Gauteng Business News

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INSURANCE: Solving the Insurance Data Nightmare


Recent Gauteng Business News

The explosion of data is turning the insurance industry on its head. As volumes of data increase exponentially, insurance companies are facing two dilemmas: how to take advantage of all this data to price better, expand their market and improve the business of underwriting risk and handing claims; and how to archive, manage and store it all.

There is more data and more access to data than there has ever been, and it's growing. In the past, insurance companies have relied on information from policy administration solutions, claims management applications and billing systems, often supplemented by third-party data, such as census data, motor vehicle records (MVRs), and medical reports, to name but a few sources. However, today insurance companies are incorporating data such as credit scoring, social media such as Facebook and Twitter, telematics from in-car data recording devices, and geo-spatial information such as Google maps. Unfortunately, many insurers are drowning in this vast amount of data and struggling to digest it for meaningful insight.

Insurance Companies Adapt to Insuring Company’s Data

“An insurance company's core asset is no longer data gathering, it's their ability to handle and analyse data,” says Gerald Naidoo, CEO of Logikal Consulting. “However, this is impossible without the right tools and the right structure. Databases have grown far larger than anyone could have envisioned, and are filled equally with data that is no longer of any use and data that could provide a competitive edge. Many insurance companies would therefore benefit from paring them down to the essentials and archiving little-used content.”

Insurance regulations and business processes require these companies to maintain large amounts of data. This makes data purging and archiving particularly difficult. However, database systems which have not adopted data archiving face a number of problems, like rising storage costs and lower performance.

"Data is growing at 125 percent a year, yet up to 80 percent of this data remains inactive in production systems where it cripples performance," says Kevin Mani, Managing Executive at Logikal Consulting. “To compound this problem, many insurance companies are in the midst of compliance initiatives that require the retention of more data for longer periods of time, as well as consolidation projects that results in significant data growth.”

The Solix Technologies Enterprise Data Management Suite (EDMS) is therefore being used by a number of insurance companies around the world to solve this data nightmare. The EDMS leverages a common metadata repository to organise, retain, secure and manage the information essential to insurers.

“Solix EDMS is a management system that restores application performance across an enterprise with a unique approach to data archiving. Built to address the most pressing challenges of enterprise data growth, it solves compliance, cost and performance requirements with advanced archiving technology, allowing businesses to classify data, configure and execute archiving and data migration routines and ensure data remains secure at every step of the process, providing complete and streamlined control over all enterprise data,” explains Naidoo.

Solix EDMS – Solving Insurance Data Issues

The foundation of the Solix EDMS is the Enterprise Metadata Manager, which captures metadata from packaged enterprise and custom applications as well as several databases. This enables database administrators to map metadata between applications and define conversion rules used as the basis for policy-based archiving. The mapping construct also ensures that the archived information can still be accessed by the primary application and database. “A central location for metadata provides companies with the necessary foundation to more effectively manage information—especially databases and associated applications—by enabling administrators to establish retention policies and quickly locate content that has been archived and secured,” adds Mani.

In addition, Solix ExAPPS, the world’s first application retirement appliance, provides insurance companies with a solution for their old applications. Many have been reluctant to retire older applications because there is the common perception that, without the original application, data will not be available, but the ExAPPS addresses the need to keep data without the need for the original infrastructure. “The Solix ExAPPS appliance is a cost-effective solution for organisations looking for simple and repeatable application retirement, and is a simple plug-and-play solution that supports the ability to extract data (or any subset of data) and store it in flat files that can be managed and accessed long term,” says Naidoo.

The toolset provided by the Solix solution offers a simple way to reduce costs and secure data, while allowing users to access all data from one screen without headache. The results: improved database efficiency in terms of queries and reports; reduced storage requirements; compliant data retention; and reduced time to backup.

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