VP of Europe & EMEA Nick Stammers talks to Robin about Ataccama's data management solutions, market opportunities for data providers, and the importance of having the right data and technology.
Robin: What does Ataccama do, and how does it help the insurance industry?
Nick: Ataccama is a data management software vendor. We provide solutions to the industry for data governance, metadata management, data quality management and master and reference data management. We have a unified platform that seamlessly integrates those elements and provides solutions through an AI-powered data fabric across hybrid and cloud environments.
Robin: “Data fabric” is not a term that one comes across very often. What does it mean?
Nick: Data fabric refers to the ability to make enterprise data instantly available to humans and machines as high-quality data products, with governance and compliance automatically ensured.
Our platform provides organisations with a fast, easy, self-service means to locate, understand, and deliver enterprise business information to users and systems across the organisation, whenever they need it. We continually hear that the insurance industry is built on data, but for insurers to make better risk management, underwriting and claims decisions, they need to have access to high-quality data.
Robin: What was it about the role at Ataccama that attracted you?
Nick: I used to run a data management consulting business which specialised in the insurance market, particularly the London market. During my time there, we onboarded Ataccama as a technology partner and I got to know the leadership well. We worked successfully on some projects in the market, and I was impressed with their vision for the company and the product. This resonated with me and when the opportunity arose, I was very happy to join.
Robin: Who are you working with, and can you give us some examples of projects?
Nick: We have a strong pedigree in insurance and have worked on a broad range of use cases. Our client base ranges from smaller MGAs in the London market, right up to some of the industry’s global household names. Some projects involve deploying just parts of our platform, the data quality component for example, and some insurers are using the full range of what the platform has to offer.
One of the current projects we're working on is with a relatively new entrant to the market. They've got a stated ambition to be a data-led insurer, so the data is fundamental and at the absolute heart of everything that they do. They need the right technology in place to provide them with clean, well-managed, high-quality data, so we’re working closely with them to achieve that.
Robin: What does the future hold for Ataccama? What are your ambitions?
Nick: Ataccama is becoming more high-profile across several industries, including insurance. I would like for us to be seen as the data management vendor of choice across all the industries we work in. It’s an ambitious statement because there’s strong competition out there, but we’re doing a good job in getting there.
I’d also like us to continue helping our clients to learn from each other. We get a lot of positive feedback about collaboration and how we’re able to introduce our clients to each other to share the experiences. This is particularly relevant in the London Market where a lot of businesses are facing similar challenges. I want us to continue being seen and known as a very collaborative organisation, with the client’s needs at heart.
Robin: How does Ataccama differentiate itself from other data management providers, particularly in the UK?
Nick: As I touched on earlier, we have a unified platform from which we deliver our solutions. Everything in the Ataccama platform is ours. It’s been built from the ground up by our engineers and all the components are designed to be fully integrated.
That means that clients who start using the platform for data governance, for example, don't need to integrate different tools to start using our data quality or master data management solutions. Anyone who has integrated different data management solutions knows it can be time-consuming, complex and costly. Having a single data management platform saves time, effort and cost.
The other point to mention is that although we’re not a start-up, we still maintain that start-up mentality. We're all about getting things done, being responsive and reactive and that is the mentality we want to maintain.
Robin: What is the one thing you wish everyone knew about data from an insurance industry point of view?
Nick: Simply, how important it is. We often hear from people that the data is the most important asset in their organisation, but when we talk to them about processes and technology for managing data quality, we get told "we don't do that."
If organisations think data is important, then they need to look after it. That's what I wish everyone understood about data - the importance of working with high-quality, well-managed, well-governed data.
Robin: What is your attitude to working with other organisations? Do you have partnerships?
Nick: We set up a dedicated partner practice within the business last year and their job is to identify and onboard the partners who can support Ataccama.
Typically, those partners come in two guises. One is delivery partners - the systems integrators who can help deliver projects for us. The other is technology partners, organisations with a complementary product. We work with them on joint propositions for prospective or shared customers.
Robin: Where is the next big untapped opportunity for data management providers?
Nick: We're going to be in a hard market for a while yet. This is inevitably going to mean a rise in premiums, though this presents opportunities for insurers to tailor products to help maximise retention and win new customers.
Insurers are going to be working with more data from more data points, for example social media reports can also be used to assess risk more accurately and to price policies. That can only be achieved through having maximum value in the data.
It’s also clear in the market now that AI is increasingly being used to automate processes and free up people’s time for more value-added activity. That’s what Ataccama does. Our goal is to enable business and data teams to innovate with real speed whilst maintaining the security and governance of data. Through AI and machine learning, we’re able to deliver data management solutions that understand user intent and support clients in pre-building solutions on the fly.
Robin: We’re delighted to have you as a member of the InsTech London community. If you had one message for other members, what would it be?
Nick: Data is increasingly becoming the preserve of the business for insurers, rather than IT, and that's opening different lines of communication for us with our customers. There are real opportunities for everyone within the InsTech community, whether they’re an insurer, a vendor, or a consulting firm, to get to know Ataccama and have some interesting discussions.
Robin: What kind of organisations do you want to connect with?
Nick: Any organisation that sees data as a priority. It doesn’t matter what size they are, whether they’re an underwriter, a broker, or an MGA. If a company sees data as being a priority for their business, then we’d love to talk to them. They can contact me through LinkedIn or by emailing email@example.com.
For more information on Ataccama, go to ataccama.com