ILC Rising Star: Rachel Cheyne, Meteorological Data Analyst, WeatherNet

Tell us about your role. What do you do, and what do you find most interesting about it?

I work as a Meteorological Data Analyst for WeatherNet, which is part of Claims Consortium Group. My job focuses on taking weather data from weather stations and remotely sensed sources and turning it into bespoke insights for insurance processes. This makes things like forecasting, mitigation and preparation much easier for our clients. I love that the business and my role are both really dynamic, so no day is ever quite the same. I get a lot of satisfaction in being involved with the entire process from start to finish – from initial discussions with a client to understand their needs, developing a bespoke solution and then deployment and obtaining feedback to tweak and enhance our service.

What has been your proudest professional achievement, and why? 

This actually happened quite recently; it was gaining recognition only 18 months into my career when I was invited to speak on a panel at the recent ILC Environmental Conference. The panel’s topic was Data and Information; my fellow speakers were Laura Lazarus from AVIVA and Michael Porter from Core Logic. It was my first time speaking at an event like that, so I am really proud to have been included alongside such a great line-up, and I really enjoyed the day!   

How do you see your role changing in the next 5-10 years?

With a deepened understanding of the insurance industry, I will be able to identify more opportunities for increased efficiency for clients through data insights. I want to focus on harnessing technology to automate some of the models we use to produce the data. This will allow us to be more efficient with real-time updates and will eventually lead to AI integration for modelling. All of this will allow us to get the most accurate information to our clients quicker.

What do you see as the industry’s greatest strength and its greatest weakness? 

I actually think that these are intrinsically linked. I think our biggest strength lies in what we can achieve through collaboration and the willingness to do so in some areas to improve both customer service and sustainability. However, our biggest weaknesses are probably some of the barriers that prevent us from doing this faster. The industry’s inertia makes sharing, even non-personal, data difficult. Through better collaboration, we could more effectively mitigate some of the risks around surge events through the communication of forecasts and provide more bespoke insights. This not only helps customers avoid damage but reduces the required resources and materials for repairs following a storm so resources can be used for vulnerable customers.   

What does job satisfaction look like to you?

I am really driven by challenging myself and putting myself out of my comfort zone to learn and develop in new and different ways. I am always moving my benchmarks to increase my confidence and my experience in different ways. I also get a huge amount of satisfaction from seeing the impact of the data I have shared with a client and how it was able to solve a problem or save them money, whether that be by shortening the claim journey or by predicting a surge in advance.  


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