Redefining finance’s role in the digital age – PWC Report
Article Synopsis :
Finance functions within insurance companies have traditionally been stewards of historical data, analysing and presenting what happened and why via management dashboards and reports. This role is changing.
In the report “Stepping into the cockpit: Redefining finance’s role in the digital age”, the PwC team discusses how finance executives within insurance companies have to ‘step into the cockpit’ and produce more practical and forward-looking information for the enterprise as a whole.
Financial and actuarial teams now have the capabilities at their disposal to predict what will happen and prescribe what should happen to meet strategic and operational business metrics. They should be developing management cockpits that go beyond traditional dashboards to model underlying business drivers, predict what is likely to happen under different business and competitive scenarios, and develop ”what if” simulations to help business counterparts make mid-course corrections and in-flight decisions. Specifically, finance can help determine:
- Where to grow and invest by providing real-time feedback on, and understanding of, the potential impact of disruptors on plans (in terms of changes to assumptions and providing scenario analysis)
- How to measure performance by understanding key performance drivers and providing insightful performance reporting at various levels of the organization
- How to manage the risks involved by helping enhance data governance and stress-testing plans and actuals to help guide the organization within defined risk parameters
At the core of the finance cockpit are key metrics linking enterprise strategy and decision making. Decision makers can leverage cockpits to grow revenue, enhance profitability, and support operational excellence by taking the following actions:
- A complementary role to model pricing and adjustments
- Evaluating, validating and monitoring business cases
- Evaluating and modeling the impacts of data breaches
- Monitoring business performance
- Evaluating data quality and consistency
- Capitalizing on analytical insights
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Digital Insurer's CommentsDigital is compelling insurers to rethink business strategy up to and including disruptive changes to existing business models.
Whereas finance has always played a supporting role in such endeavours, new financial tools (data analytics, predictive modelling) launch finance into more of a lead role, generating ideas and strategies, modelling possible scenarios, and developing and monitoring key metrics.
Companies executing an effective cockpit process will drive innovation and value creation at the customer and enterprise levels.
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