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Insurance firms failing to take advantage of big data


Katie Slattery 2 minute read Data quality

Big data is becoming an increasingly important tool for many business organisations but new research by IBM has found that a large number of insurance companies are failing to take advantage of it.

A study carried out by Vanson Bourne, commissioned by Big Blue, revealed that 84 per cent of the 50 senior IT decision makers within the UK insurance companies queried said that they did not integrate customer data into a single database.

This highlighted that the sector could be falling behind other major corporations when it comes to efficiently analysing their data to find better ways in which they could target their current customer base.

Speaking to Engineering and Technology Magazine, Danny Lee, from IBM Software Group, explained that insurance firms should be doing more to embrace big data. He said that in an industry where the personalisation of services is becoming an increasingly vital cog in their operations, failing to create a single view of each customer could become a significant problem. There is the potential for them to also to fall behind their competitors that are able to offer this service.

The survey found that only 16 per cent of insurance firms integrate customer data across their IT systems into one database, while 38 per cent said that they did not undertake any form of integration and left their various sectors to their own database.

Mr Lee told the news provider: "The customers are demanding that companies really know them personally and it’s very much driven by the retail organisations. I think we have a lot to learn from the retail organisations, especially the ones driving online retail. I actually had senior executives from insurance organisations say their inspiration is to be similar to”

Big data has been on the agenda for many industries in the UK and the agricultural sector has become the latest to join the "revolution". The government recently unveiled a programme in partnership with the Technology Strategy Board which will see £60 million invested to launch the Centre for Agricultural Innovation which will put big data at the forefront of its operations.