The value of big data – how to build the business case

October 2, 2014 SSP Limited

The big data phenomenon is changing the way organisations approach sourcing and analysing data, requiring a new mind-set that is comfortable with handling large quantities of apparently disparate information, analysing and reviewing until trends or insights emerge that inform business decisions.

Data takes various forms – moving away from the typically structured data of old – names, addresses, purchase activity etc – to include much more unstructured data. This includes information such as social media – Facebook or LinkedIn activity – and behavioural activity such as that sourced from devices monitoring driver activity.

To realise the value inherent in this data, organisations need to develop the systems capability to pull together disparate sources of information and handle vast amounts of data, including the ability to combine information held on their numerous existing databases and systems that of course act pretty independently of each other. Modernising legacy systems is a necessary evil to unleash the value held within. This is particularly true of larger incumbent organisations looking to compete against new entrants unhindered by legacy systems. Their key advantage is the wealth of knowledge and information built up over the years.

But the business case for legacy system modernisation is a tough one to get past the Board – unless you look at the benefits from both an internal and external perspective. New systems support efficient processes and administration, and enable improved underwriting capability. But they also enable organisations to improve the customer experience and develop customised, competitive products. Consumers increasingly want organisations to “know them” and talk to them in their preferred way at a time they are open to being contacted. And this is made possible through building data-informed customer understanding. But this requires the systems and processes to realise these benefits. Combine the internal system need with the customer experience need and the Board can see benefits across the business.

SSP have full visibility across the entire general insurance value chain in real-time, and a track record of modernising and integrating numerous legacy systems whilst supporting business continuity on the existing systems as the implementation is undertaken. This 'Enhance and Evolve' approach means the organisation fully controls the implementation schedule, introducing and moving across to different systems in a phased, controlled manner which removes completely the risk of a “big bang” launch. And it can be completed in surprisingly quick time, enabling organisations to realise the considerable benefits arising from the big data phenomenon.

About the Author

SSP Limited

As the leading global supplier of technology systems and software for the insurance industry, our role is to help insurers and brokers operate more efficient businesses. So whether you’re a global insurer or an MGA, a high street broker or a start-up with a smart new idea, we can be trusted to support you on your journey, whatever the destination.

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