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Why data is your business barometer and how to choose an MI system

The right MI system can help you visualise trends, confirm your hunches, and make decisions based on past figures. But the logistics of setting up and managing a system can be daunting.

For this reason, it makes sense for many businesses to look externally for an MI service provider who can organise data on their behalf. We look at what’s important to consider so you can begin an informed search on which MI system is going to work for you.


Benchmarking with data

Beyond reaffirming your gut instinct that things are going well or not so well, there are two key benefits to keeping an eye on your data as a business:

  1. Identifying opportunities
  2. Identifying risks

With a firm understanding of your data, you are much better placed to identify issues or new opportunities in advance and respond pro-actively rather than re-actively.

This in turn means that rather than fire-fighting, you can invest time more constructively, for instance using the data to negotiate with insurers and making strategic decisions based on book analysis.


What brokers should look for in an MI system

Broker Network has invested a lot of time researching our MI systems in order to create a platform designed by brokers for brokers. Whilst it is only available to our Members, it gives us some good insights to share on what independent insurance brokers should be looking for when they are researching providers.

It’s worth ensuring that the overall feel and user experience meet your expectations; you want to be able to quickly and clearly visualise trends, but here are some of the things we recommend looking out for that might not be so obvious:


  • Automation: Two of the reasons you want to automate your MI is to save time and ensure the accuracy and consistency of your reports. It’s important to clarify that systems are fully compatible and the system you use is sleek enough that it will genuinely take the load off your shoulders.


  • Integration: There are a lot of systems out there which try and cover everything, but it can be surprisingly difficult to find one that integrates with everything. As an insurance broker, a lot of your back-office systems will be specialist, and whilst they will typically have a reporting facility, these tend to be a ‘silo view’, i.e. they won’t combine with data from separate sources.When we were working on our MI Dashboard, one of the targets was to include all the systems our brokers use in one place and be able to target the root cause of a problem within three clicks – this is a good rule of thumb if you are reviewing your setup.


  • Context: They say it can be lonely running your own business, but your business intelligence should help you see how you are performing in the context of the wider industry.


To give you some examples, our MI Dashboard can tie in with our Organic Growth Programme to track the impact of campaigns, as well as the ability to see how your figures compare to other insurance brokers for an idea on benchmarks (anonymously of course!). Think about what industry benchmarks would be valuable to your business and find an MI system that can accommodate.

One of the most satisfying things with MI can be when you’ve been tracking data manually across multiple systems, and then you bring it all into a single comprehensive report. Fortunately, once the data is being collected, bringing it all under the one dashboard can be as quick as flicking on a switch. With the benefits you stand to gain, it’s well worth investing a little bit of time finding the right MI partner for your business; it can pay dividends in the long run.


If you have any questions about this article then please feel free to get in touch. Already a Member? Contact your BDM if you are keen to learn more about our MI Dashboards.

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