Challenges of the insurance industry, jointly approached with Business Intelligence
// by Matthias Rensing
Data & Analytics
noventum consulting and dibera to be working together professionally in the future
The dibera consulting company, a subsidiary of the LVM insurance company, and noventum consulting have made plans for a consulting partnership for the insurance industry. dibera, which is established in the insurance sector, as well as noventum consulting with its technical and strategic BI consulting approach, want to jointly put their expertise to use in future projects. Uwe Rotermund, managing director of noventum, and Thomas Koschlig, managing director of dibera, emphasised at a meeting the good fit of both companies. Thorsten Schmidt, who has technical responsibility for BI consulting at noventum, is happy about how well the companies complement each other. „At noventum, to date, we have successfully completed very sophisticated and large BI projects. With the intimate insurance know-how of dibera, we are jointly the ideal consultants for the insurance industry.”
Thomas Koschlig, since 1995 managing director of dibera, is talking in a novum interview about the current issues the insurance industry is faced with and in light of which noventum and dibera want to cooperate in the future.
novum: Mr. Koschlig, could you tell us about your company in a few words?
Koschlig: The dibera consulting company is a subsidiary of LVM. Our know-how is the LVM know-how. This is not limited to IT, but has its main driver here. dibera is working 80 % for the free market, novum: Are your customers primarily located in the insurance sector?
Koschlig: That‘s what it used to be like. But we have developed very specialised expertise through specific projects with which we then were able to increasingly become active „outside the industry“, too. In general, our specialisation in the BI context has afforded us broad access to a variety of industries. The nice thing about it is that we can always provide practical proof with the lived practice of LVM in the background. What‘s working well here can also effect good things this way or in modified form at other places.
novum: So, your „Best practice“ can always be experienced directly on-site at LVM?
Koschlig: Yes, and that also a gain for the employees of LVM. To show what one has created and how it works, and time and again conducting exciting discussions with interested customers.
novum: That presupposes a great deal of openness, of course?
Koschlig: Yes, and that is the business culture lived at LVM! We are constantly involved in a self-critical exchange with others. „Improving jointly,“ that‘s how the attitude could be summarised as a term.
What‘s moving the insurance industry
novum: What specifically is moving the insurance industry these days? Let‘s take the Code of Conduct. Here, the insurance industry appears to be quite proactive and to be approaching a topic without external pressure.
Koschlig: With the Code of Conduct that was created by the General Association of the German Insurance Industry (GDV - Gesamtverband der Deutschen Versicherungswirtschaft), the insurance companies have become active in a field which is also more and more being scrutinised by the legislature. It is about „properly“ acting in the interest of all parties involved in compliance with the rules.
novum: Which questions is this about, specifically?
Koschlig: It starts with the question of appropriate product offers and ranges all the way to the behaviour of the mediator on-site.
novum: Which share does IT have in the implementation of a Code of Conduct?
Koschlig: If you want to ensure that the sale of insurance products is solely taking place on the defined path, all steps must be mapped clearly in IT, reproducibly and transparently. With an online system such as that of LVM, this can be done relatively well; offline systems cannot be controlled as strictly.
Solvency II: Expenditure or opportunity?
novum: Another topic is Solvency II. What does Solvency II bring for the insurance industry?
Koschlig: The legislature demands more and more proof of commercially adequate action. Preventatively, we are accompanied by auditors, and then there is the German Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin - Bundesanstalt für Finanzdienstleistungsaufsicht). Until a few years ago, insurance companies often did not have a dedicated risk management and did not have a compliance department; that‘s quite different today! One may consider this development to be an expenditure or you can welcome it as an opportunity to improve.
novum: What has improved?
Koschlig: Today, I can, with the database that we maintain – and thus we are back to IT – all the way down to the individual case also ask historically: which data and which calculations do have an impact on strategic indicators? How was the calculation performed and how precise was the data base, and has everything been carried out audit-proof and properly? If you are still carrying out your calculation with Excel today, you will have a problem soon. A historically valid view is not possible with it. And time is running out: on January 1st, 2016, we must deliver, because then the new Supervision of Insurance Companies Law is taking effect Europe-wide!
Operational systems and data warehouses will grow together
novum: Where do you see the biggest challenge?
Koschlig: Too few are asking themselves the question where the data is even supposed to be coming from in order to be able to implement such sophisticated reporting. From an IT point of view, we are dealing with a BI topic of the purest calibre. We are entering the topic of „Big Data“, we are talking of many millions of data records and their processing.
novum: Is this new for insurance companies?
Koschlig: Yes, other than - for instance - in the telco industry, the processing of mass data is actually not the natural field of activity of insurance companies. From an IT engineering point of view, this means for us that BI is going to be growing more and more into the operational systems. An ever-increasing volume of data will be included in the day-to-day processes.
novum: This does, of course, also affect the „always online?“
Koschlig: Yes, exactly! We will have to increasingly and constantly satisfy access to the data warehouse. The operational system and the data warehouses will grow together in the next 10 years. If we have to report annually on indicators, in the future we might have to do this on a weekly basis.
Here is, where dibera comes into play, this is our concept: We know how processes are developed, how transparency is achieved, how mechanisms are established in order to be able to face up to future issues. This is then in turn not something exclusively for insurance companies; ultimately, everybody needs this. That is our consulting service.
novum: What do you expect from a cooperation with noventum?
Koschlig: Our joint competency is the view of Business Intelligence, in our case more from the procedural point of view, and by noventum more from the IT engineering point of view, from the system perspective. Here, we fit together really well. We, at dibera, can be a specialist partner in the service and insurance industry to noventum and its customers, while noventum enables the technical implementation of BI requirements for us.
novum: Thank you very much for the interview.
(The interview was conducted by Dr. Matthias Rensing, noventum Consulting)
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