DemystData chief operating officer Michael Gertsch outlined what could be done with big data and asked why we’re not doing it

Only a fraction of the data that is available to the insurance industry is being used, according to the Chief Operating Officer of DemystData.

Michael Gertsch was speaking on ‘Big Data: the big insurance questions’ at the GR Innovation & Insurtech conference in Bermuda today.

He said pricing in the industry is coming down, there are consolidations, there is more capital in the market and more players, meaning companies must be more efficient.

Gertsch said big data can help the insurance industry cope with issues such as risk resolution, portfolio management and pricing accuracy.

It can also help to reduce attrition and increase retention; big data can help in reducing overheads and it can help to give an improved customer experience. “You can become much more consistent in decision-making,” added Gertsch.

There are challenges as well, he said, and data access had to be done in an efficient and structured manner so that people can draw conclusions. He also said that data has to be in real time.

Data science was also a challenge, with Gertsch adding: “It is one thing getting data, but more and more people are saying ‘what am I going to do with the data?’. Data primacy is also a challenge – dealing with the regulations of different countries.

“The big question for the insurance industry is why? Why do we need this, why do we need big data? How does it help us? At the moment, only a fraction of the data that is out there is being used.”