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Big data is here to get us the best options for clients

30 March 2022 Bongani Khulu, Executive, Omni-channel, Engagement & Sales at Liberty
Bongani Khulu, Executive, Omni-channel, Engagement & Sales at Liberty

Bongani Khulu, Executive, Omni-channel, Engagement & Sales at Liberty

“Big Data” is transforming the way in which Financial Service Providers (FSPs) operate, and in recent years has been seen as the ideal way to start promoting real financial inclusion.

As we know, big data is a term used to describe large, hard-to-manage volumes of data that businesses can analyse to build strategic information sets.

In our industry we have a wealth of information on clients, trends, spending habits, and other strategic assets, but according to international non-profit, Accion, analysis of this data could be life-changing for millions of people worldwide. “Big data has the potential to help between 325 million and 580 million people gain access to formal credit for the first time,” the organisation said in a 2017 report. This would be achieved through improved access, affordability, policy, and design.

So undoubtedly, big data has become an increasingly strategic domain, and like the rest of the industry, we are leveraging this to develop new product offerings to help new people gain access to financial services, but also to assist existing clients in finding the best options for their specific circumstances.

Cloud technology enables most of a company's data to be accessed from a central point, and with all this data available, an adviser can easily access it to serve clients and grow their practice efficiently.

It may sound like a contradiction, but the more, broad technical information they have on client types, the greater their ability to create tailored solutions on an individual level.

The cloud therefore is a collective of ideas, technology, partnerships, tools, information, insights, and products all pulled together in a single place that can be accessed at any time.

Getting the basics right has also been a work-in-progress for many, and at Liberty we have also been spending time enhancing our digital underwriting processes, making it less time consuming by digitizing the journey to allow financial advisers to spend more time advising clients, building relationships, and engaging more with clients.

This is the idea behind centralised data: when everything sits in one place and is developed with one objective in mind, advisers can find the trends and options that will give an individual client the best experience possible.

At the same time, it allows clients the freedom to choose from a range of options – providing professional communication, campaigns, and a segmented approach to client-specific needs.

Are we winning?

Big data is no longer just a trend for businesses and insurers. With more people interacting and consuming online, these analytics are becoming more important and are great enablers to create more efficient ways to do business.

The time-honoured notion of knowing what a client really wants remains core to the purpose here. We are not trying to reinvent the essence of advice by burdening advisers with extra information. Rather, we are developing tools that answer advisers' basic questions quickly so that they don't have to cast around searching for the nuggets that they need.

We may have a long road ahead, but we are already able to provide faster financial assistance, for example, while continuing to offer human advice - an approach we still value and continue to encourage for our advisers and clients. Faster financial assistance, that's a win.

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