What's next with big data? This question was on the minds of many attendees at IASA's 2013 Annual Conference and Business Show, which took place in the Washington, D.C., area this week. Whether it involved solutions from the exhibiting technology companies, technical session topics, or general conversation, there's no question that the insurance industry recognizes the opportunities around big data and is working hard to understand what it will take to seize those opportunities.
There's been much discussion about the significance of big data and analytics expertise for refining underwriting, risk management and customer/channel insight. But conversations I had at IASA 2013 this week got me thinking that there is a perhaps underestimated consumerization aspect of big data that insurers should consider. That is, companies need to invest in analytics and data management capabilities not only for the competitive insights they can enable but also because their executives and managers increasingly expect and demand access to those kinds of capabilities. They want more than reports on investment performance or claims activity – they want to see the connections and do their own analysis.
"People want to see this kind of data in real time and in more detail," John Vercellino, Vice President, Product Management, SunGard Financial Systems, told me at IASA 2013. "With the increased scrutiny officers are being given by regulatory agencies and the government … people want to be sure [information] is true and factual, and not find out two or three weeks after that it isn't -- no surprises. People want to dig down into the details and do it now."
This means that the competitive differentiation that big data and analytics promise isn't just about segment analysis and risk modeling. It's also about keeping senior management and other employees happy, giving them the tools that help them do their jobs the way they want to, and also attracting the top talent that everyone wants to secure.
If you're involved in your organization's big data strategy, are you prepared to respond to this expectation?
Katherine Burger is Editorial Director of Bank Systems & Technology and Insurance & Technology, members of UBM TechWeb's InformationWeek Financial Services. She assumed leadership of Bank Systems & Technology in 2003 and of Insurance & Technology in 1991. In addition to ... View Full Bio