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The data supply chain putting information into circulation

How to start a journey to ROI by treating your data as a supply chain.

Insurance leaders today view data as among their most valuable assets—some even call it the lifeblood of their organization. Yet few insurance companies have mastered the concepts at the foundation of modern data management—ideas such as the mobility and portability of data, its structure and velocity, and data as a “saleable” product or monetization.

Fewer still are comfortable with these concepts at scale. High performing insurers, however, will embark on a journey to ROI; they will liberate their data, generate value from it, and operationalize insights to drive strategic decisions through the organization.

Key to their success will be managing their data like any core product—in the context of a supply chain. The supply chain begins when data is created, harvested, imported, or combined with other data. The data then moves, flows, and transforms through the supply chain, incrementally acquiring value. The supply chain ends with a valuable insight as its output.

Here’s a plan to start unleashing the true value of your data by treating it as a supply chain:

In 100 days:

  • Begin to develop a comprehensive strategy around laying the foundation for your data supply chain.

  • Ensure you have a data governance framework in place to address data quality, metadata management and master data management.

  • Build an inventory of your data, beginning with your most frequently accessed and time-relevant data.

  • Focus on dark (under-utilized) and unstructured data rather than falling prey to big-data hype. Start looking for external data sources that complement existing data.

In 365 days:

  • Begin the journey to ROI by building a supply chain that is designed to drive outcomes.

  • Begin to simplify and federate access to trusted data.

  • Target a proof of concept (PoC) to execute on a targeted business-function problem and iterate. Repeat many such PoCs over the next year, putting the most successful into production and moving all the while towards industrialization.

  • Investigate opportunities to monetize your data.

There are no shortcuts in the data supply chain. But it is one of the most rewarding journeys that insurance companies can make in their transformation to become truly data-driven.

The process can prepare an insurer to become a digital disrupter by putting data together quickly, logically and at scale to mine it for relevant insights into risk, claims, and customers. Having this type of data supply chain mentality and capability will give the insurer an edge over its competitors.

Read the Accenture Technology Vision 2014 for Insurance

View the Analytics Journey to ROI for Insurers interactive tool