As the insurance industry completes the transition fromthe age of data scarcity to the age of data abundance, the question now becomes how best to optimize this surfeit of information.

One way to capitalize on this digital bounty is to integrate existing data streams with the intention of creating something more useful, such as for business analytics purposes. These hybrid data points are often grouped under the term "synthetic data" (one succinct connotation of synthetic data is simply the creation of data that doesn't currently exist). Crossing internal and external information is one common way to produce synthetic data. Also, information captured during one internal process (i.e. underwriting) may be synthesized with data culled from elsewhere in the enterprise (i.e. claims) to produce heretofore unknown insights. Likewise, an insurer could blend data from a variety of third-party sources to gain new knowledge.

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