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Analysts: Customer is Queen, Data is Crown Princess

Two recent reports are making it clear:  The winners in the new insurance game will be those who recognize that the driving force for change is the customer, and data and analytic tools will be key enablers for the change.  We’d like to know:  Does this message resonate with your organization, with your colleagues, and with you?

KPMG:  Re-Invention Driven from Without

A recent report from KPMG on the Reinvention of the Insurance Industry begins by making the point that the new normal for practitioners goes well beyond market cycles: “Meaningful transformation is underway in the insurance industry. It is driven by the recognition that the rapid, unpredictable, and profound change we are witnessing in the industry is structural—not cyclical.”

The report notes that after an extended period of continuing negative economic news, there are some green shoots.  Companies can take advantage of the new trajectory to grow the top line,  by focusing on priorities.  Chief among these is changing the culture to recognize that the Customer is King: “The shift begins with developing a process to understand customers’ needs, and it will include creative solutions in pricing and product development.”

This isn’t just a nod to the customer.  Real, actionable information is required to anticipate and meet customers’ expectations.  KPMG identifies one weak link: data and information technology: “It is a fair criticism that too many insurers are weak in data governance, data storage, and the leverage of structured and unstructured data.”

A hero can emerge, if….

Insurance & Technology recently interviewed Deloitte Consulting director Andrew Goldberg, who notes that technology alone is not enough in the current environment:  “Insurers have lots of data now, but how do they maximize the process of using it? Companies are going to become very successful by how they leverage technologies, not simply if they have them,” he said.

The key actor here could be the CIO.  Goldberg notes that the use of data and analytics underpins the innovation required in insurers.  And this is an existential issue for the CIO and the companies.

This goes well beyond the technology enabling the company to get the right answers to simple queries.  According to Goldberg, “We’re still asking basic questions like ‘what’s my call center call volume?’ instead of doing voice analysis on sentiment and things like that.”

We need to get deeper into the area of big data and predictive analytics, the stuff of Data Scientists.    However, it also needs to be timely and actionable.  According to Deloitte’s recent Insurance Tech Trends report, “Users now expect that the power of the enterprise should be available at the point where decisions are made and where business is transacted – no matter where that is.”

What do you think?

Is there a fundamental shift occurring in insurance organizations to focus on customer needs and wants?  If so, are we moving towards analytical tools and techniques to provide discipline and rigor to align marketing and product to the customer intelligently?

Drop a note and share the data you have.

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