Call it confidence or call it an executive mandate, but the arguments have ended and the verdict has come in on the role of analytics and big data. Eighty-three percent of all P&C insurers plan to increase spending on data and analytics over the next three years, according to data from insurance-focused strategic advisory firm Strategy Meets Action. At a time when IT budgets among insurers barely budge, 43 percent of the same group plan to increase data/analytic spending by at least 6 percent per year and almost one in five plan annual increases of 10 percent or more.

“There’s finally an acknowledgement, especially in the really big companies, that big data analytics really will create competitive differentiation from pricing to selling to servicing,” says Deb Smallwood, the founder of Strategy Meets Action (SMA), a research and consulting firm.

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