How Insurance Companies Can Benefit From Multiple Data Sources

An open data framework for an insurance company, more so than many other industries, relies on the integration of multiple data sources. Unification of online activity, phone transactions, and sundry insurance agent channels are key to track full visitor paths, note key abandonment points, and maintain a complete picture of sales, policy changes, and customer inquiries.
Multiple data sources makes financial sense, too. In a recent survey of CIOs, 83% say that revenue is affected by inaccurate or incomplete data. For insurance companies, this may have an even larger impact. Let’s delve into some of the reasons why this may be the case. 
Online Activity
A world-class online data strategy lays the foundation for everything else. Three main customer touchpoints – those who complete a quote, those who make changes to existing policies and folks who complete the purchase process online – should be the primary strategy drivers. 
Measuring actual sales is an obvious need, but savings realized from sidestepping the more costly phone representative process can be just as important. However, since buying an insurance policy does not directly translate to an actual dollar amount like buying clothing or books, and the amount of money saved from not calling customer service representatives is not readily apparent, these elements are not easily quantified.
Keeping Score
An approximation of customer value can be made by tallying a scorecard for each visitor. This can be done by combining the insurance and data expertise to determine how much each user action is worth and adding each success over the course of a visit. 
In addition, with a little help from the accounting department, it may be possible to establish a points-to-dollars estimation to create a monetary value for each visitor. Plus, a visit in this context does not just mean an online session. The total policy journey is in play, from the Web, to the phone, to local insurance agents.
Success Through Integration
To complete the insurance data picture, disparate sources must be integrated into the whole. Customers must be identified across all channel via a unique key. Each channel must be integrated into a company’s data system of choice in such a way that each customer path can be traced completely, and end users must be able to easily access and visualize these paths in myriad ways. By taking these steps, insurance companies can receive a clearer story of the user journey. 
This is simply a broad outline of a successfully integrated data framework. Before flipping the switch to flawless analysis, much work on strategy, tool selection, expertise across corporate teams, and actual implementation must be done. If done right, however, these efforts will insure a reliable, complete set of data.
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By Jim Glauner
About the Author:

Jim Glauner is a Senior Consultant, Team Lead at Stratigent.

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