What Is Business Intelligence for Insurance?

C. Mitchell
C. Mitchell
Woman doing a handstand with a computer
Woman doing a handstand with a computer

Business intelligence for insurance is an approach to information technology that allows insurance companies to streamline, uniformly process, and comprehensively access a range of data points. The insurance industry is, in many respects, dependent on details. Deductibles, fees, and rate amounts are all set in reference to historical facts, market trends, and actuarial calculations, among other things. As technology has developed, this information is increasingly stored on computer databases or is accessible online. Business intelligence programs help to keep data, no matter where it is located, up-to-date and readily accessible so that nothing is overlooked.

There is no simple definition for business intelligence, or “BI,” as it is commonly abbreviated. In broad terms, it is a calculated intersection of software and computer technology in order to manage data in a corporate setting. Sometimes BI is used to make employees more efficient, particularly when it comes to data sharing and accessibility. Other times, it is a means of warehousing data, or actively combining and updating information from multiple places in real time.

In an insurance setting, business intelligence is most often used as a means of information delivery. Insurance companies are commonly large corporations with multiple divisions in many different places. A single corporate office sets rates and develops data-sharing policies, but this office may not see the complete picture. Business intelligence for insurance may provide a remedy.

Business intelligence for insurance allows companies to easily access data points on anything from market trends and competitor offers to individual customer histories. Data streamlining provides a relatively easy way for employees, representatives, and executives to cross-check facts and figures. In a basic sense, insurance intelligence is a way for companies to ensure that they are seeing everything that is happening.

Accessibility and clear presentation are often the highest priorities of any BI solution. Analysts will evaluate all of the insurance data that a company has, meet with executives to determine the company’s main goals, and then design a technological structure that will enable the company’s data to be clarified, condensed, and easily searchable, as required. Analyzing insurance data is usually a matter of both locating the data and determining how it should be reformatted or restructured for maximum efficiency.

Different companies have different overarching goals for insurance BI, but customer service and competitive advantage usually factor into each BI plan somewhere. Insurance, perhaps more than many other fields, is uniquely consumer-driven. There are many different kinds of insurance policies and the market is virtually limitless. Attracting customers is usually easy, but keeping them, particularly in a market saturated with other options, can be something of a challenge.

Customer outreach can also be affected by business intelligence for insurance. BI solutions can connect customers with insurance company social networking sites, and can allow them to interact in real time over the Internet with an insurance company representative. In this way, business intelligence for insurance works as much with connecting the outside to the inside as it does with arranging the pieces that make up that inside in the first place.

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