March 28, 2014

“We are both drowning in big data and starving for it,” said Lisa Khorey, VP of enterprise systems and data management at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC). Khorey spoke in a panel on the topic during the Oracle Industry Connect conference held this week in Boston, MA.

Modern financial services companies are undergoing a shift from big thinking to big data and gradually moving towards data-driven enterprises. Through data and analytics, businesses can better identify fraud, recover from financial loss, create new customer opportunities, gain further insight from marketing campaigns, and facilitate faster decision-making and operating processes.

[ The New ROI in Insurance: Return on Information. ]

According to a Wall Street Journal (WSJ) study, three-quarters of industry executives claim data intelligence is a top priority, said Bob Weiler, EVP of global business units at Oracle, in his keynote remarks. However, 63% graded their companies with a “C” or lower and a slightly higher percentage (66%) admitted they are not prepared for the quantity and variety of data they will receive.

Almost all survey respondents estimated they were losing revenue at a 17% annual rate because they were not tapping into their digital assets. The same amount predicted that changes in information optimization will be needed over the next two years.

Peoples’ expectations of data are changing, Khorey explained, and firms must adjust their practices accordingly. She used the healthcare industry as an example. In that market, most organizational departments do not share customer information, which causes patients to become frustrated when they have to enter the same health-related data multiple times. Now, companies are learning that they have to build levels of trust within the business in regards to sharing customer information.

The increase in big data will also create more informed customers, Khorey added. There is a significant difference between people who were “born digital” and grew up using it, who are more comfortable exploring new technologies and types of service on their own. Today’s companies are not yet equipped to operate at the pace of this generation, she noted.

“Almost everything connected to the Internet today is connected by a human,” said Oracle president Mark Hurd in his keynote speech. “That will change dramatically. [It will be] all automated, all bringing out lots and lots of data.”

The role of human capital will present a challenge in the future of big data management, as today’s analysts will be working with quantities of data exponentially larger than what they currently have. While today’s universities do not offer specifically relevant courses of study, Oracle president Mark Hurd noted that a background in marketing, finance and sales can help develop a well-rounded information officer.

“This merging of technology and business discipline is where the real opportunity is,” said Hurd in a media roundtable discussion. The integration of data and business process leads to changes in performance, he explained, and it is critical to teach people how they can alter that process.

[To hear about how insurance companies and financial firms are managing their complex data architectures, attend the Future of the Financial Services Data Center panel at Interop 2014 in Las Vegas, March 31-April 4.
You can also REGISTER FOR INTEROP HERE.]

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kelly is an associate editor for Insurance & Technology. Prior to joining InformationWeek Financial Services, she was a staff writer for InformationWeek and InformationWeek Education. Kelly has also written for trade ...