Insurance is a data-rich industry. Many insurers are overloaded with data, but the trick is to turn that data into insightful information for better decision-making. The uncertainty of the current economic climate underscores the need to collect, transform and analyze data to help better manage growth, costs and risks throughout the organization. Business intelligence is the secret to success for a growing number of insurance executives. Consider the wide-ranging of areas of focus for business intelligence programs:

Turning data into business intelligence is not a matter of whether you have a data quality problem, but more the size of your data quality problem. It is not uncommon for insurers to have multiple sources storing identical information, such as customer account data. It also is not uncommon for individual users of systems to use available fields for other than their intended purpose, causing the data extracted from these systems to be suspect. To ensure a successful implementation of business intelligence programs, insurers must thoroughly analyze and cleanse the data. One of the biggest challenges is the siloed nature of systems using a wide range of technologies that were, in many cases, obtained through acquisitions. This makes it difficult to garner all the data required to have a good understanding of products, customers, vendors, etc. Insurers need to implement a master data management (MDM) strategy that outlines how data will be integrated throughout the organization, along with data governance policies and processes that help ensure data quality and consistency. Both MDM and data governance are crucial to any business intelligence strategy.

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