Enterprising Developments

Six Business-Changing Ways to Use Big Data

Joe McKendrick
Insurance Experts' Forum, April 17, 2012

There's been plenty of discussion lately surrounding Big Data and what it means. By analysts' definition, it means more than just having mounds of terabytes' worth of data sitting around. Big Data not only pertains to volume, but also the growing velocity (how fast it moves through organizations), variety (structured, unstructured) and variability (how much changes) of information.

But alas, Big Data is just a pile of data until organizations do something with it. Loraine Lawson recently provided six “business-changing” ways new tools and methodologies—such as Hadoop and MapReduce—can help put Big Data to work. (Actually, Loraine provides eight, but two are not relevant to insurance.)

1. Revolutionize enterprise applications. “While there are already plenty of business use cases for Hadoop and Big Data, we still haven’t seen the full implications for these technologies,” says Lawson. “That will change soon as enterprise applications evolve to make better use of Hadoop data stores. There’s a large amount of untapped data sitting in CRM, ERP and other enterprise systems, ripe with possibilities.”

2. Make a better match for customers. Big Data employing Hadoop and MapReduce can cut the processing time involved in sifting through customer records to identify potential markets for new products.

3. Do a better job of reaching customers. “One of the more widely publicized uses for Hadoop is analyzing online user data.... and sending targeted information to users.”

4. Build your own cloud for enterprise applications. Data sets can be pulled into private clouds to serve the requirements of various groups of end users.

5. Make smarter decisions about credit risks. “Hadoop is helping banks more accurately determine someone’s credit worthiness by allowing them to integrate different sorts of data internally for a better measure of credit worthiness. “If they more accurately say yes to people who will pay their loans and no to people who won’t, then that’s a huge benefit to a bank,” Cutting said

6. Build the 'Internet of Things.' “Hadoop and Big Data solutions in general make sensor data more usable, which will pave the way for bringing all kinds of useful gadgets online,” Loraine points out. “By the end of this decade, there will be more than 50 billion sensor-based gadgets online.” In the insurance industry, a classic example would be telematics devices now being placed in cars in exchange for lower premiums.

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

What Can Insurers Learn from Home Depot?

The latest cyber-attack highlights the importance of helping policy holders defend themselves.

Not Your Father’s Insurance Company

Carriers need to look at new and impactful ways to be there for their customers.

Watch Out. Apple with Mayo is Heading Your Way

From a health care, health insurance and Internet-of-things perspective, questions still remain.

How to Attract Top Tech Talent

When it comes to rankings of the best places to work, insurers are few and far between. Here’s what those who make the lists do to appeal to IT professionals.

New Generation of Data and Analytics in Cloud

Cloud-based data and analytics products are becoming more common among technology companies, small and midsize businesses and departments.

Aligning People, Processes and Technology for Successful Data Governance

Before your data governance project turns into a nightmare, create a data governance team to help people understand and manage the big data challenge, not just their respective pieces.