Sector leaders show how to harness big data


By Amanda Taylor

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The Australian financial services industry is behind the curve in terms of leveraging big data but is rapidly playing catch-up, finding new ways to personalise the client experience and boost profitability, according to software provider Bravura Solutions.

Speaking to financialobserver, Bravura head of strategic marketing Daryl Wright said while most Australian businesses are still in the early phases of using analysis and reporting functions of big data, some larger financial services businesses are becoming increasingly sophisticated in its use.

“The biggest issue is knowing the questions you want to answer and the extent of the data – getting it into a form that can be consumed,” Wright said.
“The next step is using it to mine information – movements between products and customer behaviour, [for example]; then you might layer on information based on where people live and their demographics.

“Beyond marketing, you can also use it to detect fraud and improve your operations.”

Wright said one client, Mercer, was doing “amazing things” with its data through its Super Genome Project, launched last year.

The customer-centric model captures Mercer Edge, a data-driven analytics and marketing platform, the use of customer relationship management enterprise solution and a member registry integrated with customer experience tools.

MLC was another innovative player in data mining. Earlier this year it gave life insurance customers the opportunity to lower the cost of their premiums in return for using a wearable device to provide data on their exercise, sleep and lifestyle patterns.

The company implemented the Covalence health analytics platform, built by US-based tech provider Big Cloud Analytics, into its new MLC On Track Program.

Customers can view their data through personalised dashboards, which include actionable trends and wellness scores, messaging and content.

MLC chief customer officer of retail advised insurance Melissa Heyhoe said 20 per cent of new customers elected to participate.

“We are learning about people’s habits and behavioural patterns but it is also giving us the opportunity to communicate with customers about their habits and goals,” Heyhoe said.

“It also gives us a way to better understand risk and ask different questions, as well as providing help to customers before they fall ill.”

Heyhoe said MLC was seeking ways to expand the wearable device program to more customers.

“As a whole, the potential for big data is huge [and] people are more willing to provide their information to companies these days if it benefits them,” she said.

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