Insurers have many opportunities to leverage advanced analytics across the enterprise, including underwriting, claims and marketing. But without a solid foundation, analytics can overwhelm companies that have yet to get the most out of structured enterprise data.

The first step in creating an analytics environment is to define a data strategy, which is a major step toward data mastery and avoiding data mayhem. Many consulting firms offer information management and analytics expertise to help insurers build solid foundations for analytics and big data. Plus, a variety of insurance-specific data warehouses, analytics tools and predictive models also are available, as is third-party data, which is abundant and occasionally free.

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