Big data: more rhetoric than reality?

Big data: more rhetoric than reality?

Big data: more rhetoric than reality?

Big data has been a buzzword for the insurance industry for several years now but one industry leader has called for simplification in the collection and use of data to help both the industry and clients.

Robert Kelly, managing director and CEO of Steadfast, said that a key trend in the general insurance market is how businesses can simplify the data collection process and then share data with a range of insurers to gain a view of the market for clients.

“Big data has existed for a long time, and the fact is that it’s more rhetoric than reality.  If we could actually start to use the databases that we’ve all built up over many years, with the application of big data, we may be able to simplify the processes of the insurer and the insured doing business together through an intermediary,” Kelly told Insurance Business.

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For Kelly, this means breaking down some fairly defined paradigms about how businesses gather material facts and how they decide whether they do or do not want to write business.

Kelly noted that better use and collection of big data will help the industry drive down insurance premiums.

Noting that purchasing insurance through an intermediary channel can be expensive, Kelly said that, by utilising big data, efficiencies can be found and processes reduced, which would see customers benefit.

The Actuaries Institute agreed with this assessment in its green paper published on the issue in November last year. The report found that those in the insurance industry that do not stay up-to-date with the use and collection of big data could face being left behind by the competition.


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