Aside from those companies first focusing on getting their IT infrastructures in order, data analytics appears to be insurers' new technological priority, according to "2013 Insurance Industry Outlook Survey: Balancing Regulatory Change with Rising Costs," a recent survey from KPMG. Data analytics, which was not included on the list at all last year, popped up as insurers' No. 2 technology investment priority, cutting into the huge emphasis previously placed on IT infrastructure and customer growth or service.

The most-cited challenge to attaining sophisticated data operations is no longer data integrity, complexity of analytic design or attaining an advanced platform to support it, which were the top challenges cited by survey participants last year. Instead, the number of those citing cost concerns doubled and now leads that list by a wide margin. In addition, insurers increasingly are concerned about the amount of operational capital that will be at their disposal to pursue technology projects.

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