Mobile and Big Data apps fuel the growth of your company
A new generation of apps is attracting strong demand from investors
It was already in the nineties of the twentieth century when Paul-Andre Savoy had his first taste of how powerful cellular technology could be in the car insurance industry.
Savoy owned a company called Boomerang that used primary cell phone technology to locate stolen cars. Boomerang was a huge hit with insurers, but Savoy could see it was just the beginning.
He watched the price of GPS receivers and mobile telecom services steadily fall in the 2000s. By 2010 he was ready to strike. It has launched a new company called Baseline Telematics to enable both insurance companies and policyholders to enjoy real-time data collection on driving habits.
It was a timed decision – Baseline has licensed its mobile app technology to more than 20 insurance companies, including some of the largest players in the world.
Real-time data analyzer from vehicles
At the heart of the technology is a vehicle tracking technology, known as telematics. This allows insurers to analyze real-time data transmitted from vehicles, and to distribute rewards for behaviors that lower the risk of accidents.
Savoy says drivers can choose between discounts for their safe driving behavior or because of their low mileage. Discounts can be up to 50% off the monthly car insurance premium. For insurers, use-based insurance typically produces a 20% to 28% improvement in their loss ratio (losses divided by premiums), he says.
“Money drives behavior, and that’s usually what we see happening,” says Savoy, who has 35 employees at Laval, Quebec.
The Baseline app also allows consumers to do everything from their smartphone: from easily purchasing insurance, to filing claims and renewing their policy. The app is licensed to insurers based on a white label, meaning it is offered with branding of the insurer itself.
Savoy says the app can be downloaded by potential insurance company customers. Then, in less than 10 car journeys, they can get a usage-based quote and buy the policy through their smartphone.
“It’s providing self-service to policyholders and much of it is powered by telemetry and big data that we are able to interpret and make for a better user experience for customers.”
The growing power of digital technologies
Savoa’s business highlights the major role it plays in reshaping the reality of Canadian entrepreneurs. Companies now have the ability to collect and process vast amounts of data to reveal important business insights, thanks to powerful computers, the Internet and mobile communications.
The type of data companies can collect, and what they do with it, varies greatly depending on the size of the business and the segment of activity. Nevertheless, a recent BDC study that is resilient to your business highlights the important role that data can play in growing your business and making it more competitive.
Tracking driving behavior using a mobile app
In Savoy’s case, his mobile app collects data on driving behaviors – speed, hard acceleration, hard braking and aggressive turning. It can also detect if you are distracted, use your phone to send texts or perform other activities while driving.
Insurance companies use this information and other data, such as who is driving, weather conditions and car location (in an urban or rural environment), and connect it to an algorithm that decides which beneficiaries receive a premium reduction given their road behavior. .
Baseline also uses its technology to enable life and health insurers to track lifestyle behaviors using smartphones and wearables. With the help of the data, insurers can reward health choices and lifestyles with lower premiums. The company is also looking at how insurers can use data to improve home insurance products.
Savoie says it’s all about evolving possibilities that create cellular communications, the Internet and data analytics.
“We are always looking at how we can improve existing business processes with this new data stream.”
Four Strategies For Using Data Power In Your Business
1. Use data tools
Small businesses can better understand customers and take advantage of sales opportunities through online surveys, social media listening software and free or low-cost web analytics tools, such as Google Analytics, that allow you to analyze site data.
These tools help you gather feedback from existing and potential customers, understand the impact of your online campaigns, track buzz on social networks and gain insights into your web traffic and search engine optimization performance. “
2. Get a CRM system
A CRM system makes it possible to centralize all customer details, provide more personal customer service and track sales prospects. Benefits include improved ability to anticipate customer needs, targeted reach and increased sales through better customer relationships.
Small businesses may want to start with a free or low cost CRM application.
3. Customize your bid
Data collected from your site, CRM system or even online surveys can help you customize your products and services according to the needs and tastes of your customers. Custom promotions show your customers that you know and appreciate them. What’s more, customers will usually pay more for a custom product.
4. Improve efficiency through dashboards
By measuring your performance in key areas, you can assess your situation compared to internal goals or external criteria such as industry averages. You can then start improving your results. A good way to introduce a measurement system to your business is to select key performance indicators and then use them to create performance dashboards.