Data and Analytics

Choose from one of these 'data and analytics'  themes. If you want to browse everything, click here, or use the search box below.  

Six Fundamental Issues

After a lot of research and sharing of ideas, I created a series of blog posts looking at six fundamental issues relating to insurers’ use of data and analytics. These are vital issues for long term trust in the sector. Feel free to get in touch to talk any of them through in more detail. You can download a compilation of these articles here


Data and Analytics are moving insurance firms in new and exciting directions. Yet in doing so, they are also challenging the ability of those firms to maintain accountability for the outcomes being generated. Important questions are being raised and executives need to have answers ready.  

Find out what the issues are...

Accountability - a big ethics challenge for insurers (link)

Why TCF is the wrong path for implementing data ethics (link)

The Great Accountability Challenge - looks at 7 issues raised by digitisation (link)

Accountability in an era of algorithm driven insurance – between a rock and a hard place? (link)

Could algorithms make insurance firms ungovernable? (link)

ethics big data insurance 11 principles

Click on the guide to download it 

Digital Panopticon and the new power of data

Click on the guide to go to the CII download

Data and Privacy

Questions of data and privacy are amongst the most often raised. GDPR has focused minds, yet it doesn't cover everything. Just because a firm can collect this or that piece of data, doesn't mean it should do so. Consumers want reassurances, but about what exactly?  

Find out what the ethical issues look like...

Are privacy concerns about to undermine pricing strategies even further? (link)

Why data is the key regulatory challenge in financial services (link)

?How objective is the data your firm uses to make decisions (link)

Why privacy solutions can come with ethical complications (link)

How to challenge four common myths about privacy (link)


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Something I wrote a few years back...

Big Data Conversation

Click on the guide to go to the CII download page 

Algorithms and Decisions

As algorithms enhance and then automate decisions in underwriting and claims, how should firms exercise management control and oversight? What are the risks they must look out for, and how far should they push some analytical opportunities?  

Find out what the ethical issues are...

Why that magic element of big data could be fatal for insurers (link)

Telematics will be much more influential than people think (link)

A vital rule for insurers to remember about predictive analytics (link)

Why underwriters need to use predictive analytics with care (link)

Analytics is the new frontier for insurance – exciting but dangerous (link)

Will there soon be compulsory ethics training for insurance algorithms? (link)

Client Project

Recognising that pricing trends could introduce reputational risks to their business, this client asked me to map out key developments and extend them into near future scenarios. Important decision points were identified so that their pricing people were better prepared for subsequent events

six fundamental challenges

Click on the Guide to download it

Fairness and Equality

When regulators have intervened in certain data and analytics practices, it has been fairness and non-discrimination that have been most often cited as the reason. These are minefields from which reputations are rarely salvaged, so understanding the issues from the start is vital.

Find out what the ethical issues are...

Behavioural Fairness is a serious risk to the future of insurance (link)

Data, Equality and Insurance: a small survey (link)

Social Sorting: could it be the stuff of nightmares for insurance firms? (link)

Insurance, Fairness and the work of Marie Curie (link)

?The Ethical Problems at the root of the Mohammed and John Quotations (link)

Insurers must prepare for big changes around genetic testing (link)

Sharing Insight

I've been involved in two big pan-market data ethics projects this year. In the UK, as a member of the Chartered Insurance Institute's Digital Ethics Forum, I became the lead writer of their new 'Digital Companion' to their Code of Ethics. And in Switzerland last year, l gave a keynote speech at the concluding conference of a government research project into data ethics in insurance. A lot of interesting ideas are coming out of initiatives like these.

A Thought on Fairness and Equality

About 4 years ago, state insurance regulators in the United States started banning certain data driven underwriting practices because they were viewed as unfair and discriminatory. 20 states followed suit, some big, others small. The lesson here is for insurers to be prepared for regulatory push back on certain practices, with fairness and equality being cited as the main issue. What are you prepared for?


Questions about where personalisation might lead the insurance market have grown steadily since first being raised in this blog over five years ago. Is it pointing insurance towards a cliff, or a bright new future? Will it drawn consumers to the market, or distance them forever? 

Find out what the ethical issues are...

Personalisation – could it take insurance into a digital winter? (link)

Are loss prevention initiatives just trojan horses for data harvesting? (link)

What is insurance? And why data analytics makes this matter (link)

The atomisation of insurance (link)

Price optimisation – approach with care! (link)

Is this the most controversial claims innovation of all? (link)

Click on the guide to go to the CII download page 

Client Project

At this client’s annual workshop on future trends, I facilitated a discussion on the impact that data and analytics would have on their core functions. Lots of questions were raised and the implications discussed. The outcome was a much more shared platform of understanding upon which attendees could then discuss and coordinate their response more confidently. They have a clearer picture of the landscape ahead of them and started mapping out a more reliable course. 

I help insurance people to understand more about the ethical issues associated with data and analytics, so that they can make better decisions...

I provide insurers with insight into the implications of emerging trends around data and analytics in insurance. This is independent advice, free of parallel interests. The perspective is that of building trust in a digitised market.

I help insurers avoid the drift into a digital group think, with pragmatic challenge on key questions that can sometimes be missing from the project radar. This is about highlighting connections and consequences for your people to think about.

Being probably the only person active in the UK insurance market with a postgraduate degree in innovation, my input to client projects is a rich blend of market knowledge and academic thoroughness. I have an ongoing engagement with the academic community.

I’m part of the debate on the future of insurance, and clients draw on that foresight to help shape their own long term plans. This helps them position ‘trust’ as an active part of their digital planning, giving it a clear and structured voice.

Get in touch for an informal chat about how I might help your firm - my details are on the contact page.

Recent Articles on Data and Analytics...

Why pricing data can send out all the wrong signals

Insurance people used to think of pricing as just a market thing. Now they recognise that fairness has to be factored in as well. Yet the ethics of insurance pricing has other dimensions that need to be factored in. If they’re not, the current pricing review will take even longer and become even more tortuous.

Read More