Skip to main content

Risk managers failing to make the leap into the big data age, finds new research by QBE and Airmic

Despite the large amounts of data available to risk managers, turning it into actionable information remains an elusive skill, research by QBE and Airmic has found.

According to a survey of 157 Airmic members, 34% of respondents said they wanted to develop their data management and analytics skills to help them transition from a technical asset to a strategic business partner.  When asked how effective their risk management team has been at using data and analytics for risk planning and analysis, more than a third said they couldn’t determine whether they had been effective or ineffective, suggesting that they may not be utilising available data or that they haven’t fully developed the skill set to turn it into usable information.

Airmic members who were able to comment on the effectiveness of their use of data felt they were most effective at using data and analytics to enhance relationships with other parts of the business; improve the quality of risk data; and improve understanding of their risk profile.  They felt they were least effective at benchmarking risk management practices and performance against peers and planning for unforeseen events.

Cécile Fresneau, UK Executive Director, QBE European Operations, said: “Harnessing the full potential of data and advanced analytics requires collaboration between industry participants and the development of multi-disciplinary teams that can give a more rounded perspective of the exposures of a business.  We need to think laterally about risk and while data will be critical to that process, having the people who can derive actionable insights from it will be what moves the industry forward.”

QBE and Airmic’s report, Turning data into information: Assessing the current and future role of data analytics in the risk and insurance market, highlighted that in order to extract maximum information from data, it is essential that senior figures facilitate new analytical skillsets and leverage third-party partnerships.

Cécile Fresneau continues: “Any one participant in the insurance value chain has a subset of data – the real power of data is bringing what customers, brokers and insurers hold together.  This will help us to see the future more clearly and ultimately make better decisions.”

Julia Graham, Deputy CEO and Technical Director of Airmic, said: “Our survey shows that risk professionals are doing more than ever before to collect and analyse data, and in organisations where this is happening effectively, our members are reporting tangible benefits. There is, however, a need for members to develop new skills in data and analytics and collaborate across their organisation in order to transform data into information. This approach will inform good risk management and facilitates more accurate and innovative insurance products.”


For further information contact:

Sandra Villanueva, Corporate Communications, QBE, 020 7105 5284,

Alexis Burris, Corporate Communications, QBE, 020 3465 3921,

About QBE

QBE European Operations is part of QBE Insurance Group, one of the world’s leading international insurers and reinsurers and Standard & Poor’s A+ rated. Listed on the Australian Securities Exchange, QBE’s gross written premium for the year ended 31 December 2018, was US$13.7 billion.

As a business insurance specialist, QBE European Operations offers a range of insurance products from the standard suite of property, casualty and motor to the specialist financial lines, marine and energy. All are tailored to the individual needs of our small, medium and large client base.

We understand the crucial role that effective risk management plays in all organisations and work hard to understand our clients’ businesses so that we offer insurance solutions that meet their needs – from complex programmes to simpler e-trading solutions – and support them in minimising their risk exposures. Our expert risk management and rehabilitation practitioners focus on helping clients improve their risk management so that they may benefit from a reduction in claims frequency and costs.

Your contact

Your contact

Sandra Villanueva

Sandra Villanueva

Head of Media Relations & Content, QBE International