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The Insurance Industry's "Supply Chain"

Joe McKendrick
Insurance Experts' Forum, June 12, 2014

Supply chains aren't just seen in manufacturing operations. The insurance industry has a very important supply chain, which fuels its operations — the data supply chain.

That's the view of John Cusano, senior managing director of Accenture's global insurance industry practice. In a recently posted video, Cusano explains how the data supply chain helps put information into circulation.

“The supply chain begins when data is created, harvested, imported or combined with other data,” Cusano says. “The data then moves, flows and transforms through the supply chain, and finally, the supply chain ends with a valuable insight as its output.”

Looking at data as part of a supply chain may help insurers better leverage analytics, he points out.

“Leading insurers know that data is a valuable asset, and they’ve been spending a lot of money in recent years on advanced analytics applications, data visualization and big data management,” he says. “But not many have a real end-to-end data solution that is in place, a platform that allows users to see a single view of data drawn from multiple systems and to interact with it in a standardized manner.”

This isn't your father's data store either, Cusano adds. “What we're now aiming is to get those insights faster and on a much greater scale than ever before — the idea is that users get quicker access to more data, including data from external sources.”

Not only is data essential for delivering real-time insights to decision makers, but it also offers a new line of business, Cusano notes.

“You can use this data to inform better internal decision making. You can provide it to customers to add value to their lives. You can even monetize it by selling it. We think that data becomes even more valuable when you sell it or share it, provided you do so in a way that’s sensitive to customers' privacy concerns. I understand that for some insurers this is a pretty radical idea, and one that puts them in a different business than they are in today. But the fact is they are sitting on increasingly large amounts that other industries don’t have.”

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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