ILC ARTICLE

MGAs urged to dive into data pool


MGAs are perfectly placed to tap into the tech revolution, but creating a clear digital strategy is the critical first step.

Speaking to delegates at ILC’s MGA Claims Conference 2023, held in association with the MGAA, Wayne Calderbank, Data and Performance Director, CCG, urged MGAs to recognise the opportunities that digital and data present, and then act on them.

He said, “There is a real opportunity for start-up MGAs to move into a tech-driven world. Tech has never been as affordable, agile and accessible as it is now; you don’t need to spend millions on high-tech systems because there are a lot of off-the-shelf solutions that can suit your needs.

“But don’t just dive into tech because you think it’s funky. Think about the problems you want to solve. Do you want to connect better with your customers or your suppliers, do you want to get more insights into claims payments and inflation, or join up certain functions?

“It’s all about strategy, but once you have an idea of what you want to achieve don’t take so long thinking about it that it is already out of date by the time you act.”

Decision

Underpinning every business decision these days is data. More data than ever before is being created that can steer organisations towards better outcomes. But understanding what data is relevant and how to interpret it is a much an art as it is science.

Wayne said, “You can’t live without data, but you can’t make the most of it unless you have good tech to collect that data. And you need to merge that data with human insight, so you can’t afford to have people measuring your data who don’t understand your business. I’ve always been a big advocate of getting claims people to work with data people, or, even better, turning claims people into data people.”

Wealth of data

When it comes to claims, he believes there is a great wealth of free, untapped data that is easy to find if you know where to look. He pointed to the Bank of England to measure interest rates and inflation, and the Office of National Statistics for unemployment figures per sector, which can indicate high labour rates and repair costs. Meanwhile AI solutions such as Chat GPT can help identify fraud characteristics in a claim, while machine learning can help predict outcomes.

Wayne said, “There is a lot of data already out there, it’s just a matter of using it. And don’t just measure what you can measure. Everyone understands expenses and profitability, but how much do we truly know about our indemnity spend? Do we still just work on average settlement costs? That doesn’t give us the whole picture; you need all the integers, and you can get that by collecting good data.”

He concluded, “You have to invest in your data strategy, and the objective is always to simplify: make everything simple to build, develop and understand.”

ILC’s MGA Claims Conference was held at 155 Bishopsgate, London and was supported by Headline Sponsor Claims Consortium Group (CCG); Gold Sponsors: Activate Group, Carpenters Group, EDAM Group, Enterprise, LexisNexis Risk Solutions, Pulse, Value Checkers, and Wiser Academy.

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