RMS sits at the intersection of technology, science and domain experience, giving us a unique perspective on what’s going on in the world of tech, modeling, and computing. “In Case You Missed It” is our round-up of the latest developments from Silicon Valley to Bangalore that EXPOSURE doesn’t want you to miss. In this edition, Farhana Alarakhiya, vice president of products at RMS, picks her top three headlines.

01. Show your agility

Startups are bold. Disruption comes from their agile use of data. Data analytics is the first tool they use to assess the market, to pick out gaps and niches they can enter, learn and serve better. Their survival and success depends on insight that they can act on. And established players can learn a great deal from their approach to the market. In our discussions with clients, it is clear that agile and effective data use are prime drivers for innovation. So, I was interested to hear about a recent startup, profiled in Insurance Age.

Data-savvy language runs through an interview with Phoebe Hugh, CEO and co-founder of Brolly, which offers a smartphone-driven, free personal insurance concierge. She states that “a single view of the customer is unattainable by most insurers and brokers due to technology constraints.” She also warns intermediaries that “unless they evolve their proposition and differentiate themselves, they’re in real danger of being completely cut out of the process.” This is just one startup.  Incumbents can do this, and need to start exploring solutions that can help allow ‘startup’ thinking to gain data agility and break down technological constraints.

02. AI is the new UI

According to the “Technology Vision for Insurance 2017” report from Accenture, 75 percent of insurance executives believe artificial intelligence (AI) will transform or bring significant change to the industry over the next three years. Moving from buzzword territory into the business environment, 85 percent of executives say they will invest extensively in AI-related technologies over the next three years.

Everyone has bought into AI, but what will it do for the industry? AI all starts with analytics — big data that is addressable and accessible — then it requires analysis of the metrics that matter to you and your customer. AI and machine learning help you crunch data faster and pick up relevant patterns, predictive patterns. AI then comes into play, using your data analysis to provide cognitive muscle at scale to answer questions in real-time. Startup Tyche uses machine learning on casualty risk data to predict the riskiest 1 percent of policies that could account for 30 percent of claims.

But to bring AI to life, Accenture states that businesses must redesign their systems for analytics. Quality data is essential for AI as it continuously learns how data interactions should evolve, requiring connections between systems, interfaces and different points of interaction.

03. 2018 and GDPR

A compliance deadline looms on the horizon as the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into force on May 25, 2018, replacing the already stringent privacy laws under the EU Data Protection Directive, which dates back to 1995. GDPR affects anyone involved with storing, controlling or processing data about EU residents, whether the organization operates inside or outside of the EU. Among other things, it requires organizations to report data breaches in a timely fashion and imposes fines of up to 4 percent of global turnover for failing to comply.

Insurers need to establish whether the data they hold is personally identifiable, which could lead to the identity of a single person. As with all compliance issues, avoiding the issue is not an option. As a recent KPMG white paper entitled “Ready for GDPR?” noted, the first step is to define your organization’s data privacy strategy, establish your preparedness and get your action plan in place.

There is a real opportunity for organizations to demonstrate how they respect the privacy of individuals — and in so doing, gain a competitive edge. Cloud service providers are ahead of the game. Microsoft, for instance, offers solutions to identify what data you have and then control who has access to it.