The challenges of 2020 became the opportunities of 2021. Now, as we settle into our new normal, industries are paving new paths to success using new technologies and advancements in data. As we bid adieu to 2021, our expert panel provides tips on everything from marketing trends, ethical data collection, identity resolution and more to help you thrive in 2022.
Keelia Schumacher, Senior Director of Sales
With over 13 years of experience, Keelia has a deep knowledge of client challenges, is passionate about customizing solutions to best fit their needs and helping them exceed their business goals. She is an expert in location analytics, ad tech and digital marketing.
With the deprecation of the 3rd party cookie, privacy centric linkage will be key. Interoperability between universal identifiers, along with IP/timestamp seem to be leading the way. Having access to only authenticated traffic has clients missing out on nearly 90% of consumers. Bridging that gap will be key. Along with enhancing first-party data with key factors such as multiple hashed emails per individual, as well as demographics, will ensure better targeting in a consumer-first advertising world.
Ask lots of questions: What is your sourcing & how is it compiled? How do you manage opt-outs? How often is your data updated? Are you CCPA/GDPR compliant? How will you be addressing the upcoming changes with Google and IOS? What is your scale? Is this authenticated or unauthenticated traffic?
These are just a few of the critical pieces of information you will need to make an educated decision on a data provider.
Consumer privacy will continue to be the focus as the Google deadline of 2023 approaches. Companies will need to ensure they are getting quality data from reputable companies that take the extra precautions to ensure their data is privacy focused.
Publishers & retailers. First-party data will be a hot commodity, so these two verticals are poised to hold the key in 2022.
Google, Apple, & Facebook—as they shift to give consumers more control over their privacy, the advertising industry will be forever changed. We’ve witnessed each of these companies make changes and/or delay the 3rd party cookie deprecation over the last couple years and until it’s official, the watchful eye will continue to be on these walled gardens.
Doug Parsonage, VP Business Development
A longtime Data Axle Veteran, Doug Parsonage has been helping licensing clients exceed their business goals for the last 30 years. Doug is skilled in customizing solutions to best fit the needs of his clients, developing and managing client relationships, and growing key strategic partnerships. His passion is helping clients in the local search, navigation, local listings management, insurtech/fintech, and direct marketing industries.
Although InsurTech companies and their specific products/solutions come in many different flavors, key criteria for selecting a data source are consistent – regardless of specific use case. InsurTech companies and developers should consider the following components to power their solutions:
Data Coverage – Data coverage is a difficult concept to do a needs analysis for as it varies widely from industry-to-industry and use-case-to-use-case. For InsurTech companies focused on commercial insurance coverage, it is about ensuring its data sources are aware of every active, operating business – regardless of the type of business, the size of business, or the geographical location of the business. The only way to achieve this is by working with a data provider that has a large and diverse set of sources to draw from because there is no single registry to lean on. Data providers that understand this are collecting business information from both offline and online data, from broad-based as well as vertical-specific sources, from both 1st party and 3rd party sources, and more. By leveraging multiple and different types of sources, a data provider can ensure they don’t experience coverage gaps. For example, coverage for Data Axle is not just the brick and mortar location on Main Street but also the business operating out of the home, or those businesses operating inside other businesses, or even those in co-working spaces. Coverage is not just large or urban-based companies but also small owner-operated and rural-based companies. Without all businesses represented, true data insights are difficult, if not impossible, to come by. In addition to collecting details on operating businesses, Data Axle also captures location data pre-verification and creates a separate database to store this information. Having coverage of these nascent businesses is critical as obtaining insurance is one of the first things a business will do before or prior to opening their doors.
Data Accuracy – This is where things get harder in identifying the right data partner. The best data provider are those that have processes in place to balance goals of data coverage with data accuracy. Just as lack of coverage obscures true insights, inaccurate data does the same. The cost of inaccurate data and more generally, deficient quality, is well documented over the years.1 Specific to the insurance industry, inaccurate or outdated information on either a customer or prospect can lead to fraud, missed marketing opportunities, inaccurately priced or suggested policies and added time and cost for insurance companies or their customers. When you consider the sheer size of the insurance market, these costs are amplified (the U.S. and Canadian insurance industry net premiums written totaled $1.9 trillion in 2020).2 Understanding the importance of data quality, choosing a data partner that has exhaustive processes to verify the information they collect is critical. Even the most authoritative sources of business data have their challenges. For example, the Secretary of State’s new business registrations are a great source to identify a new business formation. However, just because a business has registered with the government, doesn’t necessarily mean it has opened its doors yet. For this reason, Data Axle uses its verification processes to distinguish between businesses that are open and operating vs. those that are not yet operational.
Simplicity of Integration – The simple and accurate integration of third-party data into InsurTech and insurer systems is critical for improving data quality and accuracy rather than compounding inaccuracies. A data provider should offer comprehensive customer service, technical support, and proper documentation to seamlessly onboard new data and ensure smooth product operation.
Data Axle has an extensive cleansing, standardization and management process to enforce highly standardized and accurate data. This data is available in flexible file formats and delivery methods including a suite of real-time APIs for matching, insights and searching. (For more, see https://www.data-axle.com/resources/blog/the-4-essential-criteria-for-data-source-selection/)
Carso Collins, Account Manager
Carson Collins has spent the last 5 years building his career in data licensing with Data Axle. Carson understands his clients’ challenges and is passionate about customizing solutions to best fit their needs and helping them exceed their business goals.
The InsurTech space is one of the most heavily watched and invested in emerging markets in the world economy.3 Like any industry, the companies that thrive will be those that are constantly innovating and leveraging all of the cutting-edge technologies at their disposal.
One corner of the InsurTech industry that is primed to catch attention and success through the emergence of new technologies is property intelligence. Property intelligence companies cemented their value off-the-bat by providing clear and measurable pre and post-event imagery of what is going on outside of a property to help speed up the assessment and claims space, reducing the need for timely and costly field visits. These solutions are now layering on additional details about the inside of the property to get a more complete analysis of a location as well as gathering more predictive insights for the future.
Data used to understand the outside risks associated with a property include aerial imagery via drones as well as satellite radar and computer vision to collect and assess outside, physical property details such as roof conditions and neighboring hazards. Data used to understand the inside risks of a property include tenant occupancy data such as number of tenants, type of tenants by line of business, number of employees for each tenant, and even the use of IoT Edge devices located within businesses that collect and monitor data in real-time about a property.4
The bottom line is those companies that most embrace data and technology will also be the companies that we will be talking about in 2022 and beyond.
As COVID-19 continues to reshape the physical business landscape, an accurate ground-truth understanding of (1) which businesses are open and operating, and (2) the specific office locations/addresses they are operating at is more elusive than ever. As a result, it can be exceedingly difficult for commercial lines-focused InsurTech companies to accurately identify some key risk factors associated with a particular business or commercial property. Data Axle’s unique process of verifying business location data will deliver more value than ever before. Every day, our data specialists are actually speaking directly with businesses to get first-hand confirmation of whether or not they are open and the precise location of their office. Additionally, during these calls, we are able to collect other, valuable risk-related details directly from the business – such as the number of FTEs working at that office and confirmation of their primary line of business (SIC/NAICS). Other companies provide similar data points, but no other company has the processes and means to directly validate that information.
Our data accuracy and coverage of key firmographic and operational details like business location, line of business, size of business, and years in business will always be the foundation of our value proposition in the InsurTech space. However, we recognize the importance of building on this foundation with additional, key property details in order to provide a more complete picture of a given location. In recognition of this, Data Axle has now layered commercial real estate data (property ownership, purchase information and dates, structural characteristics) on top of our firmographic data—allowing for deeper insights about the structures businesses belong to.
Lastly, we are always looking for ways to make it easy for our clients to bring all this great data together in an easy, cohesive way to ensure the value of the information can be maximized. Through our proprietary tenant linkage, our clients can easily organize the data to provide a total picture of the occupancy of a given location. At a property level, using tenant linkage, our clients can easily understand who the operating tenants are, whether or not they are operating in high risk SIC/NAICS, and where, specifically, those businesses are located within the property. They can even understand complex relationships of these tenants – such as is if there are co-located businesses at a particular site or suite (a Sephora operating inside a JCPenney, a Starbucks in a Target, etc.). They can even get time-specific risk insights specific to a property by understanding the number of employees occupying the property at any given time of the day or night by leveraging employee size data and operating hour information.
Data Axle is also leaning on our customers for value creation in 2022. Data Axle invests in customer relationships and dialogue as an additional path for building value. Data Axle customers’ feedback is an essential piece of our investment and development flywheel.
1 https://hbr.org/2016/09/bad-data-costs-the-u-s-3-trillion-per-year; https://www.workclout.com/blog/1-10-100-rule-cost-of-quality
2 https://www.iii.org/fact-statistic/facts-statistics-industry-overview; http://www.ibc.ca/ns/resources/industry-resources/insurance-fact-book