Kelly Preston, data analytics manager, SilverBridge.
Despite advances in business intelligence (BI), insurers are finding it difficult to reconcile numerous data repositories and gain a unified view of the customer.
A recent Dresner Advisory Services study has found that reporting, dashboards, advanced visualisation, and end-user self-service are the highest priority initiatives in organisations looking at using BI as a platform for growth. In the customer-centric insurance industry, these will be instrumental as companies seek to adapt to the evolving business environment.
Perhaps most telling is that organisations will be basing their BI initiatives on apps that support traditional statistical methods. It is therefore not a case of ignoring what has come before, but rather taking those learnings and combining them with new approaches for more specific product differentiation.
With an estimated 2.7 zettabytes of data existing in the digital world today, the importance of becoming more efficient at analysing it cannot be ignored. Companies are aware that data sources are increasing at an exponential rate thanks to the likes of mobile and the Internet of Things. Equally, this results in needing to differentiate between quality data that adds business value and ‘dirty’ data that detracts from it.
Now, more than ever, reliable BI solutions are required to take these factors into account and add insights in a real-time manner. In such a competitive environment, decision-makers cannot afford not to be able to change their business strategies more organically than before. With the worldwide BI market estimated to reach almost $21 billion by 2018, there are definitely opportunities to be had from more enhanced solutions.
To harness business growth, BI must be used for executives to not only understand operational efficiency but also how gains in productivity can benefit the insurer and assist in developing bespoke solutions.
Complete business view
Despite changes in technology, BI still promises the same fundamental thing – supporting better business decision-making. However, because of these [technological] advances, BI is now starting to appeal to a broader cross-section of executives at insurers. Given how data accessibility has expanded to more employees, the democratisation of information makes it even more attractive for the insurer to start improving its approach towards BI.
With new BI capabilities improving the frequency of data availability, executives can spend more time analysing it and using it to develop solutions that are more specific to individual customer requirements. This puts the insurer in a stronger position both from a customer satisfaction level as well as from a reputational one.
By being able to embed better intelligence into reports, insurers can also see which areas of the business require immediate attention and which ones are doing well. BI empowers the insurer with better value than that of a static reporting approach. However, it must be used effectively and integrated into all processes if it is to provide the differentiation and insight required.
By Kelly Preston, data analytics manager at SilverBridge
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