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Insurance Leaders Agree Data Technologies Are Key to Advancement

More than 80 percent of insurance leaders see fragmented customer data as a threat according to a Reltio survey.

Note: TDWI’s editors carefully choose press releases related to the data and analytics industry. We have edited and/or condensed this release to highlight key information but make no claims as to its accuracy.

Reltio, a cloud-native, software-as-a-service (SaaS) data platform, released results of a new report about the role of data management in the insurance industry. The report, “Insurance CIO Mega Trends: Building Effective Digital Strategies in a Transforming Insurance Market,” explores the high-level trends insurance CIOs are focusing on while designing their digital strategies for the near term.

Most notably, the study found nearly half of respondents identified data management -- including integration, quality, and master data management -- as a priority for technological advancements in the short term.

Insurance leaders recognize that digital technologies are key to driving growth and improving customer experiences. Most agree that back-of-the-house technologies will have the most significant impact.

  • Data management will be important to enabling insurance companies’ digital transformations. Nearly half of respondents (43 percent) agree that data management -- including integration, quality, and MDM -- will be among the most important technologies to their digital transformations over the next three years. This will be foundational to big data analytics, which over half (53 percent) of respondents agreed would be important to their digital transformations.
  • Almost two-thirds (62 percent) say big data analytics will have a significant impact on the insurance industry as a whole -- a larger share than those who agreed cloud computing and storage (57 percent), Internet of Things and telematics (55 percent), or artificial intelligence and machine learning (54 percent) would have a significant impact. Over half (53 percent) said data management (inclusive of data integration, quality, and MDM) will have a significant impact, outpacing emerging technologies such as virtual assistants and chatbots (46 percent), blockchain technology (38 percent), and drones and robotics (15 percent).

Insurance companies need to make sure that their data is clean, timely, and accessible so it can be used to fuel daily operations and make better decisions. 

  • Most (82 percent) respondents say fragmented and siloed customer data poses a challenge when attempting to deliver seamless customer experiences. 
  • Nearly one-third of all executives surveyed identified increasing data complexity or competing against disruptors such as InsureTech startups (31 percent each) as the top technology challenges facing the insurance industry today.
  • Most of the respondents (55 percent) say their data management operation has room for improvement. They manage their data effectively but still contend with some data silos. 

Respondents recognize the importance of customer experience but admit there’s work to be done to create a solid data foundation for these experiences. 

  • Most respondents rate their ability to leverage customer data to fuel new digital customer experiences as good (58 percent) or exceptional (25 percent). Even so, fewer than half (47 percent) plan to launch new digital customer experiences in the next 12 months.
  • When asked to identify two of their top goals for improving customer experiences in the next 12 months, nearly half (44 percent) claim they will offer a personalized, contextual experience on every channel. Over one-third (37 percent) will gain visibility into the end-to-end customer journey.
  • Over one-third (36 percent) of participants claimed they will enable intelligence automation for personalized marketing; nearly one third (32 percent) will increase self-service options for policy changes, first notice of loss or claim status.

As insurance companies strive to become digital leaders, the respondents pointed to three key areas to succeed: 

  • Mitigate data management challenges. Insurance companies seek solutions to defragment customer data, break down silos, and gain more visibility into their overarching pools of enterprise data. Although many respondents believe a customer data platform is useful for marketing purposes, many say an MDM is a better solution for end-to-end organizational visibility.
  • Analyze and predict market trends. Companies turn to data and analytics to gain insights into the insurance market and customers’ needs. They can then combine those insights with their internal analytics to identify areas for innovation and operational improvements.
  • Use data and analytics to improve customer experiences. Insurance companies use the insights gained from marketing and customer data to deliver new digital customer experiences and operational excellence. They deploy self-service capabilities for their customers and increase automation in the claims process, where appropriate, to speed up claims and deliver faster results for customers.

Conducted earlier this year, the Insurance CIO Mega Trends report surveyed 100 leaders from insurance companies across North America with a majority (67 percent) of respondents coming from organizations with over $1 billion in revenue. Most respondents occupy a role in information technology and data management within the insurance field. The report is based on a survey conducted by WBR Insights of 100 technology leaders from insurance companies across the U.S. and Canada. Over one-quarter of the respondents (29 percent) are C-level executives, and most of the respondents (64 percent) occupy a role in information technology.

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