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Into the Light with Data/Analytics

February 5, 2018 | Amit Ranjan

Politics, religion, and philosophies on life aside, one has to admire Robert Downey Jr.’s ability to pick himself up, dust himself off, and start fresh, in spite of some pretty horrific mistakes and addictions in his past. Just look at his last ten years. Iron Man. Sherlock Holmes. He’s headlining at a level today that he never achieved prior to his dark days and prison stint.

How did he do it? In his own words, “Job one is to get out of that cave. Some people do get out, but they don’t change.”

That rings especially true for the insurance industry. With InsurTech pushing in from all sides, and policyholder demands for better service, lower prices, and greater transparency, it’s time for insurers to get out of the cave. But, how can they make the most informed decisions about which path to follow out of the darkness and into the light?

“Data, data, data! I cannot make bricks without clay!”

That’s what Downey Jr.’s Sherlock Holmes character said about solving a mystery, and it’s especially true for the insurance industry. Insurers continue to need better data and more insight before charting a concrete course of action in addressing their business and operational circumstances in the digital age.

A recent report by industry analyst firm Strategy Meets Action (SMA), “Data & Analytics in Insurance: P&C View Through 2020,” provides a high-level overview of where the property and casualty (P&C) insurance industry is today and where it is headed with data and analytics initiatives. The report surveys current implementations, plans for adoption, levels of investment/support, and ways insurers plan to utilize those technologies in the near-term future.

Some of the most noteworthy data points from the survey and research provide comparisons between how personal and commercial lines insurers plan to use data and analytics capabilities. The report also reveals the different levels at which the two main types of P&C insurers will support data and analytics initiatives going forward. Interestingly, there’s one area where both commercial and personal lines P&C insurers seem to be on the same page: 66 percent of commercial lines insurers and 64 percent of personal lines insurers responded positively about future spending and planned budgetary support for predictive analytics and modeling projects.

With that kind of a benchmark in mind, there’s an obvious question to ask: Why are P&C insurers increasingly focused on predictive analytics and predictive modeling and fearful of falling behind? In part, the answer is that the hyper-competitive and increasingly networked insurance ecosystem worldwide, operating in near real-time velocity, demands the timeliness, precision, and predictive foresight that only data-driven decisioning tools can provide.

To that end, multiple analysts and pundits across industries continue to forecast both a boon for data sciences and a parallel shortage in industry-expert data scientists in the coming decade. In this environment, Xceedance and its insurance data sciences practice is constantly thinking of ways to innovate and serve insurers that require forward-looking data and analytics initiatives.

Many insurance organizations continue to struggle internally to establish strong analytics foundations and investments, to fulfill quality data acquisition and conversion projects, or to engineer valuable predictive modeling programs. As a consultative partner to insurers, Xceedance continues to build a talent pool of industry-savvy data scientists and insurance-expert specialists capable of mining insurance data and applying artificial intelligence tools for decision analytics to improve operations in all aspects of the insurance lifecycle.

Reach out to Xceedance and shed new light on your data/analytics challenges and opportunities.

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