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Rise in Demand for Analytics Professionals as Big Data Drives Growth Strategies

30 March 2016


Digital transformation means big data is absolutely everywhere. But what does this mean in the Insurance world and what professional opportunities does it present?

It’s no surprise that businesses that capture and use big data in the most sophisticated way possible will achieve significant performance differentiation. If harnessed properly, data analytics can make a truly sizeable impact on a large number of areas within insurance businesses and provide great competitive advantage; however, interpreting that data to support business growth and innovation requires multiple skillsets, in-turn presenting key opportunities for analytics professionals.

The main skills Insurers are seeking include an ability to draw insight and provide analysis on large data sets using R, Python and SAS alongside using machine learning techniques to enhance predictive modelling. Insurers are also looking to better understand their customer base, employing professionals with extensive data science skills in the marketing department.

As more organisations seek ways to exploit the power of big data through enhanced skill sets, the number of roles available to analytics professionals have climbed exponentially. With Data and Analytics being one of Oliver James Associates’ specialist areas of recruitment, we’re seeing a rise in demand for specific analytics professionals, predominantly; Chief Data Officer, Customer Insight Analyst, Big Data Developer, Head of Data Science and Data Scientist. Big Data Developers are particularly sought after, to help build a platform to enable the Data Scientists to implement much of the modelling they do.

Data that is captured and interpreted in the best way possible is undoubtedly driving better decision making in underwriting; enabling the automation of certain areas within claims handling in GI; presenting a better understanding of the customers wants and needs; alongside text mining and web scraping to further understand the customers’ perception of the brand and products. Within the speciality market, big data is being used to collect real time shipping data to help provide specialist underwriters with a greater volume of data to drive a more sophisticated process to make decisions.

A recent survey by SAP, the business software group, supported the fact that businesses increasingly need and rely on data insight to drive better decision making. The survey findings showed that 75% believed their business needed new data science skills. Alwin Magimay, Head of Digital and Analytics at KPMG UK, recently commented, “The analytics market is a bit like computer programming was in the 1990s – it’s in the phase of building up competence and is the beginning of a long journey.”

Where previous investments in analytics were largely IT driven, now, the vast majority of Insurers are turning their attention to skill sets, people and management processes. With businesses increasingly requiring data insight to drive sophisticated decision making, there is an increase in demand for strong analytics professionals who understand the business and can spot trends amongst an extensive volume of data. The question is, will the high demand for data skills only be satisfied when analytics roles become accessible to a wider cross-section of professionals?

If you’re actively seeking analytics professionals or you’re an analytics professional interested in enhancing your career, get in touch with Alec Dewell – Senior Consultant - Data & Analytics  / 0203 815 5489



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