Analytics isn't a new concept, but considering the way insurers now use it, it may as well be. Where once fraud was the issue to enter insurers' minds when they heard the term analytics, they have now found more ways to use this technology. One approach is to employ text analytics, which often uses natural language processing (NLP), a subfield of artificial intelligence and computational linguistics, to convert unstructured data into valuable, structured data.

Frank Brooks, senior manager of data resource management at BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Inc. (BCBST), Chattanooga, defines text analytics as a technology that can transform unstructured text embedded in documents and databases into meaningful information in the form of new structured database fields.

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