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The Connected Business of Insurance

There’s Gold in Them Thar Management Systems

May 10, 2018

by Brian Wood
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The phrase “there’s gold in them thar hills” is probably best known as being uttered in various Bugs Bunny cartoons. However, Dr. Matthew Fleming Stephenson first said it to persuade miners to stay in Dahlonega, GA instead of heading to California for the Gold Rush in 1849. Today, over 100 years later, I still hear the catchphrase being used to bring attention to an opportunity where there are riches to be found. Mining for valuable resources still happens today and in the insurance industry, that mining is for data.

Data is the rich and growing renewable resource of the information age. And the good news is you don’t have to head west to find it. There is an enormous amount of valuable data related to your customers, insurers and agents within your management system just waiting to be unearthed. Like mining for gold though, data requires the right set of tools and processes to be extracted and understood. Data analytics applications turn information into visual insights for faster, more informed decision making. Reliance on outdated, manual reporting is no longer sufficient. To survive and thrive in the data-driven digital age, agencies must embrace new approaches that enable them to maximize the value of their data.

“Information is money. The ability to extract the right information at the right time holds an immense value and should be the goal of every executive, manager and employee”

Tomasz Sloniewski, Analyst at IDC

Why Tap the Gold Mine?
“Information is money. The ability to extract the right information at the right time holds an immense value and should be the goal of every executive, manager and employee,” according to Tomasz Sloniewski, Analyst at IDC. In fact, Gartner reports mirror this sentiment and have found that information-centric organizations are 20% more profitable and 110% more valuable than their less analytically driven peers. By becoming data-powered businesses, agencies gain a competitive edge through enhanced decision making, insight discovery and process optimization.

Specifically, data analytics empowers agencies to:

  • Determine how profitable their book of business is
  • Adjust sales practices to improve profits
  • Reduce time wasted on unresponsive policyholders
  • Increase per agent and per customer profitability
  • Maximize overall business profitability

What Kind of Data Can Be Mined?
Although data analytics solutions have traditionally focused on areas of interest to agency principals and owners, these applications have evolved to provide more expansive insights of value to the entire business, including Sales and Accounting departments. With this in mind, consider data analytics to evaluate the following core areas of your business:

  • Book of Business Performance
    Understanding your client data enables your agency to identify upsell and cross-sell opportunities, as well as analyze potential growth and new market opportunities to drive business profitability.
  • Financial Performance
    Analyze the overall performance of your business to ensure you’re on track of reaching your goals and measure year-over-year performance to compare the outcomes of different strategies.
  • Staff Performance
    Your staff keep your business running. It’s important to look at employees’ books of business over time and how quickly they are completing tasks so you can identify any workflow bottlenecks that may impact the growth and profitability of your business.
  • Insurer Partner Performance
    Lastly, it’s important to look at your insurer relationships to see which are the most responsive, providing the best services and driving the most revenue.

Data: The Gold of the Digital Age
It’s hard to imagine analyzing so many metrics when traditional reporting is complex and time-consuming. Data analytics solutions are automated and utilize real-time information to ensure greater productivity and timely decisions. To be competitive in the digital age, processes need to be automated, employees more productive, and decisions made in an instant. With data analytics successfully woven into the fabric of your agency, you position your agency to retain current customers, acquire new customers, streamline operations, increase profitability and remain a viable competitor now and in the years ahead. 

Ready to turn your information into insights? Download the Data Analytics: Turning Information into Insights white paper to learn how to achieve data analytics success.

Brian Wood, Vice President of the Applied Data Products Group, develops innovative and data-driven applications, tools and services for the insurance industry. Prior to this position, he co-founded EvoSure, which was acquired by Applied in Sept 2015. Brian spent 10 years with Marsh & McLennan as Senior Vice President of Strategy and Business Analysis where he developed global insurance distribution platforms. Brian began his career in insurance building the first company to bind insurance online, insuranceOrder.com (a Trilogy company) which was acquired by Marsh & McLennan in 2001.

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