than just the right products: they are looking for personalized experiences that are relevant to their lifestyles—and are prepared to share usage and behavioural information with their insurers, and even pay extra, to ensure they receive such experiences. More important still, they will switch providers to get what they want!

My argument is that in order to deliver the experiences that this new breed of customer wants, insurers are going to have to partner with other companies. By its nature, insurance is not a very high-touch business (until there’s a claim, that is) and so to build customer loyalty by delivering a more comprehensive, relevant service is vital. For example, smart insurers are already linking up with gyms and supermarkets to incentivise healthy lifestyle choices. It would make sense to take this collaboration to the next level, first by sharing customer insights to reach a much finer-grained understanding of customers, and ultimately real-time, location- or behaviour-based customer profiling data.

Creating a platform that aggregates customer information from various channels and sources—and delivered superior analytic capabilities—would deliver genuine benefits to all the participants. For customers, it would mean better services and solutions from all participating service providers, delivered via the preferred channels.

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