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The increasing importance of information and a strong database is perceptible in modern times, in general; and particularly at times of global financial crises – such as the one we have been witness to, more recently. It is possible that the existence of a strong information base could have bailed out an organization from jeopardy; whereas a better performing firm could have slipped into a chaotic situation, just because they did not have the support of a vibrant database. Considering the value addition that data can bring to management decisions, pioneering work has been done in coming out with industry-related solutions that have been assuming huge importance lately.
Historically, Indian insurance business did not enjoy the benefits of sharing information among its players. For their own reasons, insurers always believed in holding the cards close to their chest; and unfortunately, no major attempt has been made to create a vibrant platform of information that could help the progress of the industry. More recently, this trend has been seen to be reversed; and modern insurers increasingly realize the importance of not only creating a strong database but also to share it with others, so that the adverse factors of business
can be negated. Even for the supervisors, it has been a priority to ensure that there is a reliable and comprehensive database that would serve as a strong basis for taking forward its functions. Thankfully, we have been making good progress in this regard.
Indian insurance industry is still in an evolving stage, in a sense; and in order that the attempt to attain global standards is accomplished eventually, sitting on a mine of information is the first priority. To implement such regulatory regimes as Risk Based Capital, International Financial Reporting Standards etc; the need for a highly efficient informational database is of the highest order. It is our endeavour to progress towards building such a strong database; and in this attempt, we also look forward to total support from the players as well as the other stakeholders.
‘Data Warehousing and Mining in Insurance’ is the focus of this issue of theJo u r n al. If the controversies associated with business conduct in the insurance industry are to be brought down drastically, it is essential that there is proper training at every level of management and staff. ‘Training in Insurance’ will be the focus of the next issue of theJo u r n al .
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