Deriving value from data at Lloyd’s of London — lessons from the former CDO

Every business should know the importance of data by now, they should be treating it as an asset. However, knowing the value of data and acting on it are two different things entirely.

To find out how Lloyd’s of London is deriving actionable value from its data, Information Age spoke to Helen Crooks, the former CDO of the organisation.

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Lloyd’s data strategy: deriving value

Internally within Lloyd’s, the corporation has brought in best practices around data management, data governance and data operations to gain value from its various datasets.

“We’ve introduced master data management, which looks at master data elements, consolidating the data and putting in better business processes,” explained Crooks.

This data best practice initiative has been rolled out within the organisation, “it’s about the regulatory oversight function that we provide for the market,” she continued. “It’s also about providing the intelligence back out to other regulators in different jurisdictions and countries.”

Crooks has been at Lloyd’s for four years now and during that time the focus and investment has been on the journey of getting the above processes in order — it’s a marathon, not a sprint.

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Getting your data house in order

So, what about the benefits of getting your data house in order?

“We now have an organisation which is much more is more data literate and understands the challenges over data,” answered Crooks.

“We had a program running across the market which has resulted in the standing up of some integration platform capabilities, including the market-wide data glossary, where people can go to one place to find out information about definitions.”

The next stage for Lloyd’s, according to Crooks, is to use all its data assets to create a digital marketplace as opposed to a physical marketplace. “The skills, the expertise, the understanding and the capability we built up within Lloyds corporation will underpin our ability to create a digital marketplace as opposed to providing the internal governance regulatory oversight. It’s a challenge and it’s a big change.”

The digital marketplace

In the digital marketplace “we can bring together solutions, startups, businesses and real specialists with niche capabilities. I’m excited about the opportunity that it brings when you have access to information and intelligence that could actually help you grow your business. And I believe there will be an enhanced analytics data science outcome as we go through this digitisation process. But, I am very much grounded in reality and this is a not a short term fix. This is at least a three to five year transition programme.”

ROI from a strong data foundation

When Crooks joined four years ago, there was a lot of demand from Lloyd’s immediate customers — the people that trade in the marketplaces, opposed to the end policyholders — for intelligence about their position within the market. It’s notoriously difficult to present that information; a.) you have to make sure it’s accurate and b.) you have to make sure that you’re not stepping over a regulatory line.

At the same time, efficiency was an issue. Historically, managing agents had use an Excel spreadsheet, load all their data into it and do their own analytics to try and understand what was happening with the market.

To overcome this, in the last three years, Lloyd’s has worked on controls, data quality and tooling, which has enabled the organisation to launch its market Insights Hub — “this is available to all of our managing agents who underwrite business within the market,” explained Crooks. “They can go in there and see market benchmarks and other intelligence around claims that are either specific to their business; that’s by using the data we currently have.”

She said that the value of this was immense. It saves the market a huge amount of time; “we’re presenting from direct to insights, as opposed to each managing agent investing their time to create that capability.”

Crooks also explained that Lloyd’s has had some significant value gains internally, where it “rationalised processes”, giving people additional insights effectively by changing processes that would have taken months into hours; “all of the things you’d expect to see by putting better data processes within a business,” she said.

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The value opportunity for the customer

The value opportunity for the customers at Lloyd’s has a number of different elements, according to Crooks. The key one is speed of access to insurance for end customers.

“If we can automate the processes, create platforms that allow people to present risk and provide a quote back in a much more timely manner, then that means that we will satisfy our end customers. If they need insurance they don’t have to wait for three weeks to actually find out if they’ve got it, the process becomes a lot faster.

“End customers will also benefit by how we process claims. If we can flow through, understand and validate the claim much more quickly [with payment automation using analytical techniques] then our customer satisfaction levels will rise as costs reduce for us,” she continued.

Based on this, there are a number of different areas where digitalisation, automation and the effective use of data can have an outward impact on the customer, which adds to the brand that Lloyd’s has, while bringing more business into the London market.

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Nick Ismail

Nick Ismail is a former editor for Information Age (from 2018 to 2022) before moving on to become Global Head of Brand Journalism at HCLTech. He has a particular interest in smart technologies, AI and...