News

11:36 AM
Connect Directly
Facebook
Google+
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Progress on Analytics, Consequences of IBM/SPSS: A Conversation With SAS's Stuart Rose

"Ten years ago, business intelligence was standard reporting and ad hoc query analysis; now it's profiling, forecasting, predictive modeling and optimization," says Stuart Rose of SAS. "A challenge for SPSS, as with other recent acquisitions by large global corporations like IBM, is the ability to remain focused, agile and innovative. Being privately held gives SAS the ability to pump more than 20 percent of our revenue into R&D every year and keep innovation at the forefront."

While researching for an upcoming feature story on architecture, what I found suggests that insurers' adoption of analytics continues at a notably slow pace. Insurance & Technology's reporters continue to find good individual examples but the industry is still struggling to get into a position where it can take full advantage of today's analytic technology's potential for exploiting its rich data resources. My curiosity on the subject led me into a conversation with Stuart Rose, global insurance marketing manager, SAS.Stuart affirmed that use of analytics in recent years has been largely restricted to reporting and data mining, using static information within back-office processes. This limited, typically point solution-oriented approach must change as regulatory, distributor and end-customer demands continue to evolve rapidly, he agreed. "Insurance companies need to consider applying analytics to the front-office environments to provide real-time decision making," he said.

In order to do that, carriers will need a business analytics framework that can easily access different data formats from their multiple legacy transactional systems, according to Stuart.

When asked how that emerging need is likely to be addressed by IBM in the wake of its acquisition of SPSS - which I recently reported on in I&T - Stuart argued that pre-acquisition SPSS customers may now see a bigger focus on optimizing SPSS/IBM analytics to work exclusively with DB2, at the expense of Oracle, SAP and other insurance-focused vendor offerings.

Stuart expressed confidence in his company's ability to retain what he calls its "overwhelming" leadership in the advanced-analytics market, with 33.2 percent of market share, according to a June 2009 IDC report, and asserted that SAS' business analytics framework allows easy integration with virtually all data sources, and certainly with both DB2 and Oracle. He then threw down the gauntlet, effectively:

"Ten years ago, business intelligence was standard reporting and ad hoc query analysis; now it's profiling, forecasting, predictive modeling and optimization," he said. "A challenge for SPSS, as with other recent acquisitions by large global corporations like IBM, is the ability to remain focused, agile and innovative. Being privately held gives SAS the ability to pump more than 20 percent of our revenue into R&D every year and keep innovation at the forefront.""Ten years ago, business intelligence was standard reporting and ad hoc query analysis; now it's profiling, forecasting, predictive modeling and optimization," says Stuart Rose of SAS. "A challenge for SPSS, as with other recent acquisitions by large global corporations like IBM, is the ability to remain focused, agile and innovative. Being privately held gives SAS the ability to pump more than 20 percent of our revenue into R&D every year and keep innovation at the forefront."

Anthony O'Donnell has covered technology in the insurance industry since 2000, when he joined the editorial staff of Insurance & Technology. As an editor and reporter for I&T and the InformationWeek Financial Services of TechWeb he has written on all areas of information ... View Full Bio

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Register for Insurance & Technology Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
Slideshows
Video