Growing importance of business analytics solutions driving adoption

More companies are ranking predictive analytics and business intelligence near the top of their priorities, as the benefits of these solutions become well known. A recent report from Gartner found that many chief financial officers (CFOs) believe that adopting a business intelligence solution will be their top priority for the year, as about 79 percent of business processes can be improved with the right platform.

“Responses to the 2013 Gartner Financial Executives International (FEI) CFO Technology Study are consistent with prior years, with the emphasis on business intelligence/analytics and business applications as the top areas for investment and focus,” said John van Decker, Gartner research vice president. “With over 20 areas of choices, all of the top 12 that were chosen by CFOs can be addressed and/or improved with investments in BI and analytics.”

BI and analytics were noted by 59 percent of respondents as their top area for improvement, up from 57 percent in 2012, showing consistent growth over the last five years toward this trend. As many CFOs are directing this trend, it also indicates that business intelligence is being driven by more than IT needs. Bill Sinnett, senior director of research at the Financial Executives Research Foundation (FERF), noted that BI is becoming a “line-of-business responsibility,” and CIOs will need to keep up with the trend or risk losing control of analytics adoption to CFOs.

“The survey findings would seem to suggest that the CFO prioritizes business applications higher than the CIO does,” Sinnett noted. “If the CIO does not understand this, then there’s a chance the CFO will sponsor his or her own initiatives, and not coordinate them with the IT organization.”

For insurance firms, predictive analytics is even more critical, as it provides key insights for policy and claims management that will help reduce risk and improve underwriting processes. The potential financial improvements that a business intelligence platform can offer insurance providers can significantly change operations for the better and drive overall company growth beyond previous expectations.

Ultimately, business analytics solutions are a necessary wave that companies in any industry need to adopt to handle big data and other evolving technology trends related to data and reporting capabilities. For insurance providers, this is particularly important in order to maintain pace within the market and provide the highest-quality service possible today.