Zurich seeks social platform for staff, partners

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Zurich seeks social platform for staff, partners
Zurich Australia CIO Scott Watters. (Credit: Zurich Financial Services)
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Last month, Zurich enterprise architect Sid Sanyal told an FST conference that it would use big data analytics on underwriting, claims, transactions, demographics, location data and correspondence.

CIO Watters told the CSC conference this week that Zurich was “scratching the surface” of big data, with no immediate plans to use Hadoop to customise products, unlike efforts at Commonwealth Bank and Citigroup.

“I haven’t looked at [using Hadoop to price products] yet. Some of that technology is more around getting analysis out of unstructured data, so later on I would,” he told iTnews.

“But we’re still scratching the surface; I’m looking at more simple tools [to address] certain pain points that I know exist.”

Watters said Zurich was trialling voice-to-data conversion technology to extract more value from its underwriting conversations with customers, and would likely decide on that technology by the end of June.

“The immediate benefit I saw [from voice-to-data conversion] is that whenever we have a query, someone has to search through tapes to find a conversation to listen to it,” he said, explaining that Zurich retained voice recordings for up to 80 years.

“If I can convert that to data, they can search through it more quickly.

“I thought, instead of just doing that, why don’t we correlate the information that we find in that data and feedback we get from advisors, and try to link it together to find pain points and hopefully improve the service?

“The beauty of what technology gives us now is we can get that information,” he said.

“Traditionally, it was all through complaints or feedback and we had to collect so much data together. But now, there’re better tools for trawling through that data to get the information you want.”

The CRM underpinning Zurich’s upcoming “social business platform” will also underpin its customer service analytics.

Watters said the insurer would incorporate helpdesk calls, social media, email within its CRM systems in efforts to improve things like the “underwriting experience or products”.

“[The upcoming social platform is] key to my strategy in terms of collecting all the data on that channel and combining it with all the data that’s coming into it from a voice point of view,” he said.

“That’s the beginning of our big data journey in terms of collecting all the data.”

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