Insurance Customers Discuss Benefits of Using Attunity to Enable an Operational Data Lake

Carole Gunst's picture

Broadcasting live from theCUBE, in conjunction with Strata + Hadoop World in San Jose, California, George Gilbert, Big Data & Analytics Analyst at Wikibon, interviewed Attunity CMO, Itamar Ankorion, Attunity customer Chris Murphy of a large global insurance company, and Martin Lidl from Deloitte, the firm that helped build the data lake. They discussed their experience using Attunity Replicate to enable a Hadoop data lake for a major insurance firm and some of the goals, challenges and solutions of the implementation.

Chris Murphy explained how adopting Attunity and the Hadoop platform helps to make their firm more customer-centric by providing information to customers that helps them truly understand their financial portfolios, build a roadmap to meet their financial goals, identify opportunities, and secure their financial future.

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Like many large insurance firms, they had a large volume of customer data stored across multiple systems that were built up on disparate technologies. Traditional data warehouses and data marts offered limited opportunities to leverage this data, encouraging a corporate approach to data based around products rather than people. This resulted in business intelligence systems that consistently grew stale and less relevant. Consolidating data into a data lake allows them to leverage the processing power and scalability of Hadoop and move from many of the “old world” constraints that were limiting their ability to identify the needs and expectations of their customers.

Using Hadoop as the basis for an operational data store allowed them to build the capabilities to provide their customers with a real-time view of their information in a scalable, future-proof way while allowing for higher operational efficiencies. Attunity provides the universal, real-time data ingest from various source databases to Hadoop so that insurance customers have access to the most updated data possible.

An early use case of the data lake is a recently launched proposition aimed at encouraging customers to start planning their retirement earlier and more easily. They’ve created an engaging, simple-to-use web portal that is closely coupled with the company’s new customer relationship management (CRM) system, which also uses the data lake as its operational data store. The data lake is a key component to the company’s IT roadmap, which over time will become a single source of truth for all their corporate data. As Hadoop matures, the company intends to capitalize on its growing capabilities, allowing the data lake to become the data engine that drives the business.

Chris Murphy said, “the analogy that I always come back to is it’s like we're moving from candle power to electricity. It was like night and day in terms of what we were now able to do. When you break down the data silos in the insurance industry, it's easier to bring more services to your customers because once you understand their needs and wants, you can better serve them.”