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Big data for insurers: Delivering customized employee benefits

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Big data continues to draw a lot of attention, but behind the hype there’s a simple story.

For decades companies have been making business decisions based on transactional data stored in relational databases. Beyond that critical data we now have less structured data like blogs, social media, and email that can provide useful information. Companies are now looking to derive real business value from all data.

Big data is defined as the exponential growth and availability of both structured and unstructured data. However, figuring out what actions to take around big data remains a challenge for most.

When it comes to employee benefits, insurance carriers have access to thousands of interactions, but they are rarely captured and reported, let alone used to direct action. 

With a big data strategy, life insurance carriers can turn a wealth of data into actionable insight, empowering agents and brokers to deliver a highly customized, versatile benefits plan. Insurance companies can review quote data by demographics, group size, zip and postal codes.

They can better understand plans quoted versus plans sold, if they were discounted and by average discount amount. They can also track trends in rate-guarantee periods sold. These are just a few examples of the data available to help make better decisions.

Portals provide a wealth of data that can’t be gathered any other way. Insurance companies with broker portals can mine the activity. If your company allows your brokers to quote through your portal, then you can see activity versus sold cases. You can better understand sales turnaround times and sales cycles.

Insurers with enrollment portals can see patterns in selection of benefits and uptake in worksite and optional benefits.  This data can be used to fine-tune products.

These are just a few examples. Basically, all the data collected can be reviewed and reported on.

With the wealth of data in all formats available to you, what are you doing to leverage big data? Is big data helping you design more effective employee benefits? If not, when will you start using it?

See also:

Big data a big deal? For many U.S. life, P&C insurers, not yet

6 ways big data could bring you down … and what to do about it

8 tech trends that will change how carriers do business

The top 5 concerns of insurance executives today


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