Enterprising Developments

The Era of Analytics—and the Job Opportunities Its Creating

Joe McKendrick
Insurance Experts' Forum, January 30, 2013

Mr. McGuire: I want to say one word to you. Just one word.

Benjamin: Yes, sir.

Mr. McGuire: Are you listening?

Benjamin: Yes, I am.

Mr. McGuire: Plastics.

Benjamin: Exactly how do you mean?

Mr. McGuire: There's a great future in plastics. Think about it. Will you think about it?

-From the movie “The Graduate,” 1967

Perhaps, if 'The Graduate' were made in 2013, that bit of dialogue would have been adjusted a bit. Mr. McGuire would have been uttering another word to Dustin Hoffman's Benjamin Braddock: 'analytics.'

Benjamin certainly would have found a lot of opportunity in today's business environment. Looking at two surveys, IT leaders' number-one priority is either business-IT alignment or big data analytics.

A survey of IT leaders by Serena Software showed delivering applications faster and aligning IT to business goals as the highest priorities for 2013, finds 48 percent cited better alignment to business needs as the top priority, more than double the percentage of last year's survey. Gartner, in the meantime, issued its own survey findings on top CIO prioritizes for the year ahead, with analytics and business intelligence topping the list.

Perhaps these two findings have a lot in common. Above all else, business analytics represents the intersection of the boldest business aspirations and the smartest technologies. And with it, an increasing recognition that any and all new business ventures need to operate smarter, to be able to understand what's happening—and about to happen—in key markets.

Accordingly, then, there are numerous opportunities arising within the insurance industry for professionals who can sift through volumes of data and deliver value. Here are just a few openings currently at insurance carriers, culled from online job search sites:

Business intelligence analyst, claims data strategy: “Will leverage technology to develop business intelligence solutions within the insurance industry. Will use business and technical knowledge to participate in the development of a strategic business intelligence solution to support business operations. Solicit business input, interface with IT, evaluate business requirements and model data and/or reporting requirements, including data mapping and data profiling

Business intelligence analyst: “Responsible for performing such functions as analyzing, designing, developing, authoring and implementing user-friendly business intelligence solutions to assist business units in making sound business decisions which, in turn, support the goals of the organization.” Required skills: Exceptional analytical, conceptual, and problem-solving skills; strong written and oral communication ability, including presentation, interpersonal, and team-building skills.

Business intelligence senior analyst: Responsible for working with business areas “to design, build, enhance, and deliver data analytic dashboards and reports supporting multiple business units. Perform key reporting functions (routine and ad-hoc) and lead the team in terms of reporting expertise. Perform/lead/consult/direct operational measurement analysis as needed. Support data consolidation and automation activities to support global management reporting and analytics (MOR, actuarial data needs, claim dashboard, forecasting, etc.).”

Business intelligence analyst lead: “Will use various technologies to support organizational excellence through business analytics, report writing, database queries, data mining, and observational studies. Responsible for performing process and program management analysis, financial review and analysis, including reimbursement analysis, cost accounting analysis, productivity analysis, and budget development/analysis for services lines and new business concepts. Must have knowledge of data warehouses, data marts, and other database components.”

Information technology associate - business intelligence analyst: “Conducts analysis, design, and debugging of reports using various business intelligence reporting tools. Performs specified data analyses and studies as requested, and develops and presents ad hoc reports in support of various initiatives. Creates reports using various reporting tools. Assists business teams in creating ad-hoc reports from the data warehouse. Assists business community in finding appropriate data items, applying formulas and designing effective and efficient queries.”

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.

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