Poor data quality hampers insurers’ CX innovation, despite AI, analytics remaining top business priorities – FST Live Poll

Inconsistent data quality remains a persistent bugbear for the insurance industry, hampering insurers’ longstanding push to personalise digital services and create more holistic and omnichannel-ready customer profiles, delegates at the Future of Insurance event revealed.
 

More than 440 senior executives and technology managers from across the insurance and wider financial services sector were polled during last Thursday’s Insurance conference, with delegates revealing persistent challenges connecting data assets with customer personalisation and propensity modelling initiatives.  
 
Overwhelmingly, two out of three polled delegates saw the expansion of data and AI capabilities as the biggest technology growth opportunity for the sector – more than triple the number those seeking to expand open API platforms (20 per cent), ranked as the second-highest priority. 
 
As the fuel that powers analytics and AI engines of the digital industries, improving data quality unsurprisingly stood out as a major priority for insurers. The increasing push to integrate external data from Open APIs (an emerging priority for financial services companies with third party relationships) will also add to the quality burden facing insurers, a concern they will no doubt need to reconcile. 
 
Delegates voiced concerns not only around the quality of their data assets (31 per cent) but also their businesses' ability to leverage data through their existing processes (also 31 per cent).  
 
A considerable majority (56 per cent) of those polled recognised the ‘single customer view’ (the ability to collect and present concordant customer data uniformly across all interaction platforms) as insurers’ greatest customer-facing challenge. Curiously, just 8 per cent felt "challenged" offering customers more transparency around the use of their data and potential breach incidents (certainly promising news for regulators currently pushing for greater access and publishing rights to insurance data).  
 
Of particular note, less than one in five polled delegates said their inability to access relevant data was their biggest barrier to generating actionable insights. Thus, it appears that while most organisations have a surfeit of potentially valuable data readily available to them, they lack the resources to effectively sift through and qualify usable data, presenting a clear, unmet demand for data science professionals within insurance – a concern shared across the financial services industry.  
 
Again, inconsistent data quality continues to hamper ‘single customer view’ initiatives and was, unsurprisingly, revealed as a clear priority for insures; however, progressive consolidation of backend technology and digital platforms, as well as the increasing deployment of cloud, will also prove crucial in advancing this goal. 
 
Insurers ultimately see two clear priorities for their data as a driver of CX innovation: firstly, the ability to hyper-personalise and differentiate product and service offerings (ranked by a plurality – 40 per cent – of polled delegates as the top priority); and, secondly, the ability to maximise KYC and engagement processes (33 per cent). 
 
FST’s annual Future of Insurance conference was held on 5 March 2020 at the Hilton, Sydney.