Enterprising Developments

Big Data, Big Questions

Joe McKendrick
Insurance Experts' Forum, October 21, 2011

At this week's Predictive Analytics World, I had the opportunity to sit in on a session led by Dr. Matthew Flynn, analytics and data guru at Traveler's Insurance.

Flynn talked about the ways his team is surfacing analytics to make data more meaningful to the business. The challenge, he said, is that data and analytic tools reside on different platforms across the Traveler's organization, and it's a matter of being able to bring this data together to make it meaningful to decision-makers.

Such was the theme throughout the conference. It is well understood that analytics can deliver powerful insights to previously not-well-understood business problems. However, in many cases, the data is either undiscoverable because it is locked away in a system somewhere, or, when available, there are enormous data quality issues – meaning there is duplicate data, or it may not be timely.

Now, we have “Big Data” on the rise, which not only comes out of data generated from transactions and customer files, but also from the Web and social media space. This is creating the need for new roles within companies – individuals that understand the data that is of value to the business and how it can be extracted and leveraged. In addition, these individuals need the political savvy to know how to work with the various business units that will share this data.

Who should assume such a role? The CIO? The marketing chief? Business analysts and data quants? Ideally, efforts to act on the potential that Big Data provides should come from all parts of the business. The question is, how long will valuable information remain holed up in silos? The industry has lots of work ahead as we move into the data-driven era.

Joe McKendrick is an author, consultant, blogger and frequent INN contributor specializing in information technology.

Readers are encouraged to respond to Joe using the “Add Your Comments” box below. He can also be reached at joe@mckendrickresearch.com.

This blog was exclusively written for Insurance Networking News. It may not be reposted or reused without permission from Insurance Networking News.

The opinions of bloggers on www.insurancenetworking.com do not necessarily reflect those of Insurance Networking News.

Comments (0)

Be the first to comment on this post using the section below.

Add Your Comments...

Already Registered?

If you have already registered to Insurance Networking News, please use the form below to login. When completed you will immeditely be directed to post a comment.

Forgot your password?

Not Registered?

You must be registered to post a comment. Click here to register.

Blog Archive

Is the Long March to IFRS Convergence Over?

Once a given, the adoption of a single set of accounting standards for the insurance industry is on hold.

So You Plan to Buy a Core System … Now What?

There are many questions for carriers to consider even before the implementation process begins.

What It Takes to Have a Tech-Savvy Workplace

The tools and technologies to build the next workplace are available, but not common yet in corporate settings.

Avoiding the Bermuda Triangle of Data

Handled poorly, questions around data ownership, data quality and data security can sidetrack big data conversations and alienate business stakeholders.

A Prototype of the Successful Innovation Leader

Celent research reveals the prototype for the successful senior innovation leader.

Global Supply Chain, Local Problem

As a technology provider, your client’s ability to deliver products and services to their customers, when and where they need them, is at the heart of their business success.