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Life Health > Running Your Business

3 Ways to Use Data Analytics to Drive Growth

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While data dominates headlines and is listed as a CFA Institute trend this year, you may be wondering whether data analysis is relevant to you.

While your day-to-day work may not involve artificial intelligence or data science, the financial and insurance industries stand to benefit from data analytics, even down to the agency level.

By understanding how to best apply data analysis to the information you already have, you can drive growth faster and easier than ever. Here are three key ways to do just that:

1. Needle in a Haystack

Looking for new clients can often feel like trying to find a needle in a very large haystack. An experienced advisor is likely able to take a look at specific data points—income, address, age, etc.—and be able to make a quick assessment of a prospect. This assessment determines whether an investment in time and resources to pursue the prospect is warranted, but there are only so many records we’re able to go through in a day or week.

(Related: Look Who’s Fighting Our Algorithmic Overlords)

Machine learning, the process of training a computer algorithm on data sets, is the automation of this process. By creating an ideal prospect profile and training the algorithm on this data, you can run a program to identify the right individuals in a fraction of the time it takes to do so manually.

2. Getting the Right Message to the Right Person

Similarly, the data you have about customers and prospects can be overwhelming. But that data is the key to personalized messaging. By creating groups within your data set, also called segmentation, you can create and share the right message with that audience.

Segment by age, income, location or occupation. The more data points you’re able to collect, the more you can feed into a machine learning program, creating complex segmentations with the highest return on investment.

3. Know Who You’re Talking To

With so many points of contact today, you may be pursuing a client by phone or email, but they are also engaging with your brand on your website, through social media and through online searches. Wouldn’t it be great if you could make sure that customer is receiving consistent messages across all those interactions? The process of tying interactions to one individual, across many points of contact, is called entity resolution.

Data analysis makes it possible to figure out who is who, creating records and storing them so you can analyze them in the ways previously mentioned. When you are confident about a customer or prospect’s identity, you can see how they interact with your brand, getting a better idea of how to pursue them and which services are the best fit.

As data analytics becomes more common and accessible, agencies will be able to grow alongside data capabilities. By easing some manual processes, providing insight and increasing return on investment, data analytics can create growth for you.

—Read Rebel With a Cause: Lemonade CEO Calls for Radical Change on ThinkAdvisor.

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