Creating a data-driven organization requires making analytics core to every decision insurers make, according to Allstate’s VP of data and analytics strategy, Joe Kleinhenz.

Analytics isn't a strategy in and of itself; rather, “it’s a way to realize strategies”, he told an audience of industry leaders at INN’s Insurance Analytics Symposium in New Orleans last week.

“Analytics help identify problems that need solving quickly,” Kleinhenz explains. “It’s core to the company and everyone plays a role.”

Collected data from sensors, such as wearables and smart home devices, represent a key trend in analytics today, Kleinhenz says—having the power to turn carriers from restorators to protectors.

Other trends include a growing adoption of artificial intelligence in the form of speech recognition and machine learning, larger amounts of startups entering the insurance industry and increased engagement from executives involved in expanding data capabilities.

But the shift to data & analytics is not an easy one, Kleinhenz says. Employees may feel threatened by new technologies; viewing machines as a message that their decision making is flawed, instead of a tool that makes their jobs easier. The end goal is to use analytic capabilities to improve real-time services, especially claims and customer communication, he said.

“We need to view data as most critical asset we have,” says Kleinhenz. “Developing analytics requires building a case for change, laying out your vision and setting goals of how analytics can change how your business operates.”

(This article appears courtesy of our sister publication, Insurance Networking News)

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