Global proposition leader says insurers ’can no longer thrive without fully embracing data science’

Broker Willis Towers Watson (WTW) has launched a new Data Science Consultancy unit in a bid to help insurers “unlock the value” from their data.

The new consultancy – situated within WTW’s Insurance Consulting and Technology (ICT) business – aims to help insurers accelerate their own data science efforts.  

In a statement released yesterday (4 May 2023), WTW said it would provide support for firms integrating data science capability into business activities and help them avoid common pitfalls around the quality of assets built in open-source tools.

It added the consultancy was also designed to help insurers understand, price and manage risks more effectively.

Mani Heer, UK head of data science at WTW’s ICT business, said that although insurers were increasingly using data to generate value, firms have so far done this with “varying degrees of success”.

“Insurance is different from other industries with low frequency and long-tailed events, a highly regulated environment and outcome asymmetries created by price transparency and intense competition”, Heer said.

“In our work to review and improve data science capabilities for insurers, we have found that extracting real business value from data science requires the right combination of technology, culture and insurance domain expertise.”

Market insight

WTW highlighted that the business had invested in in-house software development for around 25 years.

Pardeep Bassi, global proposition leader for data science at WTW’s ICT unit, said insurers “can no longer thrive without fully embracing data science”.

“Looking at some recent financial results, it’s clear to see that those insurers who are leveraging machine learning successfully at real scale, across all decision points, have achieved a significant competitive advantage,” Bassi added.

“WTW has invested significantly in machine learning and data science capabilities to enhance existing – as well as create new – propositions to help insurers maintain their competitive edge, enhance their business operations and improve customer satisfaction levels.”