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One way to minimize double entry of data


June 19, 2019   by Jason Contant


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One question often on the minds of brokers is how do they better digitize their processes and minimize the amount of data they have to enter into various systems.

“Our position is that data should be created in a digital format from scratch,” said Marc LeCuyer, general manager, Canada, at ServiceNow, a digital workflow company that provides IT, employee and customer workflow solutions. “I think insurance companies are strapped by a lot of legacy designs and legacy processes and, quite frankly, they are just used to be in this rhythm of conducting their business in that manner.”

LeCuyer was responding to a question from Canadian Underwriter about how companies can change more manual ways of working into more digital processes.

Despite the insurance industry’s general slow speed to adopt technology, LeCuyer said he is seeing changes. For example, Desjardins’ insurance arm has equipped some of their brokers with a tablet with a ServiceNow interface, so when a broker is going out to a household to conduct an assessment or meet with a client, they can input the data directly on the tablet. “So, the data starts its lifecycle in a digital format,” LeCuyer said in an interview last week.

“You can think about this – you have several agents on a street, meeting many customers,” he said. “In real-time, data is uploaded and they can start doing resource tracking, resource mapping. What are some of the commonalities? How can we take the data that we’ve just got here and run campaigns against it? What are the age groups?

“There’s a lot of insights that come out of that in real-time, as opposed to doing this double and triple entry across systems.”

There has been discussion in the industry about brokers taking ownership of the data they collect. For example, a broker may gather data an insurer needs for an application, but won’t put that information in a system; instead, it will sit in a Word document, a PDF documents, or perhaps a spreadsheet.

“You enter it once into a tablet with a digital form or interface and ServiceNow will route the work and place it in those various systems,” LeCuyer said of his company’s solution. Insurance systems by design are still complex on the back-end with legacy systems “that aren’t going to go away any time soon,” he said, noting that a digital workflow solution can “mask” that complexity.

“Once data input goes in, we’ll put some information in system A, system B, system C, but give you some insights on the input layer around what happened this week, this month, in the field out there, and we can drive some insights across that.”