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3 questions every Chief Data Officer in Insurance must be able to answer

Written by Corinium

3 questions every Chief Data Officer in Insurance must be able to answer

Written by Corinium on Jul 6, 2018 10:45:51 AM

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Anyone in a senior leadership role constantly faces questions. Generally, they are expected to have answers. Part of what Corinium does, is to help execs find these answers. By bringing together communities of those facing the same questions, they are able to learn from each other. Later this month, over 100 data leaders from the Insurance world, will gather in New York City for Chief Data Officer, Insurance. The collective experience of this group will be extremely valuable for each of them, in their efforts to answer the big questions they face.

To get the conversations started early, here are three key questions which I believe all CDOs, CAOs, or other data exec working in Insurance must be able to answer, and which will be tackled at the event.


Question 1: “Do we really need a CDO?”



Given the relative maturity of data and analytics in the Insurance industry compared to other sectors, some may question whether a CDO is really required.  This may seem like a question which would be asked before an appointment is made, but it is also vital that the answer continues to be a resounding ‘Yes!’ following an appointment. As an emerging role, CDOs cannot rely on tradition to protect the function. Instead, in order to  cement their place in the c-suite, CDOs must continue to convince others of the benefits that the role brings, over a more traditional approach. But how can this be achieved? This will be explored at Chief Data Officer, Insurance with a panel of CDOs from XL Catlin, Farmers Insurance, and Hub International sharing there successes in this area.


Question 2: “Are we just jumping on the data bandwagon? Is data just a fad, or can it offer us real value?”



Part of the answer to the first question, must come in the answer to this second one. As we continue our journey through the ‘data revolution’ it is inevitable that some will see talk of anything ‘big data’ as merely a fashion, which will pass by. Indeed, there is a risk of them being right, if we fail to deliver real value through the use of data and analytics. Therefore, the question for CDOs must become one of how this is achieved. We must stop thinking about the 3 V’s, and concentrate on the fourth: value. In order for a cultural shift to occur and for data to be seen as the asset that it is, CDOs must be able to measure and communicate the impact of their data program on the wider business. CDOs from both AIG, and Excellus BCBS will be sharing their insights on this at Chief Data Officer, Insurance, so make sure to join them at the event and together identify how to answer this question.


Question 3: “What’s the difference between data science, and actuarial science?”



A major challenge for data leaders in Insurance, is ensuring that the roles and responsibilities  of data scientists and actuaries are clearly defined, separated, and not blurred. Whilst that is easy to achieve in theory, in practice managing your functions relationship with the actuarial function is of crucial importance. Get this wrong, and not only could it create friction between the departments, but also it could undermine your whole data function, leading to a loss of opportunities for your organization, and potentially falling behind competitors in the industry. In order to support you on this question, Chief Data Officer, Insurance features a panel with data leaders from Gen Re, Cuna Mutual, John Hancock, and XL Catlin, so be sure to take part in the conversation!

Whilst no-one can have an answer to every question they might face, coming together means we can benefit from each other’s experiences; emulating the successes, and avoiding the pitfalls. Join us in New York City on March 29th, and let’s start answering these questions and more!


By James Bowater: 

Later this month, over 100 data leaders

James Bowater is Content Director, Americas for Corinium. James’ focus is delivering content and events for Chief Data Officers. By consulting senior data leaders, he facilitates industry discussion and debate to address the biggest challenges and opportunities currently faced in the data world. James is currently producing events for CDOs in the financial services and insurance industries. For enquiries email: james.bowater@coriniumintelligence.com

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