While digital transformation has generated vast amounts of insurance-related data, the ability to deliver added customer value and improved customer service requires investment in the right technology to access, analyze and streamline this information.
The first step is data integration and automation, and companies are investing billions in this area. The market for global data integration is predicted to rise to $17.1 billion by 2026, according to Global Industry Analysts Inc. But data automation takes more than integrating troves of information. Insurers must use the data effectively to automate operational processes such as customer relationship management integration, claims processing and risk assessment. This is the next big challenge facing insurance companies.
Insurance companies that want to be competitive will distinguish themselves by leveraging data-driven capabilities to improve the customer experience and streamline business operations. Although data is generated daily at an incrementally high rate, much of it is sitting in siloed systems, making it difficult to access for automation and analytical purposes. Here are four ways to operationalize data to maximize return on investment.
Get the right data to the right person at the right time.
Most insurance organizations have data in a multitude of formats – structured and unstructured – including spreadsheets, documents, databases, log files, videos, images and text. All the diverse data sources have their own connectivity issues. As a result, rather than gaining a holistic 360-degree view of their customers, decisions are made from a partial perspective, dependent on which system is being used. The challenge facing the industry is to consolidate data so that the right data can be accessed by the right person, at the right time.
In order to move to a world where data is effectively operationalized, insurance companies must adopt integration solutions that give them the ability to break down silos and bring together data from disparate sources. This enables companies to gather insights from the data for the purpose of deeper business analysis.
2. Leverage data to improve customer service.
Across all industries, especially insurance, customers have grown to expect high quality online experiences. Yet more than 90% of consumers think that companies “could do better” when it comes to customer service, according to WYZOWL, an advertising & marketing,business services, and research company. Leading insurance companies are increasingly differentiated on how they use data as a core asset to drive customer centricity and encourage better business strategies. This requires an immediate and consolidated view of the customer data.
The key is to implement a hybrid integration solution that allows companies to aggregate and synthesize structured and unstructured data before loading it into a CRM, or a customer portal, where the data can be fully used. The consolidated data frames a story about each customer and gives insurers a better understanding into what each customer wants, how they will react, what their pressure points are, and what they may need right now.
3. Modernize legacy systems.
Over the years, insurers amassed mountains of data that has been stored on rapidly aging applications. Insurance companies are extremely reliant on these dated systems that have limited functionality, usability and deeply fragmented connectivity. Many legacy systems did not anticipate the broader scope of how their data would be used. Integrating the data from these legacy systems to modern external platforms is difficult. In some cases, networks and firewalls were not designed to enable the movement of large amounts of data. IT security policies can be additional barriers to collecting and organizing large amounts of operational data.
Hybrid integration solutions that modernize operations and transform business through modernizing data and analytics, give insurance companies the power to predict and manage risk, accelerate customer acquisition and provide data insights. Ultimately, companies that leverage data-driven capabilities and analytics to streamline business operations and drive retention will provide better customer experiences.
4. Improve data literacy.
Collecting data isn’t the same as understanding it. Insurance companies must improve their employees' skills in order to improve data literacy. By making organizational changes to improve data literacy, insurers can speed up data analysis and digital transformation initiatives across the enterprise. Bernard Marr, strategic business and technology advisor said, “The more empowered employees are to read, write, analyze and understand data, the more they will be able to take advantage of the benefits that data offers.”
Insurance companies must keep this in mind when deploying a digital transformation strategy. The goal is to encourage innovation throughout the enterprise by investing in the right technology, as well as investing in the right people by improving their data literacy.
The insurance industry will undoubtedly face challenges when attempting to optimize data in order to maximize ROI, but these challenges can be easily and expertly addressed by partnering with a hybrid integration solution.
Hybrid integration solutions have the ability to answers all of your most intricate data requirements ensuring that your data is gathered from all your disparate sources and that analysis is always as complete as possible. Hybrid integration platforms can help you get the right data, to the right person, at the right time giving you the ability to work with your data as you see fit, in multiple ways, leading to the most high-quality, actionable insights.
Jamie Peers is vice president of business development and alliances for Synatic. He may be contacted at [email protected].