I borrowed the title of this blog from a whitepaper being offered through the INN Web site, “From Broker to Carrier and Back: Why Life and Annuity Insurers Must Rethink the Data Journey.” As competition gets more intense within the industry, and as margins tighten up, companies are recognizing that the way to get ahead is to compete on analytics. This is the time to rethink the value of the data that is being generated and stored across the enterprise.

I’m not talking about just throwing up a dashboard or two with reporting features—that’s been done over and over again, with questionable results. What is needed is an information-driven culture that pervades the entire organization. This requires awareness from top to bottom of the value of data to understanding the organization and its customers, not to mention all the behind-the-scenes integration work it takes to provide decision-makers and systems with information that is trustworthy and actionable. But moving to such an information-driven culture doesn’t have to be a boil-the-ocean proposition—it can and should be done on a step-by-step basis, one project at a time.

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