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October 04 2013 | Deb Smallwood

Big Data & Analytics are here, and the possibilities for using the data in new ways are changing daily. Even so, this new technology will soon be commonplace. The challenge insurers now face is to begin to look at ways to use the data differently, whether it be to improve processes or to better inform policy. I recently facilitated a discussion at our 2013 SMA Summit: Innovate for Advantage, which focused on Precision-Driven Growth and Profit in underwriting. Joined by Doug Ross, Vice President and Chief Technology Officer of Western & Southern Financial Group, I introduced a new concept in big data & analytics that the NFL is using to analyze the 40 yard dash in recruiting. Not only are they measuring the speed at which an athlete completes the 40 yard dash, but they are now measuring and gathering data on arm movement, rapidity and number of breaths, heart rate, and even foot print patterns.  The rationale behind the NFL’s collection of all this data is to better inform the large investment they will potentially make in an athlete. They want the most information possible before they sign a deal. The same can be said of insurance’s embrace of big data & analytics in their underwriting processing.

The Summit featured many transformation best practices, like the example described by Judy Haddad, EVP and CIO/CTO at Patriot National Insurance Group. At Patriot, she described their transformation success in moving their claims process from 110 steps down to 11 steps. The transformation success resulted from involving every level of employee in the process, making sure everyone understood what changes they were trying to achieve, and including the solution provider in every step of the process. Judy advised that in any transformation, you need champions and cheerleaders along the way to applaud incremental successes.

 Dan Colarusso, Sr. Vice President Insurance Operations and Chief Information Officer for the Cypress Insurance Group, shared a transformation success story of how they were able to automate underwriting and renewals processes. The benefits, besides achieving a significant cost savings (24 month ROI), were that agents now had self-service opportunities. The key to achieving this transformation, Dan explained, was through collaboration and involving all sectors of the business in the change. Collaboration and listening are critical success factors to achieving a large scale transformation, and in the case of Cypress, are elements that have delivered exponential payoffs.

The SMA Summit is a one-of-a-kind event. Where else in the industry can industry leaders from both business and IT gather with their peers and solution providers in an open, honest format and discuss the most pressing issues of the day? This will all be brought to new heights at the 2014 SMA Summit, where the theme will be The Power of Innovation and Transformation.  Save the date – September 15, 2014!

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To learn more, please contact:
Deb Smallwood
Senior Partner
Strategy Meets Action