The Insurance Industry and Big Data

fraudgraphic_2_109How would you feel if you got a letter in the mail from your insurance company telling you that your insurance rates have increased due to your social media activity? Maybe they noticed an increase in your conversations about speeding or smoking or something even much more dangerous.

How would you feel about getting a letter from your insurance company telling you your rates have decreased due to your social media activity falling into line with other ‘safety’ conscious customers? You’d probably be happy about that. Additionally, what if you received a letter from your insurance company saying your rates dropped because they’ve been able to cut down on fraud by 50% due to social media?

Most of us wouldn’t be terribly happy about getting that first letter but we’d be pleased to see the other two types of letters. In the first example. most of us would be a bit upset at the lack of privacy but the other two examples we’d be happy that companies were using social media to cut costs.

Big data has given insurance companies the ability to mine social media for all sorts of activities. According to reports, insurance companies are beginning to investigate the use of social media and data analytics to make more informed pricing decisions. This could effectively lead to price increases or decreases for many. Big data can give insurance companies the ability to build specific pricing for you based on your activities and behaviors. How better to find out your behaviors than to mine your social media activities?

We’ll be happy with the decreases and we’ll most likely not care about the reason why. But have a few rate increases thrown at us due to social media, we’ll be angry and we’ll be screaming about ‘privacy’.

What are your thoughts? Should insurance companies be able to mine your public social media presence to determine rates on your insurance?

Links for June 22 2014

Cloud security is not an oxymoron
Quote: I get it: there is a lot of data that can’t move to the cloud, not because IT managers don’t understand the issues, but because they need to comply with regulations that were designed before we understood the scope of our security problems. If you’re in one of those businesses, which includes most of the health and banking sectors, you’re out of luck. But if you think that your IT staff can protect you better than the security teams at the major cloud providers, think again.

Satisfaction, Delight, Disappointment, and Shock
Quote: The phrase “meet or exceed customer expectations” is a mantra in the customer experience profession, said so frequently and done so rarely that the phrase itself has become devoid of meaning. Pondering this adage in light of the stimulus-response theory of emotion, I’m led to the sense that it was never quite right in the first place – that the satisfaction (or disappointment) of a customer has less to do with whether their expectations were met or exceeded and more to do with a combination of two factors: whether the outcome of an interaction was positive and whether it was predicted.

One Simple Solution to Unite the CIO and CMO
Quote: Why can’t CIOs and CMOs just get along? Based on my experience, there is one primary reason why their relationship is adversarial: the CIO and CMO can’t agree on who is responsible for what, so they are perpetually trampling on each other’s toes.

The Persistent Social Media Measurement Problem: A Mini-Manifesto
Quote: The magic in measurement is not in the activity of measuring itself.  It’s in knowing whether our company is moving in the right direction, and how and why marketing helps or hinders at the most fundamental level.

The Signal to noise ratio for innovation
Quote: We’ve found that many of the best innovators are often those firms that understand the value of change and change management.  The more innovation you do, the more change you encounter.  The better you are at change, the better at innovation.  And both change and innovation are enabled by excellent, consistent and concise communication.

Links for March 20 2011

Revisiting Signal to Noise & Twitter

I had quite a lot of feedback from my Signal to Noise Ratio & Twitter post last week.

Most of the feedback was positive and in agreement with my argument that twitter can become something that overloads you with a lot of noise. Some folks disagreed with my argument too…and I’m OK with disagreement.  I welcome it…as long as there’s a reasoned argument behind the disagreement.

I wanted to take a second to revisit my argument for those that disagree with my approach.

First…its the way I use twitter…and it works for me.

Second…if your argument contains the words “absurd”, “stupid”, “dumb” or “you’re doing it wrong”…you need to learn to argue better.  Have a valid, reasonable reason for your argument.

Lastly..there are those that argue that if my twitter stream is too ‘noisy’, then I shouldn’t follow so many people.   That’s a valid argument..but one that isn’t necessarily reasonable.

Why?  Because I have a lot of interests and there are a lot of people out there with those same interests.

For example:

I’m interested in Technology, IT Leadership, Project Management, Knowledge Management, Investing/Trading, WordPress Development, Distance Education, Photography….and much much more.

Now…imagine you follow 25 people in each of these interests you’d be following 200 people.   Once you do any type of interaction with any of those people, you will probably find another 10 to 20 people that are worth following…within a short amount of time you are up to following 500 people.

So…its not quite as easy to ‘only follow a few people’ like those that argued against me following a large number of people.  One of those folks that argued against following a large # of people had 3000 followers and followed only 100 people.  Good for them for figuring out the 100 people that they want to follow…they’ve found a way to keep their stream less noisy.

Me?  I’ve found that lists work best for me.  I can have many interests and follow a lot of really interesting folks but these lists allow me to focus on just a few topics/lists at one time.

That make sense?

Makes sense to me and it works for me.

Oh…and I’m not doing it wrong. I’m doing it my way 🙂

Signal to Noise Ratio & Twitter

I really enjoy twitter.  There are tons of great folks out there worth following and learning from.

But….there’s just as many (or more) not-so-great folks out there too.  You know the kind…they add tons of noise to your twitter stream.   They add tons of noise to your life.

I’ve noticed that the noise is getting worse.  Twitter has turned into not only a spamming engine but it also seems to be used much more as a non-private messaging system between folks. Don’t get me wrong…I love things like #blogchat and other stream chats on twitter but I’ve gotten real tired of the folks out there that are using twitter as a replacement to email…or…GASP…a phone call.

The signal to noise ratio (SNR) on my twitter stream is approaching zero these days.  I’m getting very little signal and a ton of noise.

In the early days of my twitter use I had an SNR close to 1…but these days the noise is overwhelming the signal.

How can I (or you) improve the signal to noise ratio?

I’ve started using hootsuite to help cut down on noise.  I’ve closed my main twitter stream and now only watch my mention stream (containing my @’s) and my created lists.

If you don’t use twitter lists today…do it now. Twitter struck gold with lists…they are the perfect way to get your SNR closer to 1.  How?

Simple…find those people that you really want to interact with, learn from and follow and add them to a list.  Then in your twitter client open up the list as on of your main streams and … voila … your SNR for twitter has begun to move closer to 1.

My SNR isn’t quite 1 yet but its getting closer. I’ve stopped reading all the inane tweets from spammers,  social media ‘gurus’ (except for those that I want to read via my lists), nimrods and idgits out there.  No longer am I reading something from kxe35TX (a name I just made up BTW) about how their dog just jumped off the couch.  Now…I’m actually able to see the great stuff from the likes of Wally Bock, Elliot Ross, Scott Brinker, Sam Palani and others.

Let me reiterate…I love twitter. I love what it is and I love the fact every person can use twitter how they want to use it.

But…I want to use twitter my way. I want my signal to noise to be as close to 1 as possible so I can see the good stuff that matters to me.  My lists are working perfectly for that…but it does mean I may miss out on some really good, quality conversations and opportunities…but right now…I’m ok with that. I’m plenty busy as it is 🙂

Links for Jan 23 2010

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