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BLOG: Business analytics and the new age of insurance

Robert Cummings | June 13, 2013
The emergence of real time technology is changing the way consumers behave and also how insurers connect to them

Robert Cummings
Photo: Robert Cummings

In large part, the insurance business has not changed much. This can be attributed to the fact that the insurance industry has created ways of providing services based on accepted valuations.

But while the established norms made sure that insurers are able to accommodate the needs of its clients while continuously generating revenues, these have somewhat belatedly lessened the ability of providers to come closer to an emerging clientele.

Targetting the young
The new generation of millennials who have become new potential markets are behaving differently to those born before 1990, adapting to new methods of acquiring services as the internet democratised public and personal services.

Starting out as simple information-based websites, companies later integrated customer services and then digital payment methods in their online presence. This has even significantly widened as people took to mobile phones, particularly smartphones with Internet capabilities.

Now, people can access the services they want anytime and anywhere. The Generation Y, as it is widely known, have grown up with the internet, smartphones, and tablet devices. These devices make up people's daily routines, taking information, sharing, and generating buzz among social networks.  

Change in technology use is forcing many service-oriented companies to adapt to information and communications technology to establish new methods of approaching clients and taking up new customers.

Lately, insurance firms have been gradually applying new technologies to get in as close as possible to the young but challenging Generation Y market. In fact, the innovations in technology are making it easier for insurers to offer their services and to interact with their customers who may want to share their own opinions and sentiments about the service or just about anything that would involve the utilisation of insurance.

Analytics is key
Like in many industries where longevity comes alongside operational efficiency and customer relations, analytics has an important part to play in building a company's capabilities.  Technology only provided a platform for better and more comfortable interaction with customers and possible clients of insurance companies.

But the real goldmine here is the information that can be gathered from these interactions. The abundance of information can help insurers understand the market, improving their existing services and even developing new ones. Decision makers in this industry can focus more on long-term development of target market segments that can sustain the needs of an ever changing market.

Indeed, the insurance industry is collecting vast amounts of data so complex that it would be difficult to evaluate, understand, and coalesce with the vision that industry sets for itself. However, the field of expertise in managing big data is not a limited one. The strategy required to manage such huge information is real-time analytics. With huge data being created by millions of people on their desktop or laptop PCs, smartphones, and tablet devices, managing this will be a huge undertaking.


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