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Data & Analytics

04:19 PM
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Mapping Boosts Greater New York Insurance’s Business IQ

Greater New York Insurance is finding out that the ability to understand and analyze that information quickly can provide an edge in managing risk.

Business Intelligence (BI) is proving to be a top priority for insurance companies facing a growing amount of data. As Greater New York Insurance is finding out, the ability to understand and analyze that information quickly can provide an edge in managing risk.

Greater New York Insurance (New York, $293 million in 2004 written premium) is using a custom front-end application from MapInfo to stay ahead. "We thought if we could implement a mapping solution it would give us quick snapshots of our exposure in a specific area and help us better understand our concentration of risk while satisfying concerns reinsurers may have regarding risk accumulations," relates Kathy Hurley, assistant vice president, Greater New York Insurance. Working from that premise, all of the company's branch offices (in N.Y., N.J., Conn. and Md.) now run the MapInfo (Troy, N.Y.) application via thin-client architecture on a corporate intranet to receive policy location data that can be used for strategic planning or further analysis.

When making use of a BI tool, organizations also need to establish a system that guarantees precision. "Having a good process for ensuring that the data coming into the system is accurate is a very important aspect of BI," comments Michael Azoff, senior research analyst at Butler Group (Hull, U.K.), who completed research on a July 2004 report titled, "Business Intelligence in Financial Services."

Greater New York meets that desideratum by downloading its current, in-force policy locations from its AS/400-based policy management system once a week to ensure that the data being received is accurate, according to Greater New York Insurance's Hurley.

Although she does not have any specific metrics on the ROI of BI technology, Hurley stands by the philosophy that ROI really comes from being able to do business better. "If you can make better underwriting decisions, then you can have better claim results which, in turn, keep costs down on many levels," Hurley says.

"You simply cannot operate now without BI if you want to have effective governance," relates Butler Group's Azoff. "Companies need to know very rapidly and accurately what is happening with their organizations at the board level just to compete."

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