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XL Adopts SAS Visual Analytics to Get a Jump on Big Data's Potential

The SAS tool will foster a partnership of exploration between XL's analytics team and underwriters to leverage data for "enormous" competitive advantage and shareholder value, says XL SVP.

To foster a more collaborative approach to the analysis of large volumes of data, XL (Bermuda) has adopted SAS Visual Analytics, and is currently implementing the Cary, N.C.-based vendor's offering, the carrier's Kimberly Holmes, senior VP, strategic analytics, shared in an interview with I&T.

Holmes characterizes SAS Visual Analytics as a powerful communication tool to create a partnership of exploration between the analytics team and underwriters. She says the tool will bring the expertise of those decision-makers and others more deeply into the analytics process by demonstrating the meaning of large volumes of data more readily and inspiring further exploration and insight.

“The data analytics mean nothing without the decision-makers embracing it,” Holmes insists. “We see a lot of our competitors create models that don’t have an impact because the underwriters don’t use them.”

Holmes suggests that the the principle behind SAS Visual Analytics is the same as the one expressed the adage that ‘every picture is worth a thousand words,” says Holmes. “The key to getting people to embrace new insights and change how they make decisions is that they believe in their gut that this insight is true.”

The world of insurance is changing at an exponential rate as volumes of available data rapidly expand and sources of data proliferate, Holmes asserts. As a result, roles within the insurance enterprise will change, along with the terms of competition.

“Commercial insurance will become more efficient by creating more automation in decision-making and how we access our customers,” Holmes predicts. “Those changes will happen more rapidly in smaller-account business, but we need the right technology and data to take advantage of that.”

Holmes characterizes XL as one of the few carriers in the commercial insurance domain to act on this vision. “We expect investments such as SAS Visual Analytics to create enormous competitive advantage and shareholder value for XL.”

Anthony O'Donnell has covered technology in the insurance industry since 2000, when he joined the editorial staff of Insurance & Technology. As an editor and reporter for I&T and the InformationWeek Financial Services of TechWeb he has written on all areas of information ... View Full Bio

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