by Jimmy Saldana, National Programs’ Director of Strategic Innovation, as published in CB Insights
Insurance is not an industry that was built to be digital-first. Legacy systems and burdensome regulations present challenges that do not allow us to move as fast as other industries moving towards becoming digital-first companies.
In today’s world, customers expect a digital-first customer experience, and at Brown & Brown’s National Programs, we are committed to rising to that challenge. Our goal is to deliver the best experience possible to our customers, and we know that technology can help us get there faster.
I serve as the Director of Strategic Innovation for National Programs and Brown & Brown. Our team is focused on helping avoid business disruption by understanding how new technological innovations enable us to better serve our customers. We drive the organization forward by monitoring what is happening in the technology market and distilling those key takeaways down for the business. The insight we provide is then leveraged as we shape both National Programs’ and Brown & Brown’s product development and business models.
In the past, researching the technology market was time-consuming and labor-intensive. We would conduct our own research, gathering information from Google, company websites, and other various sources and then pull it all together into a spreadsheet. When internal research requests on new markets or companies were submitted, we started this very manual process over, compiling information across multiple sources and triple-checking every data point. Markets move fast, and company strategies are constantly changing. Our 200-line spreadsheet could not keep up with the pace of the business.
Today, we use CB Insights to quickly and easily pull real-time data. We can also access research from industry experts that helps our team identify what companies and markets we need to educate the organization on internally, and those who may be a good fit for acquisitions.
Streamlining The Research Process
CB Insights helps us at every stage of our research process. It is the only all-in-one platform on the market. When we start to look into a new market or company, we begin by seeing what information we can find in CB Insights—from what partnerships they have to what the CB Insights analysts have written about them.
One of the easiest ways for us to filter companies is to use the Mosaic Score. We have been doing this long enough to know that just a few data points on their funding or a “good feeling” about a founding team does not tell you enough. The Mosaic Score is the one number that brings it all together for us, giving us a complete picture of a company’s financial position, market potential, press coverage, and management team strength. All of these are critical factors to consider when evaluating companies.
Once we have used Mosaic Score to get our shortlist of companies together, we start tracking the funnel. We pull our shortlist into a Collection, a real-time spreadsheet of companies, and then create easily customizable fields for our different stages of funnel. Wecan tell you within one click how many companies have done a proof of concept, signed an NDA, and more.
CB Insights’ ‘Collections’ feature is a CRM built for teams like ours.
Because the Collections feature is also pulling in CB Insights’ rich dataset, we can look at how much funding a company has raised, valuations, and other financial data to see where the market is heading. This feature has streamlined our collaboration and made it easier for startups to work with us, which is a huge benefit when it comes to attracting the best and brightest tech innovators.
Trusting Our Data
You are only as good as the data you are using.
Before utilizing CB Insights, we were limited to data we could find on our own, and often, the information would become quickly outdated given the rapidly evolving nature of tech companies and markets. Data sources were also sometimes narrowly focused or biased, and it was challenging to find the purely objective information we were seeking.
We have a higher level of confidence in the information available to us from CB Insights. One example of the value of CB Insights was stems from the period of time leading up to our acquisition of Coverhound. We could see data on their market and offering through CB Insights, but we also were able to conduct research on their investors, market share, and competitors within the platform. Tracking everything within a Collection was a really helpful way to stay on top of the space, and it made our job of presenting this information internally much easier. And, of course, the day our acquisition was announced, we saw it come up just an hour later in CB Insights!
Transforming The Customer Experience
As the industry moves through a digital transformation, Brown & Brown Insurance is committed to maintaining our position as an influential leader and remaining focused on being a customer-first company. Today, that also means being a digital-first company.
With CB Insights, we know it is possible. We are quicker and more agile in our response to internal requests for research about different markets, and have all of the valuable information we need for a company shortlist at our fingertips. We are excited to see where our commitment to being a customer-first, digitally innovative company takes National Programs and Brown & Brown Insurance in the future.