Why insurance analytics needs to go beyond data visualisation

Matthew Robinson
Head of Consulting
April 6, 2021

Data visualisation tools such as PowerBI, Tableau and Datapine are becoming increasingly popular in the insurance industry. However, all too often we hear stories of them failing to deliver value and this is because data visualisation is just one small part of the story when it comes to insurance analytics.

While a data visualisation tool is great for… well, visualising data, they fall down whenever there is a need for granular insight across multiple systems and spreadsheets.

With so much data available to insurers, there is a unique opportunity for the taking. With the right systems, insurers have the ability to make bold business changes thanks to a new-found predictive outlook.

We have explored the short-comings of data visualisation and have laid out some suggestions about how insurers can really make the most of their data.

The pitfalls of insurance analytics data visualisation and how to overcome them

Data is not an IT or technology play

Data, reporting and analytics often sits with the IT team, which is the wrong approach as when it comes to providing granular and actionable insights, technology is a red herring.

The real value comes from sitting down with each user and understanding their requirements from a business strategy aspect before designing an automated architecture that meets these very needs.

Such data is best in the hands of the underwriters; easily accessible on a daily basis, and enabling swift product and portfolio decisions to be made as a result. The GIROUX platform’s simple user experience enables anyone in the team to quickly view and configure key data and dashboard views.

Operational MI isn’t as thorough as performance MI

Data visualisation tools are excellent for single source analysis, such as analysing a spreadsheet or overlayed onto an underwriting system to provide operational MI, such as the number of quotes or premiums sold.

These tools fail when faced with multiple sources of data and are not designed to provide performance MI, which is critical for driving business performance. Underwriting systems themselves, such as Instanda, Duck Creek or Acturis, do offer reporting modules, however, again this is simply Operational MI and don't provide the granular information underwriters need.

The GIROUX platform brings together diverse data sources that make up performance MI, allowing the user to drill deep into the numbers, such as the who, what, why and when to make data-driven decisions.

Granular insight is difficult without a data warehouse

With data often coming from multiple sources it’s almost impossible for individuals to drill deep into the data for transformational insights. The pretty pictures of a data visualisation tool are the easy part, organising the data so a user can follow his train of thought to find answers is the true value of analytics.

A data warehouse allows a user to ‘slice and dice’ in any way they want, while performing analysis across data sets. For example, a user analysing Gross Earned Loss Ratio by Time of Quote would need to access four distinct datasets (Quote, Premium, Claim & Earned Premium), with GIROUX it’s instant.

“Detailed data requests to my team for critical decisions now take 10 minutes instead of 2 weeks” Rob Amati, Managing Director, Millstream Underwriting

Insurance data is notoriously messy and fragmented

It’s no secret that insurance has been guilty of neglecting its data in the past. An overreliance on spreadsheets, coupled with underwriting systems not designed for analytics means countless hours are spent preparing the data.

Data visualisation tools can’t be programmed to extract, cleanse and organise multiple systems data, meaning this process is still completed manually.

GIROUX’s platform overcomes these issues and is able to automatically extract, cleanse and organise data from multiple systems, based on each client’s particular requirements.

With GIROUX, the platform is programmed to cater for all aspects of data preparation as well as the generation of complex underwriting reports, such as Earned Premium, Triangulations and Ultimates.

After deployment of the GIROUX system, our clients often see between a 87-96% reduction in the time spend on data preparation and analysis, shifting valuable time to high-value activities.

The over-reliance on generic data visualisation tools

Using an off-the shelf data visualisation tool can mean a lot of time is spent on configuration and set up. Insurance is a unique area which means many input fields and dashboard views will be bespoke and taking on a generic data visualisation tool can often involve a lot of ‘reinventing the wheel’.

GIROUX’s single focus is on insurance analytics. This means we rapidly start adding value without wasting time or resources to learn about the industry. Insurance data problems are not unique to each client so we already have the expertise to overcome any issues we face.

You could also call GIROUX an insurer’s one-stop shop for all insurance analytics needs. Over and above providing the operational data processing and MI platform our team including data strategy, underwriting, actuarial an data science experts, to cater for our clients every need.

For insurers to become more predictive and gain a thorough understanding of their data, an insurance analytics platform is a must. Having an MI as a service platform such as GIROUX really expands the possibilities of what an insurer can do with their data, as opposed to the restrictive binds of simple data visualisation tools.

Underwriters: save a significant amount of time with our predictive insurance analytics system.

Book a demo to see for yourself how you can save up to 90% of your team's time.

Be more predictive with your insurance analytics

Find out more about the GIROUX platform and how you can attract more capacity, save time and drive profitable growth.

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