Love Your Data
Creating true value through optimising the data that sits in your business.
You will get no argument from anyone within insurance that they do not have enough data. It is after all, the ‘lifeblood’ of the industry, fueling pretty much every aspect of a company’s service proposition. Data is everywhere, it pervades every aspect of the insurance ecosystem in some form or other and in many ways has created a paralysis of sorts as companies grapple with such huge volumes of the stuff, not really understanding the value inherently contained within the data they ingest and manage. Many companies suffer from ‘data indigestion’ too and as a result do not get the best outcomes as they struggle with the challenge of how best to utilise the information presented to them in any meaningful way.
This situation is particularly prevalent in the Delegated Authority space, as Cover holders, MGAs, call them what you will, are challenged to understand and really engage with the data journey that is required in order to execute on the model employing this method of capacity distribution. Companies are pulled in all directions, with a variety of different demands placed upon them from regulators, capacity partners, brokers and others that feed the MGA data machine. Layered on top of this is the necessity to manage the data flows running through their businesses in as efficient a manner as possible, satisfying all the various stakeholders demanding the information they require to satisfy their own individual requirements. The ‘litmus test’ for any delegated authority agreement should be for the delegated party to be able to provide true insight and value through their data and what picture it is painting for their stakeholder partners in any such agreement. They should own, control and disperse the data in a form which is meaningful and contextualised to reflect what is actually happening, thereby creating confidence to others that they understand the various metrics employed to monitor and manage any such agreement.
A starting point is not to look at the whole picture, start with smaller more manageable data sets within a specific area of the operation. Go on the journey of particular data flows, asking what purpose it serves to all the various parties with an interest in it. Once this is done and an understanding is reached as the intrinsic value it provides, you then cascade this out to other areas in which data serves its rightful purpose. Once this is done, the data becomes meaningful and relevant and very importantly, trusted so that decisions are made with confidence, from each perspective view of it. It is also important to appreciate the relevance of any such data being used, there needs to be continuing and looped feedback mechanisms to assess and develop the data that is being used, ensuring it is relevant and appropriate to be used in the way that it is.
Humanising data is also something that companies often overlook, thinking it is purely mechanical in nature, which of course at the transactional level might be true but people need to understand it and apply their own IP and value in order to get what is really required from it. Businesses need either the skills sets within their organisations or access to external resource that can bring it to life. Pictures as they say paint a thousand words but if there is no one painting with the materials they are provided with then all you have is a pretty much an unintelligible mess that certainly does not look good!
Get that clear vision across all areas of your business and truly understand what it is telling you, or perhaps more importantly what it is not telling you, then by taking a very pragmatic and structured approach address the issue and then apply best practice principles to commercialise and ‘weaponise’ your data to best effect.