Insurance ‘may not be equipped’ for big data

An explosion of information is coming, but the insurance industry in Ireland may not be equipped to take advantage of it, a new survey has revealed.

According to BearingPoint Institute’s latest report on big data and the sector, companies are at risk of being bypassed by so-called “digital natives” such as Google, which are more comfortable and better equipped to take advantage of the opportunities presented by an influx of data on consumers.

Although companies recognise the benefits of big data for their business, the action to back it up on the ground is lagging behind, it says, and insurers cannot afford to respond slowly. There are encouraging signs though that companies are beginning to prepare for it, with 80 per cent of the insurance firms saying big data will have their “maximum attention” by 2018.

The report looks at insurance firms around the world and their readiness for the rapid increase in consumer information. Among the findings of the report, it discovered that only 10 per cent of companies in the sector had a clear strategy in place to use big data and advanced analytics.

Among the reasons identified by the report for the reluctance to adopt big data is an aversion to risk and an unwillingness to fail.

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