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You need data to help make strategic decisions about all aspects of business, especially when those decisions impact your entire organization. Here’s the power of it as data use evolves:

During a four day conference I met with an MD doctor who is also a founder of an innovative company. The company started with a college statistics course. One of his group assignments determined that they could arbitrage sports betting. This opened doors to the development of a strategy software, using the statistics behind sports betting to determine where opportunities were.

From there, he formed a company that does medical underwriting based on social and public data. Medical, social and economical data that is circulating the internet, sometimes without our knowledge. This data is then used for determining medical risk. 

He was able to determine if people were compliant with their medical care. By cross referencing their social media. For example, data can be gathered about gym memberships with specific classes someone has enrolled in, that they drink twice a week, where they shop, and where they dine out. 

Someone’s lifestyle can be used to associate health risk.

He built a company around that, and sold it. Unfortunately, some insurance companies using his software to determine risk were not using it properly. They were using the software to simply deny or approve an individual, rather than pricing their risk based on the information received. 

For this reason, he is at the head of the new company and now helps insurance companies use the software as intended, to underwrite risk based on data. 

What does this mean for you, your business and your people? 

  1. Big brother knows a lot about us. We aren’t taking advantage of that in our benefits plan. For example, we could change our underwriting process. All of the big tech companies like Facebook and Google are basically data acquisition tools to be resold. This is a sensitive area, but the data is already out there and in this instance, that data can be used for good.
  2. We can reduce risk for the benefit plans we build because we can clearly identify where risks may be. We can then underwrite benefit plans more accurately. Sometimes we need data that is not accessible, this software can be used to create better insight.

We have a lot of data analysis in our process already. This additional data on employees can better manage risk for a self-funded plan, and could potentially become a way to get a better understanding into employee behavior, allowing employers to choose better programs, designed with what the workforce actually needs.

Benefits designed for your people.

Being able to determine risk based non-medical factors can be an advantage for employers, and more importantly their people. Understanding what is important to your people by learning lifestyle-focused data can allow employers to create benefit plans based on their population, reducing costs and increasing employee retention.

Revenue that is generated from proper risk assessment can be used to give back to employees. This type of technology is not a product, this technology is a solution.

Data is the key to new developments, successful outcomes and a better understanding of business operations. By using data as a strategic asset, you can gain valuable knowledge unique to your business, helping create an effective, more efficient benefits program.

Yet, some employers don’t have additional data to make informative decisions about their benefits program. That data is either inaccessible or difficult to access. This leaves many employers struggling to find answers last minute or holding onto hope the choices they make are successful. 

We need to take guessing out of the equation for these employers. We need to deliver more information. 

Data is powerful. And the heart of what we do.

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