After years of relying on manual processes, siloed data and disparate IT systems, insurance professionals have been left with a deluge of information that they are struggling to turn into actionable insights. Worse still, a lot of the data they have is out of date and inaccurate.

Fortunately, sophisticated software platforms now enable brokers to collect reliable data and use it to support each step of the insurance journey, which not only streamlines business processes but also improves customer service. As a result, brokers can easily access useful and meaningful management information (MI) to drive efficiency and make quick and accurate decisions.

The first step is to use one integrated platform to hold all of the firms data, as this will eliminate the need to re-key the same information into different systems. Each time a set of data is re-plugged into another part of the system, theres potential for mistakes to be made. This not only degrades the data, but also makes it extremely difficult to use, as brokers might not know what is correct.

The second step, therefore, is ensuring that the data being used is accurate. Poor quality, incomplete or duplicated data will also make profitability analyses and identifying cross and upsell opportunities much more difficult. By contrast, having access to high-quality data will make it easy for brokers to identify who the most profitable customers are.

By comparing the total amount a client brings into the business versus the cost of doing business with them, brokers can assess profitability at a glance and start taking practical steps to improve it. For example, brokers can use this information to renegotiate fees and commissions or change the terms of a renewal. Moreover, staff working on the account will also be in a position to see the profitability, and can start allocating resources in a more cost-effective way to reduce operational costs.

This focus on profitability is yet another important step to streamline operations. Not only will these insights maximise individual account performance, but brokers can also use this data to ensure that they are concentrating their time and effort on the most lucrative cross and upsell opportunities. For example, brokers will be able to see at a glance where there is the potential to suggest other insurance policies clients might need.

Being able to pre-empt client requirements in this way will increase sales, improve profitability, and boost client retention and renewal rates. On top of that, using a single consolidated platform will eliminate poor quality data that would inhibit useful profitability analyses and slow down the sales process.

Gaining a holistic view of the customer is the final step to improving broker workflow. After all, an integrated platform that can give a 360-degree view of each customer in real time, from any device or location, can deliver all of these advantages and more. For a start, brokers will be able to carry out everything from the most basic quotations to complex behavioural analyses, from anywhere and at any time.

This model will obviously be a vast improvement from the customers perspective too. After all, the ability to easily integrate and export data at any point in the broking journey with no need for re-keying will speed up the quote to bind process and deliver a far more efficient and seamless customer journey.

The increasing need for on-demand service in todays tech-rich world means that customers now expect instant 24/7 service. However, this is only possible if brokers take action now. If firms are able to implement a single integrated platform to gain a holistic view of their customers, focus on profitability, and ensure that all of their data is accurate, brokers will surely reap the benefits.