Why Spreadsheets Are Hurting Your Agency
Relying on data from spreadsheets and other disconnected and antiquated reporting tools can hurt your agency.
Data is the lifeblood of any insurance agency. It helps us make key decisions, identify trends, and spot opportunities. It enables us to provide better service for our customers. But if you’ve been in the insurance industry for a while, you’ll know that the data you need isn’t always the data you have. However, for all the talk of innovation, insurance agencies still operate on antiquated technology. Most agencies and brokerages still use spreadsheets to manage their data, and then manually update their reporting systems and dashboards. Instead of using a data platform to automate this process, they spend hours and hours updating their data and reporting systems. This not only hurts their productivity but also makes it harder to spot trends and make data-driven decisions.
Data brings clarity to complex situations and helps us make better decisions. It gives us a way to track our progress, identify opportunities, and measure our performance. It helps us identify risks and evaluate new opportunities. It helps us build a strong relationship with our clients and partners.
Now imagine trying to spot a trend in your data when it’s not mapped correctly, or when important information is buried in the middle of a spreadsheet. It’s almost impossible to understand at first glance. That’s why data needs to be visualized correctly to be effective. In the world of data visualization, there are two main types: maps and tables.
Maps allow you to see patterns and trends over time, while tables allow you to see specific values and data points. A good data visualization system should also be easy to understand and intuitive. It shouldn’t require you to understand advanced math or programming. The most effective data visualizations are often the simplest. They use a minimum of colors and focus on showing the data in the clearest way possible. Data visualization is about storytelling and the most effective data visualizations tell a story and allow you to draw your own conclusions. This doesn’t mean they have to be complicated.
The key is to use data to your advantage and tell a story unique to your industry and your company. This also helps you build a stronger relationship with your clients and prospects. They can ask questions and understand the answers, instead of relying on you to explain everything. This builds a stronger, longer-lasting relationship and will ultimately help your agency to secure more business. If you’re just starting out, a spreadsheet might be enough but if you are an agency that is wanting growth and are not using data visualization, you’re missing out on an opportunity to improve your agency’s productivity and service. And more importantly, you’re hurting your ability to identify trends and spot opportunities.
There are lots of options out there that can help, if you want to be seen as a modern and forward-thinking brokerage or agency, you need to incorporate updated data reporting and invest in a data platform to automate your processes and improve your workflow. You’ll want a data platform that can store and secure your data in a cloud environment and enrich it with insurance industry intelligence. You should also look for one who helps drive decisions by delivering the insights, documents, conversation threads, and recommendations to manage your business. Lastly, it should automate processes and open up new opportunities that help grow your books. The bottom line, your agency should be growing and adapting to the changing needs of your customers and market.