Is data quality cool yet?

Ever been the data quality guy or gal at a party? We have. But then, we never set out to impress people at parties.

Cast your mind back to the last time you were at a party and someone asked you what you did for a living. 

You know the scene well – and you probably had something cool to say in response. Something like “insurance executive” or “accountant”, instantly captivating your audience. “Tell me more” they’d say. “How interesting.”

Oh, to have the style and aplomb of an insurance executive or an accountant at a party. But, no, that’s never been our role – we are and always have been the data quality people. And that’s not cool. 

Well, at least it hasn’t been cool for all the time we’ve been doing it, despite our protestations. But maybe, just maybe that is changing. 

That’s because data is under the spotlight like never before. The amount of data being handled, manipulated and acted on by insurance businesses has grown exponentially in recent years, and even more so now we all find ourselves navigating the remote working challenge. 

Changed overnight

Such a rapid and fundamental change to how the market operates represents an operational risk and a new layer of complexity. But the wheels must keep turning. Deals need to be done, business must be underwritten, claims have to be paid. 

And data is at the heart of it all. 

A recent report by the FMSB FICC Markets Standards Board has once again highlighted the critical role of data management in the financial system:

 If markets are to remain stable and trusted, fair and effective, then the rapid growth of new technology and of data science must be balanced with ever more effective governance and control,” the report states. 

And we couldn’t agree more. From simple inefficiencies like duplication of data to more significant mistakes like entering the wrong risk code for a policy, poor quality data can start off small and quickly escalate into something very serious.

The fact is that poor data quality is still hindering too many insurance companies in clearly understanding their underwriting data, operational risks and financial information. 

And that oversight is more critical now due to the fact that we are reliant on all aspects of data transmission and remote working to function as an industry. 

Party poopers

 So is data quality cool? Well, not yet. And to be honest we never set out to impress people at parties. 

But the topic is gaining huge traction due to the enormous challenges we all face. 

And we are committed to being a helpful, supportive and progressive part of the conversation and to driving standards higher in our market. 

By driving data standards, we want to champion a new way of thinking where the quality of data is moved into the centre and is owned by everyone within the business. 

Our goal is to be the thought leader on quality data, sharing content about the benefits of quality data. 

But it doesn’t stop there, we are also committed to lobbying insurance bodies and regulators about data quality and the standards that all insurance companies should follow.

We must work together to drive standards and improvements in the integrity of data used by the insurance industry. If data quality isn’t a topic at the Teams or Zoom board meetings of every insurance organisation in the world right now, it absolutely should be. 

Now, where’s that cheese and pineapple hedgehog?