Insurance 2.0: Pioneering Analytics in the Industry

Posted by Richard Jacobson

Big data and analytics are sweeping across the insurance industry.From analytics to big data, red-hot technology buzzwords are sweeping across the insurance industry and companies are beginning to realize the significant value of these trends. Progressive insurance organizations are embracing these groundbreaking applications of technology and changing the way the industry does business.

For many insurance organizations, the use of analytics has become a tool allowing them to differentiate themselves, stay ahead of the curve, build their brands, enhance profitability and gain a leg-up in today’s competitive market.

According to IBM’s latest study on big data and analytics, nearly three-quarters of insurance organizations reported that the use of analytics is providing them with a competitive edge. Furthermore, a survey of the Chartered Institute of Loss Adjusters showed that 82 percent of industry professionals believe that organizations that do not take advantage of big data trends will become uncompetitive.

The impact of analytics and big data on the insurance industry is sweeping. Already a vital part of the P/C industry, analytics is now permeating into the Life and Disability and Healthcare industries, and the impact is being felt across job functions including actuarial, claims, underwriting, product development, information technology, marketing and even human resources. Analytics is impacting every aspect of insurance organizations.

As insurers look to harness the competitive advantages and powerful insights that analytics and big data can contribute, the race to find high-quality talent is on. According to The Jacobson Group and Ward Group’s 2014 Semi-Annual U.S. Insurance Labor Outlook Study, for the first time ever, the demand for actuarial talent was surpassed by analytics. Currently, analytics ranks in the top five most in demand job functions, as well as in the top five areas where companies are looking to increase staff throughout the year.

We at Jacobson have seen firsthand the increased demand for analytics talent—across all levels and functional areas—and we don’t expect it to subside anytime soon. Year after year, the U.S. Insurance Labor Outlook Study has seen a 10 percent increase in the number of companies planning to increase their technology related staff across the board. Current forecasts predict that by 2015, 4.4 million IT jobs will be created globally to support big data, with 1.9 million of those jobs occurring within the United States. In addition, worldwide big data spending is expected to more than double from $27 billion to $55 billion in 2016.

Clearly analytics and big data are heavy hitting trends that are here to stay. Forward-thinking insurers stand at the start of the industry’s analytics story and are finding themselves in the exciting position of being pioneers in incorporating this ever-growing field into the day-to-day operations of the insurance field. This is the industry’s chance to embrace the cutting-edge and run with it.