Master Your Move: 5 Principles of Effective Insurance Data Migration

Janusz Januszkiewicz
July 2, 2024

Data migration can be scary. In fact, nearly 40% of data migrations fail. A lot of the time the data migration exceeds the budget, not to mention any data breach during the process. And data breach can be costly too – according to Morgan Lewis the average cost of data breach is $9,48 million.

How to avoid it? 

Use the 5 principles of data migration to move your data safely and quickly. 

We’ll cover planning, data integrity, regulations, modern tech and tools – all the essentials for a successful migration.

Common Data Migration Challenges

Data migration professionals face old insurance systems, big datasets and downtime/service disruption. Successful projects require planning and teamwork. Old insurance systems = compatibility issues, big datasets = resource strain.

Managing integration risks is key to avoiding business disruption and budget blowouts. Having a skilled data migration partner can be worth its weight in gold. They can migrate during low business activity (e.g. at night) to minimize service impact.

Legacy System Constraints

A study on maintenance costs of legacy systems in the U.S. government found that just ten of the government's legacy systems cost approximately $337 million annually to operate and maintain

According to Gartner, by 2025 companies will be spending 40% of their IT budgets on simply maintaining technical debt. U.S. companies are spending $85 billion every year on maintaining bad technology.

Mitigating legacy system constraints means upgrading hardware and insurance software while keeping the bits that matter. In the insurance industry migrating data from old platforms is complex because of differences in architecture and data formats. 

Insurance organizations have integration issues with old storage systems and need detailed planning and strategic approaches. Updating legacy system components makes it compatible with modern tech.

Big and Complex Datasets

Planning and strategy are key to big datasets to avoid budget blowouts and missed deadlines. Data integrity is critical to avoid distortion or data loss. Mapping existing datasets to new insurance systems can be tricky because of volume and inconsistencies. Secure practices and legal compliance during data transfer.

Minimize Downtime and Service Disruption

To minimize business impact during data migration, planning and the right data migration partner are critical. Insurance business should limit downtime to avoid big operational losses. 

1. Data Migration Plan

"If I had 8 hours to chop down a tree, I'd spend 6 hours sharpening my axe", said Abraham Lincoln. And sharpening the axe is the preparation. The plan.

A successful data migration project is built around specific processes for different types of data migrations.

  1. Strategy and Planning.
  2. Technical Expertise.
  3. Effective Data Management.
  4. Advanced Technology and Tools.
  5. Data Security and Compliance.
  6. Stakeholder Communication, Engagement Risk Management and Contingency Planning.
  7. Training and Support.
  8. Testing and Validation.
  9. Post-migration Review and Optimization.

It takes a lot of time – the planning, and the data migration itself – so it's vital to think about data migration a lot sooner than businesses usually think. 

We recommend thinking about it when thoughts like "We could use a data migration" appear instead of "We need data migration ASAP or we go out of the business".

For the insurance sector to move forward, they must use proven methodologies throughout the data migration process to have visibility at all times which is critical for smooth integration and on time.

Most data migration projects fail to meet deadlines or go over budget. 80% don’t meet their original requirements, that’s why planning and risk management are key to a successful data migration. A initial assessment of quantity and composition and quality of data before migrating the content is critical when creating a plan for a smooth transition.

2. Communication and Key Stakeholders Engagement

Relevant stakeholders are critical to the success of the project. Those who will drive the project forward are:

  • IT teams to deal with technical aspects of moving data.
  • Data experts to ensure the data transferred is intact and meets quality standards.
  • Compliance officers to ensure regulatory requirements are met.
  • Business representatives to ensure all corporate strategy aligns as part of the migrations.

For these individuals or teams involved in any part of transferring datasets from one insurance system to another without disruption, open communication and collaboration are key to keep everything running smoothly throughout each step everyone is involved in the project.

3. Compliance and Regulations

Key considerations during data migrations must include:

  • Managing complex webs of compliance requirements
  • Understanding different regulations for each geography
  • Knowing these rules to ensure compliance

These are critical to navigating the regulatory landscape and maintaining compliance throughout the data migration processes in this industry.

Start data initiatives with an initial assessment to speed up modernization and ensure it aligns to existing standards. 

4. Data Quality and Integrity

During the data migration process data quality and integrity is paramount. 

Data profiling is a key step to ensure all data is accurate, consistent and complete before data migration. 

Using insurance solutions like Decerto’s Data Migrator insurance company can monitor and maintain data quality during the cleanup phase.

To ensure data quality and to have contingency plans in place if needed, you must:

  • Create regular backups with thorough testing
  • Use encryption during transfer and storage to prevent unauthorized access
  • Ensure secure transfer of data

Implementing these will keep sensitive data safe, especially in industries like insurance where this type of data has to be protected during any data migration.

Pre-Migration Data Analysis

A data migration plan requires an initial analysis of the data to be migrated, to look at the volume, composition, and integrity of the data. A good data migration strategy must include a thorough assessment of the existing legacy system data to identify potential risks and mitigation.

For insurance companies, this means you need to look at the format and quality of specific datasets before you start the data migration. These datasets include:

  • Customer data
  • Policy data
  • Claims data
  • Financial data

If you don’t look at these critical components during pre-migration planning you may end up with semantic differences and inconsistent reporting and gaps – all of which need to be identified and fixed.

Data Cleansing

To improve data consistency and quality you need to have insurance data cleansing strategies. A key first step in this process is deduplication which is to identify and remove duplicate data to reduce storage and bandwidth usage. Key to high-quality data is purging inconsistencies, redundancies and errors and standardizing formats.

Normalization puts the data into a structured format with tables and columns which makes querying and analysis easier and faster – and gives you easier access to – and understanding of – the data. Appending data fills gaps in the database. Data migrations can be tricky, but with a careful planning, they will go smoothly, bringing benefits.

5. Validation and Testing

Validation and testing are the final steps to ensure data accuracy, integrity and completeness throughout the data migration process. Thorough testing during this phase will detect and fix any issues so the transition is smooth.

Decerto Data Migrator is committed to 100% insurance data migration success by testing thoroughly to ensure data is working properly in the new insurance system before transfer. Clients can monitor the quality of migrated data and spot discrepancies through the advanced insights and reports from Data Migrator’s tools. Comparing transferred data to source data is key to maintaining fidelity so is critical to a migration project.

Decerto’s Data Migrator: Solution For Insurance Industry

Decerto’s Data Migrator is designed to do data migration for insurance industry. This tool can:

  • Assess
  • Refine
  • Move data into a target format
  • Improve data quality

Decerto’s Data Migrator has been proven to work in the insurance through Generali’s Polish division.

Since 2006 Generali has been working with us and have used our IT services as part of their operations. The benefits of using the Data Migrator are:

  • A simpler process to migrate data that doesn’t require deep knowledge of the source system
  • Security during migration and full governance throughout the process

A solution that fits financial and insurance institutions’ needs.

Data Migrator Features and Benefits

The Data Migrator from Decerto has scalability, robust insurance data security and high success in insurance data migration. It has a scalable framework that allows to manage big data by dynamically adjusting instances based on system load.

This also improves data quality by doing analysis, transformation and conversion during data migration – fixing issues while preserving accuracy and integrity. 

Do You Need a Data Migration?

Does your legacy system slow you down? Do you want to scale? Do you need database migration from on premises data center database to cloud? There are different types of data migration we can help you with:

  • Storage Migration
  • Database Migration
  • Application Migration
  • Cloud Migration
  • Business Process Migration

Connect with us today to learn more.

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