Accenture Insurance Blog

The remarkable power of Straight-Through Processing in insurance 

Imagine that someone was just in a car accident. They load up their insurance carrier’s mobile application on their smartphone. The app directs them to take pictures of the accident. After these are uploaded, a pre-trained automated model assesses the damage to the vehicle, confirms that the insured is covered, and estimates the total cost of repairs.  

The model also finds that the vehicle appears to be drivable, so the insurance carrier’s system notifies the customer of nearby auto shops that have worked with the carrier in the past. The system also estimates the cost of the repairs using historical data.  

When the vehicle has been repaired, the system automatically verifies that the estimate matches the actual cost, sends a payment to the customer, and closes the claim.  

Sound like science fiction? Today, it mostly is. As we described in our previous blog post, automated straight-through processing like this, or STP, is an unrealized goal across insurance because of the existence of “dark data.”  

Realizing STP could create huge efficiency gains for insurers and much else besides. But it has proven to be elusive. Some insurers have developed solutions for single instances of the problems presented by dark data, but a solution that works well for every problem has yet to be found up to now. 

The Accenture approach to illuminating dark data 

Accenture has developed a multi-tool capability to help insurers shine a light on their dark data. It combines four major elements. 

1. Use-case definition and enhancement 

The nature of dark data makes it hard to get a precise picture of all the dark data in an organization. Accenture can help insurers secure a solid understanding of their dark data landscape through an in-depth analysis of: 

  • Existing documents and other records 
  • Data channels and content management systems
  • Existing routing and extraction technology
  • Associated processes and indexing requirements 

2. Tool selection 

There is an overwhelming number of vendors and tools available on the market that claim to be able to ingest and unlock dark data. Knowing which yields the best results for a specific situation is very difficult. Insurers should evaluate not only which tools deliver the highest accuracy rates, but also consider: 

  • Their overall business objectives and technology strategy 
  • Their appetite for cloud technology over on-premise deployment 
  • Their preference for strategic enterprise-wide ingestion or tactical process-based ingestion 
  • Their desired level of post-ingestion analytics 

We’ve identified, tested, and benchmarked dark data ingestion tools across the industry to help an insurer identify the most effective solution for their specific use case.

3. Concept verification and refinement 

While some industry-standard dark data challenges can be solved with pre-trained models, any insurer looking to illuminate their dark data should expect to eventually encounter a problem unique to them.  When this occurs, Accenture can use a sample of data provided by the insurer to develop a custom ingestion solution that addresses their specific challenge. We use an agile approach to this process, first building a proof-of-concept followed by a minimum viable product. 

4. Business process transformation 

Finally, Accenture’s approach combines dark data solutions with analytics and predictive modeling, process modernization, operations and automation technologies to transform the way they do business. This includes changes to technologies, operations, processes, and business intelligence.  

5. Towards a more automated future for the industry 

Dark data has been a roadblock to automation in insurance for years. But to the right perspective, every challenge is an opportunity. By shining a light on dark data, insurers can unlock significant gains in efficiency and fuel the analytics-driven insights that provide a competitive edge in today’s marketplace.  

If you’d like to continue the conversation about dark data in insurance, we’d love to hear to you. We can be reached using the contact information below. 

Read our full report on dark data to learn more.


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