German reinsurance company Munich Re has built a self-serve portal for employees to access a data lake in the hope that they will unearth innovative new business models.
Speaking at the Dataworks Summit in Berlin this week, Andreas Kohlmaier, head of data engineering at Munich Re said: "The game has changed in the last few years, it is no longer about who has the best experts and knowledge in the company and is more and more about who has access to the right data sources and who has the right technology in place to analyse and crunch that data."
The company set out to enable those experts to make use of data and technology in a more self-serve way, "to do what we have done for more than one hundred years, but better, to find answers to those new risks that come up and maybe to find some great and innovative business models," he added.
Munich Re has more than 40,000 employees and it effectively insures insurance companies against complex or major risks, such as natural catastrophes, large-scale infrastructure projects or emerging risks like cybersecurity incidents.
This means that it has very specialised underwriters who are increasingly reliant on data to help inform decision making.
"Last year's hurricane season was one of the most devastating and expensive ever, so we have experts in the group that really understand weather and know the effects of climate change," Kohlmaier said.