In previous APEX of Innovation posts we’ve explored how data and analytics are transforming the insurance industry. In this blog, we’ll be delving into the topic in greater detail, drawing on a MetLife example that was recently profiled by TechTarget

The company is one of the most widely recognized insurance providers, with more than 90 million customers spanning 60 countries. Its investment management division serves institutional investors and is focused on managing public fixed income, private capital, and real-estate portfolios. 

Given its large customer base and geographic reach, it follows that MetLife collects vast volumes of data from numerous disparate sources. It also should come as no surprise that the company struggled to efficiently integrate and manage its information environment. The legacy approach to standardizing the data was manual, and it generally was two or three weeks before MetLife was able to integrate new data into its data warehouse and transform it into data sets for analysis. 

MetLife began looking for a partner to modernize its data integration strategy and enable it to reduce data delivery cycles and take some of the manual burden off data management staff. The TIBCO Data Virtualization Platform quickly distinguished itself from other solutions in the market, with its ability to facilitate easy data access one of the most compelling features. As Paul Hammond, data virtualization architect at MetLife, put it; “With it, we didn’t have to do staging in our data warehouse; we didn’t have to mess with files anymore and could use this data tool to solve the majority of our problems…My whole thing was how to make it easier for people to get the data.” 

This quote underscores the benefits of data virtualization, particularly in complex, distributed industries such as insurance. Rather than manually sorting through data, allocating time and resources to investigating the downstream implications before adding new data fields, and then waiting additional cycles to process a data-modeling request, MetLife’s data integration process is significantly accelerated.

What once was a two-to-three week build cycle now takes less than three hours. MetLife has also experienced financial benefits from the increased speed and efficiency. In addition, there is a reduction of errors because the data management team no longer needs to move data around and share files, which can easily lead to mistakes. But, according to Hammond, “The real benefit that we’ve seen is the time to market for changes. It’s ridiculously fast.”

You can read more about how the TIBCO partnership has enabled MetLife to modernize its data integration strategy here.