Log in

Enterprise Data Initiatives Now Taking Center Stage as Insurers Look to Improve their Digital and Analytical Capabilities

Mitch Wein

With insurance carriers of all sizes and lines of business focusing on improving their digital and analytical capabilities to meet customer expectations, the importance of enterprise data has never been greater.

Over the last 3-5 years data has once again become a key focus of the insurance industry. Data is now seen as a key enabler of the insurance industry’s evolution into a fully digitized provider of risk services focused on customer, not product.

When data is collected from either internal or external sources, the CIO becomes responsible for its storage, management and use. This becomes highly complex in today’s world since data is both structured and unstructured and is controlled by various legal and regulatory considerations, as well as internal security and risk policies. Based on the direct experience of Novarica’s senior team and its Council members, the following best practices should be considered when initiating an MDM initiative.

  • Create policies around data and how the data should be managed and controlled.
  • Establish organizational structure for data.
  • Link MDM architecture to business goals and objectives.
  • Consider supplementing internal data in an MDM infrastructure with enriched data and external big data
  • Determine what system or process creates the official data of record.
  • Determine the senior level project sponsor and who pays.
  • Deploy multi-year MDM programs in an incremental fashion.

MDM is more than a technology. It is a program of work involving an assessment of business needs, a data sourcing strategy, a data cleansing strategy to address quality, an architecture and integration initiative, data documentation and classification, as well as an organizational evolution for data governance and ownership. The goal is to create a single view of the master data which can then be referenced by all systems, reporting, and business processes.

Novarica’s experience has shown that the data governance and ownership dimension is often the hardest aspect of this program after identifying a business sponsor and developing a solid business case. Who manages the data, who owns the data, and who is ultimately accountable are difficult challenges that must be addressed.

If your organization is in the process of implementing an MDM program or if your efforts have stalled, please send me an email to set up a complimentary 30 minute consultation.

Recent Novarica CIO Checklist Briefs

  • Master Data Management: A CIO Checklist
  • Architectural Governance: A CIO Checklist
  • Preparing for Digital Transformation: A CIO Checklist
  • This entry was posted in Blog and tagged , , , , , , , by Mitchell Wein.
    Bookmark the permalink.

    About Mitchell Wein

    Mitch Wein is a Vice President of Research and Consulting at Novarica. Prior to Novarica he served in a series of senior technology management positions at major insurance and banking firms including AXA from 2004-2014 where he was the Interim CIO of AXA Ireland in Dublin, the Chief Architect and Head Of CTO for AXA UK in London and the CTO of AXA Equitable in the US. Prior to AXA, Mitch served as CTO for the Domestic Brokerage Group and Domestic Personal Lines at AIG. Mitch holds a BS in Finance and a MBA in Information Systems both from Fordham University. He can be reached directly at