What are real-time analytics?

Today, Fitbit alone has 25 million active users. Then add Garmin and Apple Watch owners to that list—that’s a lot of people tracking health metrics on themselves every day.

What does this have to do with real-time data and analytics?

I think we all understand the importance of running regular reports to assess the health of our business, but I’m not sure we all understand or see the benefit in real-time analytics.

Tying it back to the Fitbit—we don’t run weekly reports on ourselves to see how many steps we took or what our resting heart rate was. We look at it on a daily basis; most of us look at it several times a day.

We think about what’s important to us regarding our health and we monitor those metrics closely with our Fitbit or other wearable technology.

Real-Time Data for Life & Health Insurance Agencies

Life and health insurance agencies can do this with their business! Real-time analytics are graphs and charts that show insurance agencies the happenings of their business at that very moment in time.

They are updated in “real time”, so whenever data changes in your book of business, these graphs and charts will reflect that.

Here’s an example:

View Policies by Status in AgencyBloc

This graph shows all of your agency’s policies by status—active, pending, cancelled, etc. This gives you a quick snapshot of one of the most important aspects of your business—policies.

If one day this graph popped up with an abnormal amount of policies in any of these areas (especially cancelled), that would alert you to a potential issue faster than running weekly reports would.

How Real-Time Analytics Work

If it seems like magic, it’s because it kind of is! Like I said, whenever relevant data is updated in your book of business, these graphs and charts will change accordingly.

If you want a strict definition of real-time computing, a Google search provides this:

“...relating to a system in which input data is processed within milliseconds so that it is available virtually immediately as feedback, e.g., in a missile guidance or airline booking system.”

What I like about this definition is where it says “available virtually immediately as feedback”. This means you can take action immediately. Can’t think of an instance where you’d take action immediately based on something you see in a graph or chart?

What if you just spent a bunch of money on a marketing campaign (like Facebook ads, for instance), and you saw that the leads you were bringing in weren’t actually converting to clients. You spoke with your sales reps, and they agreed that the leads weren’t great. Wouldn’t you want to shut that down pretty quickly?

Or what if you could see a sudden large pool of prospects who hadn’t yet been contacted? I’d bet you’d want to chat with your coworkers or other agents to find out the game plan there.

One more example would be noticing a decrease in policies sold by a certain carrier. This would likely spark a quick conversation with your agents (and potentially even your client services team) to find out why this carrier’s products aren’t being sold as much lately.

Do these examples spark other ideas in your head of where real-time analytics would be beneficial?

To help illustrate this even further, let’s take a look at the actual metrics you can see with real-time analytics.

Areas of Business Real-Time Data Covers

With real-time graphs and charts, you can view all important aspects of your business.

View information related to:

  • Agency activities (to-dos)
  • Group clients and prospects
  • Individual clients and prospects
  • Policies
  • Carriers
  • Commissions

There’s a laundry list of items you can look at for each of these, but many agencies “favorite” dashboards like:

  • Groups and individuals by status (enrolled, quoting, not yet contacted, etc.)
  • All policies by status (the graph in the above example)
  • New policies by month
  • Policies by carrier
  • Top commissions received by carrier
  • Top commissions received by agent
  • Net vs. received commissions

View Group Insurance Policies by Carrier

When I say they “favorite” these dashboards, I mean that they place them on their own personal dashboard to see daily. We call these Personal Dashboards in AgencyBloc.

These analytics are often “favorited” because they give a quick, yet informative look at your agency’s performance.

A couple other real-time analytics that agencies use to assess marketing efforts are:

  • Groups & policies by lead source
  • Individuals & policies by lead source

View groups and policies by lead source

These are analytics that highlight what’s working for your agency from a marketing perspective and what’s not. For instance, you might gain a lot of leads from a certain source, but those leads don’t end up actually buying many policies. That tells you that those leads probably aren’t a good investment.

Lastly, agencies look at actual vs. projected commissions in graph form, as well, to gain insight into whether they’re on track, receiving what they expected to from carriers.

View actual vs projected commissions

So, to answer those questions above:

  • How do real-time analytics work? It’s magic, and you should utilize it immediately.
  • What areas of my business do real-time analytics cover? All of them!

And one more question: why use real-time analytics to monitor these metrics? To keep a close eye on what’s important! It’s absolutely necessary to run reports to dive deeper, but you’ve got a leg up on the competition if you’re monitoring what’s important daily.

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Posted by Kelsey Rosauer on Tuesday, November 20, 2018 in Reporting & Data Analysis

  1. data management
  2. productivity

About The Author

Kelsey Rosauer

Kelsey is the Marketing Manager at AgencyBloc. She helps lead a team of talented marketers in their efforts towards serving and educating life and health insurance agencies. Favorite quote: "You can't use up creativity. The more you use the more you have." —Maya Angelou