Don’t attempt to optimise business operations without first getting your data under control

By: Ronny Reppe, 1. July 2021

Data – quality data – is the fuel that improves efficiency, enables compliance and reduces claims for captive insurers. But attempting to apply data analytics without the right digital tools in place will create a time-consuming burden for your team.

How much time does your team spend searching for data and creating reports?

Does your team dread “reporting month”? Do your data analysts set aside weeks in their calendars to get compliance and internal reporting tasks done?

If this sounds familiar, it’s likely that your organisation does not have its data under control. Captives have a great deal of catching-up to do in terms of streamlining data and finding efficiencies through digital transformation.

A 2012 McKinsey Global Institute study found that knowledge workers spend 19% of their time searching for and gathering information, while a 2018 IDC study on data discovery found that data professionals lose 50% of their time every week searching for, governing, preparing, or duplicating data.

With a robust data strategy and an effective digital toolset, timelines for reporting can be dramatically compressed from weeks to minutes.

Wasting time and talent searching for data

Captives are guilty of hiring great people and putting them to work on repetitive tasks. Ask your team how much of their time is spent hunting around for the data needed to answer stakeholder’s questions about the status of policies and claims.

In the long-term, this situation will end up creating a talent problem for captives that are slow to transform. Ambitious candidates will gravitate towards insurers with the tools and automation in place that allow employees to spend their time on more rewarding and value-adding tasks.

Creating a single source of truth for data

Without a central tool, data often has to be gathered from spreadsheets (saved on the company shared drive or on individual team members’ desktops), PDFs located in email attachments, or even from paper reports. Data will also have to be sourced from captives’ stakeholder organisations before a report can be created, creating a confusing overall picture.

The answer is to create a single source of truth for your data; an easy-to-use, central depository that captures data from multiple sources. Having this strong back-end in place – then making sure people use it – will enable several value-adds including:

  • Data visualisation (dashboards)
  • A uniform way of making decisions about which risks to insure
  • Data analytics to enable process optimisation, cost-savings and risk reduction
  • One-click report creation
  • More time for your team to focus on projects and innovations that drive continuous improvement.

Putting your data to work through analytics

Bringing your data under control will allow the team to focus on the business of insurance rather than wasting time on data retrieval and report creation.

But effective digital transformation for captives doesn’t only mean making the creation of reports more efficient. Having data in a centrally accessible, integrated system makes it easier for the captive to get a full picture of the risks, helping your team spot trends and provide advice to stakeholders that will result in better-quality decisions and reduced claims.

The recipe for effective data analytics for captive insurers requires only two ingredients: 1) a robust back-end that captures quality data from multiple sources, and 2) a user-friendly front-end that makes it easy to spot trends and generate reports.

Some would argue for a third ingredient (data analysis skills), but if your front-end dashboards are simple to use and understand, they’ll be a valuable tool for even the least technically-minded decision-makers.

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