Why Carriers and Producers Need to Modernize Systems and Improve Analytics

Modern Analytics in the Insurance Industry

In the insurance industry, everything centers on risk. But many carriers and producers take a big risk within their own offices by failing to modernize their systems, which would enable them to deploy analytics where their agents, brokers and underwriters need it.

Legacy Systems Create Business Continuity Risk

An ongoing demographic shift in the industry has also created risk. Too many companies create a business continuity risk by depending on legacy systems with little or no documentation.

This appears to be an industry-wide problem. The top two internal challenges reported in the Insurance Nexus Global Trends Map 2017 were a lack of innovation capabilities and working with legacy systems. Insurers and reinsurers surveyed for the report plan to commit money, time and staff to digital innovation and analytics as top priorities. If you don’t follow their example, you may lose the competitive advantage you have.

A visit to too many offices shows how many companies need to make this investment. Some carriers still have hundreds of employees in underwriting and claims working with green screens tied to an AS/400. These green screen, legacy systems lock most of the operational knowledge away in the minds of a few IT and operational people. Tenured IT employees in the industry have the knowledge to run existing systems. But the lack of documentation puts companies at risk when these employees quit or retire.

You can’t afford to fall behind in technology. Eighty-six percent of those surveyed in the 20th PwC Global CEO survey believe it will reshape competition or have a significant impact on the insurance industry over the next 5 years. And failing to adopt modern software will put you behind the “Masters of the Modern Software Factory,” according to a Freeform Dynamics survey of more than 1,200 IT leaders. Those leaders report their profit growth as 70 percent higher and revenue growth that’s 50 percent higher than the mainstream.

Success by Biggest Users of Analytics Shows its Importance

Insurers can improve their bottom line by attracting new clients and improving customer service for existing policyholders through the use of embedded analytics. McKinsey & Company reports that extensive use of analytics makes companies more than twice as likely to generate above-average profits. They’ll increase revenue, retain existing policies and see an increase in profitability in client relationships. Those insurers that support the use of analytics are also almost three times as likely to generate above-average turnover growth, according to the McKinsey & Company survey, as compared to their competitors who sporadically evaluate their data.

A LexisNexis white paper on leveraging real-time data and advanced analytics by insurers details how this allows them to deliver rate quotes while customers are online or on the phone. The insurer cuts the time it takes to give the consumer a rate quote that’s accurate. They can pass the reduced costs on through lower rates, an easier to use system and give those rate quotes in real time. It’s more convenient for the consumer, who gets the quote much faster.

Adapt to Mobile to Meet Millennials’ Expectations

The entire workforce is undergoing transition. Over the next decade, millennials are expected to account for 75% of the world’s workforce and already represent 1 in 3 employees in the U.S., based on data from Bentley University. This points to another risk, which is failing to meet your agents’ and customers’ expectations in a mobile-first world. Everybody expects to do business using smartphones, tablets or other mobile devices. They already use them whenever they want and wherever they go in this increasingly mobile-first world. The millennial generation only knows this mobile-centric existence. That’s what they expect and what they need to thrive in their jobs. But legacy systems cannot support a seamless, omnichannel experience.

Consumers Change Agents’ Roles

While the insurers need to make their own changes, smart agents recognize that consumer needs also have changed. Policyholders want more than a price quote and premium statements. They can handle basic service inquiries like making premium payments on a mobile device. They want more value by having a counselor who educates them on how to control risk. That includes counseling about insurance, its value and their options. So agents need to have different types of conversations with the insured. But those conversations become difficult if agents have limited access to data.

“Businesses should use customer data to create better, personalized brand experiences, rather than just retargeting, or regurgitating information—which can come across as unsettling and intrusive,” according to Jon Mayo, writing in IIR.

Carriers need to put analytics into agent workflows to give them the tools to have these conversations. And they need to empower them to adjust their processes to better anticipate and address customer needs.

How Can You Do This and Modernize Your Analytics?

The ability to access modern insurance core systems through a browser makes the adoption of emerging analytics solutions easier. That’s true for the cloud and on-premise.

To meet industry demands, insurance core systems need the ability to tailor the workflow to different needs. The world is not one size fits all. Agents and policyholders expect the designers of business applications and portals to be more responsive to how they want to get work done. Requiring them to learn workarounds to meet these needs is inefficient.

Self-service analytics is a must for agents. Policyholders won’t wait days, weeks or even a few hours to get the information or coverage they need. Each customer’s circumstances are different, so the questions agents need to answer using data differ in each case. With Izenda’s self-service capabilities embedded into insurance systems and portals, agents have the data they need to provide better service and the freedom to create new reports and dashboards they need. They get the ability to customize existing reports and report templates, which increases the value of analytics.

But making an agent leave the business application to open an analytics solution to find these answers disrupts their work process. Izenda puts analytics into the workflow of agents, brokers and underwriters. Analytics sits at the point of insight when it’s embedded in the core business application.

Not All Embedded Approaches Are the Same

An analytics solution that uses iframes to work with the application can create more problems. Iframes do not seamlessly integrate the experience, so analytics is not inherently part of the application. It’s difficult and inefficient to maintain two UIs. Iframes introduce potential security risks, which are problematic in a regulated industry. The difficulty iframes have supporting a responsive user experience also makes them a poor choice in an omnichannel world where tablets and smartphones are a part of agents’ and policyholders’ daily workflows.

Izenda’s open front-end code base is purpose-built for embedding in other applications. Izenda integrates easily as it takes just three lines of code to embed analytics widgets and pages into an application. With Izenda report and dashboard designers can be personalized to each user role and embedded within the application. This is distinct from other “embedded” solutions that only allow for viewers to be embedded.

Tailor Analytics to Meet Individual Customer and User Needs

Izenda enables a company to tailor their analytics solution to individual customers’ and users’ needs. An administrator can restrict access to only the data, reports and visualizations that fit the user’s role. As an example, a commercial property insurance specialist might get access only to information about those types of policies or their specific customers.

Visual and highly personalized experiences delivered by Izenda’s platform allows users to spot emerging trends from real-time data. It leverages data from multiple systems in a common analytics experience. Usage-based reports allow administrators or data product owners to measure report, dashboard and system usage providing insight for making improvements to the analytics experience.

Empower Change with Powerful Admin UI

Izenda’s administrative UI enables a business analyst to personalize user roles and permissions. The BA can administer the application without the use of code. That includes managing onboarding customers and making any configurations needed to support specific customer, user or tenant needs. A business analyst can manage access to data sources, allowing the company and users to leverage data from multiple systems, a common requirement for insurance companies. The Izenda platform helps knock down the data silos that isolate users from the data.

Wayne Eckerson, founder and principal, Eckerson Group, said Izenda’s “administrative UI empowers business analysts to manage the analytics platform and frees scarce developer time.”

How Mature Are Your Analytics?

Benchmark your reporting and analytics capabilities. Download this guide to assess the stage of your application’s current business intelligence, and the opportunities for moving your analytics capabilities forward. Or, to see what Izenda can do with your data, sign up for a free trial.

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