201210 Property Casualty 360: Upgrading Your ECM

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Comments contributed to article on the complexities of enterprise content management and associated strategies necessary to maintain efficiency and compliance.

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  • 1. Property Casualty 360This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. To order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers,click the "Reprints" link at the top of any article.Upgrading Your ECM: More and DifferentContent Creates New ProblemsWith more and different information beingcollected each second by insurance carriersand the methods in which that content is beingcollected also changing rapidly, manyinsurance carriers are looking closely at theirenterprise content management (ECM)systems and the upgrades that may be needed.Steve Callahan, practice director at themanagement consulting firm Robert E. NolanCo., points to portals, social networking,agency automation, and self-service functionsas new ways carriers are employing to collectdata as well as the shift away from paper tonew forms of electronic data.“This is forcing insurers to take a new look at the mature technologies like workflow and imaging” thatcarriers have been using for over a decade, says Callahan. “Those two areas have been around forever, but weare finding more companies taking a step back into the well-proven realm of optimized workflow and are re-doing it in the context of some new technology, new processes, new sources of data, and new kinds of data.They are making an impact.”When carriers were first introduced to content management, the technology had a great impact in thenumber of ways data was being used. That number continues to increase and Callahan maintains carriers arenow studying how the data gets routed.“They are revamping a good deal of the traditional technology,” he says. “There’s also a geographicdispersion with remote employees. This is causing people to step back and maybe restructure their approachto storage and management of data. As changes come in the industry they are revisiting the infrastructureand looking at different solutions.”One of the key areas to focus on is unstructured data, which to many people means audio and video files andphotographs, but Callahan points out that some text files also are unstructured and if insurers cut up theunstructured data pie, text data is the largest portion of the pie followed by images—accident pictures,inspection pictures of a house—and then audio files, such as recorded reports for claims investigations.BY ROBERT REGIS HYLE, PROPERTYCASUALTY360.COMOctober 17, 2012 • ReprintsPage 1 of 2Upgrading Your ECM: More and Different Content Creates New Problems | PropertyCas...10/17/2012http://www.propertycasualty360.com/2012/10/17/upgrading-your-ecm-more-and-differen...
  • 2. “Companies are trying figure out how to get into the data in an automated manner,” he says. “Some textanalytics tools are doing mining through actual unstructured images of data and are getting out meaningfulinformation.”Callahan reports that an insurer he has worked with has conducted text mining research on workers’ compbusiness where they are running tools against the claims files looking for words that would profile risks orexceptions. Their system also is going through images stored in their imaging systems “like they wereadjustors going through a file.”Callahan believes this is a good use of text analytics.“They are not changing how data is stored, but they are changing the way they are looking at it,” he says.“The industry is very effective with structured data. The biggest challenges with structured data areredundancy and quality, not infrastructure or management. When you look at unstructured data it becomesthe volume and indexing that makes it more challenging.”Callahan also has seen telephone tools work well at creating links to integrate into a carrier’s administrationsystems.“You have recorded calls on service transactions that have a link to the legacy or new admin system so youcan get to the entire experience of that client,” he says.The extent that carriers are now dealing with unstructured data is overwhelming, points out Callahan.“If you look at telematics on the p&c side and the flood of data coming in from social media, indexing is thekey and that’s where I see advances,” he says “The metadata is the key to get to the analytics. If the analyticstools know where to look, they can give you the answer. Knowing where to look is the challenge.”With so much data coming in, Callahan believes storage remains an issue, although he sees some leading-edge carriers moving in the direction of the cloud, although most carriers are more cautious because ofsecurity concerns.“Whenever customer data is leaked it certainly sends trepidations through the insurance industry,” he says.“Given that most data centers are not proximate to where the operations are, you are operating in the cloud,although it’s a walled-off cloud. I’m not seeing a major rush to put all the data out there in a cloud. When Ilook at cloud I think of timeshares. If I run a variable product off someone’s data center, you are effectivelyrunning that business in the cloud. It’s not necessarily a new concept; it’s just being presented differently.”© 2012 PropertyCasualty360, A Summit Business MediawebsitePage 2 of 2Upgrading Your ECM: More and Different Content Creates New Problems | PropertyCas...10/17/2012http://www.propertycasualty360.com/2012/10/17/upgrading-your-ecm-more-and-differen...