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Where to Begin - 4 Ways Agency Principals are Structuring their Analytics Efforts

Posted on September 22, 2016 by Jeremy Guo in Digital Insurer

Big Data efforts

There is no one right answer when it comes to getting started with analytics, but it is possible to get it wrong. The only wrong approach is one that does not take into account how your organization works.

While each organization is different, the research that went into our Big Data Analytics E-book shows that analytics efforts are generally structured in one of these four ways:

Individual business units drive the project

Because individual business units are closest to the data and its potential value, they may be more likely to persevere in reaching their analytics goals. Depending on the degree to which these units are siloed, this may be the most effective way to get the work done.

Business units drive the project with top-level management oversight and support

This approach can help the organization maintain focus on specific business values while avoiding duplication of effort between units. Depending on the company’s structure and its ability to collaborate vertically or horizontally within its org chart, this may require significant time for securing and maintaining buy-in from management.

A blended team drives the project

In this approach, the analytics team includes representatives from different departments and functions. This may make it easier for the team to represent the needs of the organization as a whole, but its productivity will be impacted directly by everyone’s ability to collaborate.

A Center of Excellence (CoE) drives the project

This approach requires the creation of a separate unit charged with working with other teams to identify and support the collection of data and the use of analytics. While having analytics as its sole focus may increase the CoE’s productivity, it still takes time to establish deep and ongoing working relationships between units.

Next Steps…

As the executive at your agency it’s important to remember that you need to support this effort wholeheartedly or it will not succeed. You don’t need to do the work per se, but you do need to reiterate the importance of what the team is trying to accomplish and articulate the long term vision for how data will be used.

TDWI analyst Wayne Eckerson says that in order “to help an analytics initiative succeed, senior executives need to drive an internal emphasis on optimizing business performance through quantitative measurements” and “put the company‘s money where their mouths are by funding and prioritizing analytics projects”

There is a huge difference in reporting on thought, feelings, and opinions vs facts. We’ve all been in a presentation where we’ve been wowed by the presenter’s ability to weave a compelling story from data. This is your job now. Creating a strategy based on data and turning it into a compelling story that drives the business forward and gives your employees a reason to follow you.

The good news is you don’t have to do this alone. We have tons of educational materials available that help agency principals and executives like yourself map out solutions to these complex problems.

If you’re ready to focus on analytics, I would start with our free e-book moving your business forward with data analytics: Strategies and solutions to help companies of all sizes derive big value from big data.

If you’re looking for more information on the topic before you dive into an e-book, here are some other helpful resources you might want to consider:

How Insurers Are Using Big Data to Generate Breakthrough Results

4 Ways Big Data Can Impact Your Bottom Line in a Big Way

Why Is Big Data Such a Big Deal for the Insurance Industry?

4 Types of Analytics Defining the Future of the Insurance Industry

3 Ways Big Data Analytics is Driving Growth and Innovation in Insurance

Getting Started with Data Analytics – 6 Steps to Success for Insurers

And of course, for those really ready to have an in-depth conversation about how you can start using analytics to impact your business decisions, the best option is using the “Contact Vertafore” button below the comments section.  

Jeremy Guo

Jeremy Guo is an account executive at Vertafore focused on arming independent insurance agents with the technology they need to find success in today's technology driven market. Mr. Guo acts as a partner and trusted resource working with agencies to help them determine which solutions will generate the best results for growing personal, commercial, and benefits lines of business.




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