Data solution of the year: Willis Towers Watson
Timely access to good quality data quality continues to be one of the most difficult challenges facing insurers. On the one hand, regulations like IFRS 17 require further integration between actuarial and financial systems, and involve retaining data for subsequent measurements in future periods.
On the other hand, actuarial modellers are continuing to push for finer granularity, more simulations, and more complex calculations to gain a greater understanding of the business.
Ever-expanding data sources, formats and volumes therefore place greater onus on the end-user to develop data transformation rules which are increasingly complex, require greater programming and are more difficult to validate.
To help insurers with these issues, Willis Towers Watson's DataValidator software solution aims to enable companies to quickly implement data validation, cleansing and transformation rules and captures all relevant "change" information in a detailed audit report. The data is then ready for use by downstream applications, financial modelling and reporting processes.
According to Willis Towers Watson, its DataValidator addresses several risks associated with data validation and transformation. For example, the tool ensures a consistent and easy-to-use approach for data validation, removing the reliance on manual legacy approaches.
The judges commended the DataValidator solution and said the demands of IFRS 17, and the insurance sector's struggle with legacy systems, show a "focused data validation tool is the need of the hour".
Tom Beasley, a director in Willis Towers Watson's consulting business and the product lead for DataValidator, says the tool "is an easy-to-use solution that fits neatly into any existing data process".
He adds that combining the DataValidator solution with Willis Towers Watson's Unify product – its business process management, governance, and automation tool – allows users to build any end-to-end business process, deeply embedding data validation and transformation into insurers' workflows.