Not all data is created equal

Understanding and leveraging data was the overarching theme of the Home and Property Claims Conference, which took place at the CBS Arena, Coventry in November.

Headline sponsored by WeatherNet along with Gold Sponsors Catalyst, Davies Group, Perfect Group, Rainbow International and Rhodar Homeworks and Silver Sponsors A3 Accommodation Connect, A3 Relocations Solutions, LexisNexis Risk Solutions, Polygon, QuestGates and SD Sealants, the event considered data from three core perspectives: what data is available; how can it best be exploited; and how can it be harnessed to reduce environmental impact.

The morning session considered the range of data now being produced and how the industry can work together to identify and harness the information that is of real value.


Taking the stage first was Darren Rudd, Head of Business and Technology, UK Insurance, Vice President of CGI. His session, titled, ‘What Problems are we Trying to Solve’, began by identifying three common mistakes businesses make when considering how technology can add value:

  • Focusing on the wrong problem
  • Solving the problem for the wrong person
  • Starting with the solution instead of the problem

He urged businesses to consider the solutions they are implementing from three perspectives – desirability, feasibility, viability – and ensure their approach meets all three criteria.

“Will everyone’s life be better once we solve the problem with the approach we are taking?” he asked. “Do we really understand the business benefit of the problem we are solving, and does the solution or data we are considering solve the whole problem or just part of the problem?”

He was joined on stage by panellists Paul Sowden, Strategic Account Manager, ICEYE; Matt Scott, Co-Founder, Insurance DataLab; Jeff Manricks, Sales Director, Shift Technology; Rachel Cheyne, Meteorological Data Analyst, WeatherNet UK; and Will Sherwin, Senior Category Head, Procurement and Supply Chain, Household & Property, DLG.


They discussed the sheer volume of data now being generated by an increasingly digital industry, but pointed out that not all data is equal and harvesting the information that is relevant to your business is the first challenge.

Jeff said, “The amount of data in insurance in huge so the opportunity is endless, but 60% of it is only touched once. So the key is understanding the data you have and what value it has, and then enriching it to identify the relevant aspects.”

He said that more important than simply gathering data is developing the ability to process it quickly to inform decisions in real-time. This, he explained, can result in significant benefits around pricing, risk management and fraud detection – not to mention improved customer service.


However, the true value of data can only really be unlocked if it is approached in a collaborative way across the industry and throughout the supply chain.

This does require a substantial shift in mindset, but Rachel believes it is starting to happen.

She said, “Data is only as useful as the insights you produce, and the more data that is shared the better the AI modelling can be. People are starting to appreciate this. There has been some reluctance, but once they realise the benefits are mutual it becomes easier.”

Hosting the event was Alan Soutar, Chairman, ILC Home and Property, who summed up the challenge succinctly, “Data has to make the customer’s job easier, settle claims quicker, be more cost-effective and look after reducing our environmental impact.”

ILC’s Home and Property division is backed by Corporate Partners: Carpenters Group, Claims Consortium Group, CoreLogic, ICAB, Innovation Group, and Sedgwick.


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