Companies are generally valued by the amount of sales they generate, or in the case of
insurance carriers, the amount of premium dollars produced. Insurance, of course, is
unlike most industries because the product carriers sell is not physical; it is a promise
to pay a policyholder’s claim, whether it is for a house damaged by a fire, a life lost, or
an illness treated.
You can keep track of your promises, but what brings value to those pledges—and
what ultimately makes insurance companies successful—is the amount of data they
have collected on their customers and their business partners, and the decisions they
have made in the past based on that data.
Technology changed the way many businesses operate in the 21st century, but
none more so than the insurance industry. The collection of data may not have been
pioneered by insurers, but it has been around for hundreds of years. It has only been in
the last 15 years, though, that companies have been able to unlock the secrets within
that data to understand the purpose behind their decisions regarding the issuance of
This also has created new problems. Criminals were never interested in breaking
into an insurance office and stealing personal data. Today, though, data security is one
of the major fears every insurance carrier faces—both large and small.
The data is there and the tools are there to draw deep information from within, but
the insurance industry has plenty of work to do. For one thing, the amount of data collected is growing at an enormous pace. No one ever thought there could be too much
data, but the truth is business users can easily be overwhelmed by what is available.
It’s not surprising that many business users feel uncomfortable when faced with this
That is where the IT department needs to step up. Business users are crying for value
from the data and technology can bring it to them. Never has there been a more important partnership between the business side and IT than in the area of data analytics.
As Heather Wilson, chief data officer for AIG says in our cover story this month,
technology has been a great friend for those working with data and analytics.
Today’s decisions are made based on what reams of data tell us and even though
we have long since passed the stage of “garbage in, garbage out,” the correct decisions
require our best effort to produce viable and compelling information. ITA
Robert Regis Hyle
Data: The Hard Currency for
Today’s Insurance Carriers
THE MAGAZINE FOR INSURANCE IT & BUSINESS PROFESSIONALS
Editor in Chief
Robert Regis Hyle
Michael P. Voelker
Jason T. Williams
ITA Advisory Board
Tricia S. Blair
Lincoln Financial Group
Millers Mutual Insurance
Judith L. Haddad
Patriot National Inc.
American Family Insurance
Glatfelter Insurance Group
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April2015 // Issue 3 // Vol. 2