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The four key steps to data democratisation 

KEYLANE July 12, 2022

The process of data democratisation is not something that can be achieved overnight, but with a clear plan of action, any insurance organisation can achieve full data democratisation sooner rather than later. In this blog we will detail the four key steps that insurance companies should take in order to realise the full potential of data democratisation. 

Step One: Research 

The first step is of course research. Start by creating lists of where data is stored within your organisation. Just as importantly, in which formats is your data stored, and how can the various data and data repositories be accessed? Alongside these lists, be sure to note how the various data is currently consumed. 

By creating this initial overview, you will have a strong starting point and a good indication as to how to improve the access and use of your data. Furthermore, this initial research generates input that will help you better anticipate challenges that could arise in the near future. For example, when trying to connect or integrate the different places where the data is stored. 

Step Two: Refine Your Strategy 

It is vital to have a clear strategy on how you can combine your existing data, such that it can be leveraged for the most effective and optimal outcome. This could be, for example, building a single, central data repository that contains all of the data scattered across your company in various repositories, or building dashboards with the functionality to collect the data for you. Whatever your preferred approach, either of these strategies will provide vital input for how and when to make data decisions further down the road. 

Step Three: Planning & Development 

With the basics as outlined in step one and two now in place, it is time to start planning and developing. It is at this stage that insurers should hone in on and understand the goals and hoped for outcomes of the end user experience. It is also important to parse the data into a format that is easy to digest by all relevant employees and/or outside parties, where applicable. When moving towards a more data-driven business, always clearly define what kind of automation is required for the optimal operation of your organisation. This of course requires close collaboration between management, IT, the data team and any applicable outside vendors or third parties. Having the right data available is vital, but so to is knowing when that data needs to be available.  

Step Four: Cultural Adaptation 

The final step towards true data democratisation lies in cultural adaptation. If the end user does not know how to use the data, it doesn’t matter how much data you have, because it won’t be used effectively and efficiently to make a measurable difference to your operations. It is therefore extremely important to identify people across the organisation that are able to guide further development, and equally important to ensure they update and educate their team on how to best leverage the data. Here, it is key to first focus on the cases that will likely have the highest return of investment, as this will generate enthusiasm and interest in further developments and yield the quickest positive results. 

Data is Everything 

… and everything is data. Now more so than ever, the long term success of insurers lies in the ability to democratise data in such a way that it can be understood and used by all within your organisation in a way that drives better experiences for end users and delivers increased control and clarity for your entire business. Data management and data-use is no longer the purview of an elite class of analysts and specialists. 

The future of data lies in all our hands, and the key challenge of today is to enable us all to use it.