Big Data Brings Big Opportunities, Bigger Responsibilities

From left, from Global Research and Data Analytics: Mike Lane, Vice President and Actuary, Head of Global Experience Analytics; Scott Rushing, Vice President and Actuary, Head of Global Research; Peter Banthorpe, Senior Vice President, Head of Global Research and Data Analytics; Brad Lipic, Vice President, Data Strategy; Richard Xu, Vice President and Actuary, Head of Data Science.

Insurance has entered the era of Big Data. Carriers are gathering more data and investing in analytical capabilities to help facilitate everything from product development to claims processing. As more data becomes available, the more important it becomes to balance opportunity with responsibility. Advances in applied data must be pursued with a heightened awareness of potential regulatory scrutiny and a sensitivity to privacy concerns. RGA has the capacity and expertise to help clients develop data-driven solutions, as well as the experience to help them navigate the obstacles and risks of bringing those solutions to market.

RGA’s Global Research and Data Analytics (GRDA) team supported important initiatives worldwide in 2016. GRDA analysts devised the predictive model for Dynamic Risk Selector, the U.S. market’s accelerated underwriting tool. When RGA Asia was in need of a data solution to move forward cost-effectively with an existing-customer engagement initiative, GRDA delivered it. The team also investigated new factors for rating risk and applied data sets to improve medical underwriting, among other contributions.


Number of experience studies conducted by RGA’s global research team in 2016

GRDA worked outside RGA to advance the industry as well. This included delivering more than 170 pieces of content (papers, presentations, etc.) and conducting more than 130 experience studies (not including additional studies conducted throughout the RGA enterprise). Data scientists also engaged directly with clients to provide analytical support and build custom models based on new data sets.

RGA’s wearable fitness tracker study epitomized the company’s commitment to experience over theory in data collection and analysis. The 2016 study, which included around 1,000 participants from 23 countries, now provides a platform from which to advise clients. RGA has since initiated a program to gather more data and develop meaningful conclusions in the wellness space.