Big data is one of the hot topics of the insurance technology landscape, with industry experts discussing the sheer weight of data currently available to help improve business. However, with companies struggling to get to grips with the sheer size and number sources of data available, blending a number of different data sources may prove more useful for those looking to improve customer experience, innovate and drive profitable growth.
The use of a number of data sources can be particularly useful in winning and retaining customers, and of course in cross selling, particularly as providing a seamless customer experience across all channels is becoming more and more important. Consumers may browse for products on the internet via a mobile device and review comparison sites, but they may also want to talk to someone in a call centre or chat online. In order to deliver a consistent experience across all these channels, insurers can use a range of data sources, including customer, risk, pricing and external data, blending them to support decisions in real time.
To price successfully insurers need access to real-time rating data - customer, credit and ID data. Combining this information and making it available through all customer channels will allow for real time flexible pricing, enabling insurers to improve their competitive position, whilst remaining profitable.
Using a blend of data sources can also help grow a business through its use in the underwriting arena. Blending risk data, claims history, credit and fraud data with ID verification within a real time rating engine can assist in writing more profitable business and avoid undesirable risks.
With the gender directive coming into force in December last year, telematics is set to become a major force in the motor insurance sector. The combination of driver behaviour data, analysed through a rating engine can enable drivers to benefit from more competitively priced products and insurers to enjoy decent margins. The fact that data is big and constantly growing is undisputed, but it will be many years before access to the available data can be fully utilised by most organisations limited by legacy technology, complex processes and changing markets.
In the meantime, these examples illustrate that it is possible to drive innovation and growth now - by blending data - without necessarily needing to have the complete big data picture solved.
So, it is not the size but the blend of information that is crucial and there are many other areas where blending the right data will be able to impact business success now.