Allianz Australia turns to 'stewards' to build its data culture

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Allianz Australia turns to 'stewards' to build its data culture

Finding innovative use cases for a cloud-based data platform.

Allianz Australia is relying on a group of business users to act as ‘stewards’ to build an internal data culture, in part by finding and highlighting innovative data use cases.

Data office general manager Katarina Dulanovic told the recent Cloudera Sessions A/NZ summit that the insurer is three-and-a-half years into a data analytics effort that is powered by Cloudera’s enterprise data cloud technology.

Dulanovic said that Cloudera had been set up as a “single source of truth” for data, with internal- and external-facing use cases either set up or in motion.

Some of the initial customer-facing efforts focused on self-service and driving visibility into claims processing.

“Some of the [data use cases] that really stand out are enabling our customers to have access and see the same data we’re seeing,” Dulanovic said. 

“If they’re global clients, they can see how their business is going with us, from what other policies they have all the way through to claims and where they are in the claims process.”

Looking internally, the platform is also used to capture “voice of customer” data that Allianz uses to “pivot very quickly in the way we provide services and products to our customers across the board - across general insurance and our workers compensation business.”

“As of late, we’ve also started seeing great value in our claims area where we can start improving efficiencies in how we handle and improve our star rating as well,” Dulanovic said.

“These are some of the key metrics our organisation is measured on, and data has a lot to do with those measures growing and getting better.”

Dulanovic said that the Australian arm of Allianz had been able to lean on global data upskilling efforts aimed at training all internal users in data analysis and insights generation.

“Our data camps and data training programs, we’ve developed together but have come from our global organisation because [as a] whole organisation Allianz is really looking at that workforce of the future,” Dulanovic said.

At a local level, Allianz has assigned responsibility for different data domains and is also relying on business users of data to act as ‘stewards’ to find innovative analytics use cases and seed a data culture internally.

“We’ve got a business-as-usual governance function where we have our business executives as owners of data and the data domains in their areas,” Dulanovic said.

“On the ground, we have data stewards which are business people that are accountable and responsible for ensuring that data is defined - so we know where it’s coming from, we can read it, and we can use it all the way up to the reporting layer. 

“Data stewards are enabled to bring external data onto the platform. They can see whether the value is there for that data to be used, and then how we can grow that innovation capability to deliver greater value to our customers and to our people internally.”

Dulanovic noted the important role that the stewards played in creating an internal data culture.

“The data culture is not something you can mandat - it’s something that grows within your organisation,” she said.

“If we’re doing things for the right reasons and the outcomes are visible along the way, this is something that can grow your data culture. 

“I’m proud of the data stewards and the culture they’re bringing on board because they see the benefit of growing that culture through governance around how we use the data. 

“That’s the only thing that’s going to get us to where we need to be tomorrow, not just today.”

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