Data, Process and Value

Published on Aug 07, 2019

Here at TonkaBI we are at the forefront of insurance technology and have seen it rapidly advance in the past few years.

The advancements in AI and Machine Learning would have been an impossible feat without the use of large quantities of data and low cost storage and processing. But businesses and consumers alike are now talking about who owns this data — and what it's worth. This is a focus and Microsoft recently deleted a massive database of 10 million images which was being used to train facial recognition systems to bring home the point.

We are keen to ensure that the value of data is maintained within our partners or clients businesses and processes. We believe that there is going to be a fundamental shift, and we have already shifted to take this on. Your data, your process, your value. TonkaBI is the accelerator that helps you leverage your data into better customer services and products.

The ownership comes down to who created the process and data, its not who uses the data. The use comes from partnerships etc, TonkaBI believes that as AI and ML processes grow in businesses the company who is the primary interface with the customer should own the value and deal with the data. In the case of insurance, this is the insurance company.

In the past the insurance process has been split across many third-party companies and applications. Traditionally they used people in the process and data was lost and kept. The very inefficiency of the process maintained a sort of security and kept the value of the process low. The paper copies and structured digital data records are very hard to process into something valuable.

The cloud and its APP’s are a revolutionary phenomenon that has made it easy for consumers and businesses alike to create, share and store data including photos, videos, documents, spreadsheets, e-books and so much more. But when you upload data to the cloud, who owns it — you or the virtual caretaker(s)? Do you even know who has it?

Today, if one of these third-party administrator processors starts collecting digitally on the basis of processing a policy or dealing with a claim then the data becomes very valuable. They can read whats on the photo plus the data that comes with it – location, time, date etc etc and this can be augmented into a very valuable resource. These companies are adding to their small print that they have a right to use the images and data as they see fit. The value rockets up as it matched to the efficient use of the data and the ability to re-use the data to give not only a better customer experience but with augmented data products and services can be reshaped.

In the digital age, data is a shapeshifting concept. Companies must start taking the use and value of the data seriously. Using images say from one company to help another company with their problems is now possible, but is it ethical? Do even the companies know about this?

When people process claims, for example, you could argue that a person could work on many companies claims. However, generally the people teams are segregated, and the data siloed. The cross benefits could not really be leveraged much above the cost of a human Vs another. Digitisation changes the argument.

Issues surrounding the collection, analysis, processing and training of data driven AI and ML tools could become controversial.

Companies need to protect their data and shareholders alike. Giving data away could become akin to giving away stock value. For example, lets take a typical TPA model – in the past the ability to process a claim cheaper using a TPA with 10’s or 100’s of cheap people and processes was all well understood. The average insurance company could outsource this process without affecting its stock prices. For the TPA to grow they need to hire more and more people so the value of the TPA is limited, they can squeeze profits out by moving to India or some other place or adding in process efficiencies but over all the core cost is based in people.

However, let’s say now a new type of TPA emerges, one that is AI based. The Insurance company may think that this is great as the cost and time can be reduced much further. So, they readily give over their data, the TPA then uses this data to train and build a really great process. The Insurance company benefits from lower costs but the learning, process and value is outsourced. The TPA can now go to other companies and leverage that data across their clients and so on. The efficiencies are huge. Finally the TPA could even think…. well we know how all the claims work, adding on a policy sales process is easy…..lets do a raise and become an insurer…..

The insurance company loses data and even though it processes a claim with less cost, they have lost all the additional data associated with that claim.

AI and ML gives insurance companies the opportunity to pull back claims and data processing in house. Adding huge value and certainty to shareholders and other stakeholders alike.

Some say the company that provides the process and storage owns data users entrust them with. But others argue the cloud is merely a transportation conduit, watching over the data until the originator returns to collect it. This ambiguity has left many businesses hesitant to jump to cloud-based computing. There is no international or federal standard for who owns data. Instead, ownership depends on individual contracts which vary from provider to provider. Many are just writing a user agreement which states that they own the data.

The discussion around data ownership is a tricky one. When we use digital devices, we share data as we interact. But no one knows for sure who owns this data. Is it the person who created the data, like a photo or video? Or is it the website where the user chose to share or store the content? Who’s is it to give away? Do companies and people know what they are giving away?

Posted in Business Technology, Insurance AI Blog on Aug 07, 2019