What are the commonalities between samurai swords and data collection?

A new report outlines how insurers and reinsurers can enjoy valuable lessons

What are the commonalities between samurai swords and data collection?


By Ryan Smith

Insurers and reinsurers can learn valuable lessons about safeguarding their data from an unlikely source – the ancient Japanese art of samurai sword-making.

That’s the assertion of a new report from CyberCube, Crafting the Samurai Sword – A Framework for Advancing Your Data Strategy. The report compares the four-step process used to craft a sword to the process risk carriers should adopt to build, strengthen and leverage their “data lakes.”

“Today, data is one of a risk carrier’s most valuable assets,” said Judy Chow, director of product management for CyberCube and co-author of the report. “But to realise its full potential, data needs to be managed and shaped so it can be used to make intelligent business decisions. As the majority of the cyber insurance market is in the early stages of this journey, businesses will benefit from looking ahead and strategically building that strong digital foundation.”

Chow said that creating a data pool that actually gives a business a competitive advantage was “part science, part art.”

“Because the volume of data is large, companies need to be intentional about the way they’re approaching each step in the data process to achieve the desired business value,” she said. “The process used to make traditional samurai swords is the perfect analogy for what’s required.”

According to the report, four stages are necessary to create a strong set of data assets:

  • Selecting data from a wide range of sources.
  • Cleansing the data using a range of techniques.
  • Combining the data to create new insights.
  • Building applications that use the data to facilitate business decision-making.

“The aim of this report is to share our expertise in the data domain with the insurance community,” said Lewis Guignard, senior manager of data science at CyberCube and report co-author. “The key point is that not all data lakes are created equal. Two businesses can own similar data but achieve very different outcomes. The way in which each business manages its data will have a tremendous influence on the results it achieves.”

The full report is available for download from CyberCube’s website.

Related Stories

Keep up with the latest news and events

Join our mailing list, it’s free!