In my last blog, I discussed the main challenges insurers face when trying to simultaneously manage the explosion of regulatory data and gain strategic value from it. Companies need a sound data management strategy that guides them to operational efficiencies, while also making the data accessible and actionable so as to extend its business value. That’s easier said than done, however. In an error of unprecedented regulatory, industry and technological change, how can insurers develop such an enterprise strategy?
Insurance companies require the highest standards for data management systems and processes. Only top levels of quality, accessibility and governance will allow them to compete, much less comply, in the face of current market conditions. Here are seven key components and attributes of an optimal data management strategy:
- Multiple data sources – Insurers must be able to pull data from multiple sources, such as policy systems, general ledgers, market data feeds, economic scenarios and many other locations. The information then needs to be collated, categorized and aligned – and remain current and consistent.
- Governance – Access to governance data can give insurers an audit trail from the results right back to the original inputs. Key to governance and auditability is control over how data moves through the enterprise.
- Filtering – Filtering capabilities allow users to remove elements such as specific products or date ranges, thus giving them different ways to investigate data and providing on-screen views.
- Capacity – The additional on-demand computing capacity promised by the cloud can help firms efficiently process data flows within the business, scaling easily to meet reporting period peaks and troughs.
- Delivery – The speedy delivery of the information to the end-user, especially senior management, is essential, across a mix of channels, from browser pages and mobile devices to “smart” emails.
- Culture – In shaping the right collaborative culture, one that is open to change, insurance companies will require strong leadership and better alignment across their risk, actuarial, finance and IT divisions.
- Flexibility – Having flexibility in data variety can help firms adapt to new analytical and reporting needs. A firm’s data is a unique resource that should help the business act on distinct insights into risk, especially those that their competitors cannot easily develop.
Our survey of global insurance professionals commissioned through Insurance Risk clearly shows that today’s insurance companies recognize the strategic value of data management, and are keen to use new technology to help gather, manage, understand and disseminate data across their organizations. Establishing a flexible and innovative data management strategy, backed by the right technology, should be the top priority for insurance businesses with a keen eye on the future.
Tagged in: Data Management, Enterprise Strategy, Institutional and Wholesale, Insurance Risk