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Data and Usages in Insurance


A data is not a piece of information. It is a raw detail that is collected for a research purpose. A data may not be understood by everybody. It may be understood only by the researcher. Some data are basically meaningless to the average reader as they appear only in figures and other mathematical signs especially when computation of the data is done through the computer. For a data to become information, it must have been processed and presented for the average reader or user or insurer to understand.


What is Data Collection?

Data collection is a research activity that aims at getting raw details for the purpose of meeting a research objective.

There are two types of data collection methods that are an insurer can use. These are:

1.  Primary data method

2.  Secondary data method

Primary Data Method: This is the process of getting data for the first time. Example of such method includes survey research method, experimentation research method, observation research method, and simulation research method. Any data got from these research methods is a primary data as it has never been acquired or processed before.

Secondary Data Method: This is the opposite of primary data method. It is the process of using already presented information as data for research objective. Example of this method is the content analysis method of research. Publications from the Nigerian Insurers Association, the Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria, the Nigerian Council of Registered Insurance Brokers among others are examples of secondary data that could be used in insurance practice.

Data is collected or generated for the primary purpose of research.

What is Data Processing?

Data Processing is the activity that is carried out in order to turn a data into a piece of information.

Methods of Data Processing

There are two ways for processing data that are available to the insurer. There are manual and electronic approaches.

What is Data Presentation?

This is making information available to the management after the data has been processed. Doing this can take several forms. These include the use of prose and any (combination) of:

1.   Tables

2.  Bar chart

3.  Histogram

4.  Pie chart

5.  Polygon

When writing the report, the researcher or the insurer should obey these rules:

1.  Do away with adjectives as it only shows the biases of the writer. Just say a boy not a good boy. The “good” as shown the bias of the writer. Even if “good” is taken away, the word is still with the same meaning, “boy”.

2.  Do away with adverbs

3.  Use appropriate pronouns

4.  Use appropriate prepositions

5.  In a sentence with more than one name, try not to use conflicting pronoun or pronouns at all in referring to the people. This is to ensure clarity and concord of the message and the subject to the management.

6.  Try to do away with the word ‘about’ in figures. Be precise.

7.  Always write how the study was carried out. This will enable management to identify with the report.

Let us now examine the other part of the piece, Development.


Development is to advance the course of the organisation for maximum efficiency. There are many areas that an insurance company can commission research into in order to develop the organisations. It may be for product, human resources, market, marketing, business development or what have you.

Towards developing the company, the research details given above are used for all activities as the researcher is expected to draw up the research plan for the particular case.

Research for development for insurance can be for any of the followings.

Products, markets, growth opportunities, profitability guidelines, risk management, sales growth, feasibility studies, performance measurement, marketing, strategies and tactics, new methods and technologies for continuous business improvement and product advancement, studies and assessments of the insurance industry and markets, customer surveys, competitors’ intelligence, benchmarking studies, environmental trends, scenario planning/future studies, creativity and Innovation.


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