Panellists at the Economists Insurance Summit explores both challenges and benefits to Big Data

Insurers, brokers and risk managers were encouraged to invest in Big Data, during a panel debate at The Economists Insurance Summit last week, which explored both the potential and logistics of extrapolating value from large data sets.

The panel comprised Errol Gardner EY enterprise intelligence and analytics leader and partner (Europe Middle East India and Africa), Stephen Lathrope managing director of IT solutions provider to insurance companies, SSP, and Jerry Toher, CEO Royal London Group.

The panel focused on challenges in both collating  and utilising Big Data.

Gardner said: “You could spend a lot of time looking at information, getting new data and not extrapolating any value from it. What is  critical is that, as an industry, we must look for the value and the significant opportunities out there.”

Lathrope agreed and added that the best way of unlocking potential is to learn from others in the industry.

Lathrope said: “[Big Data] isn’t only about insurance companies, it’s about [the industry as a whole] –  the brokers, loss adjusters and customers.

“There are some great examples of what the insurance industry has done  but it’s also an area where our customers may expect us to get there quicker.”

“Toher provided an example of how his company has used Big Data to offer value to its customers.

He said: “One of the interesting things that we’ve done recently was a latitudinal survey of our customer using a number of data sources and metrics.

 “We also surveyed  our management population and found   a polarisation between the types of people we are and the types of attitudes we see among our customer base.”

Toher concluded that the findings of the survey indicated a need for management to change its approach to one that better matches its customer’s attitudes.