Alex Armstrong is a Strategic Portfolio Underwriter at LV= General Insurance (LV= GI), with responsibility for the profitability and performance of key Broker accounts. He shares how the Corndel Data Analytics Diploma is changing how he approaches his work.
Alex’s role involves working with a number of different sources of data and monitoring standard insurance KPIs such as loss ratios and gross written premiums. He develops tailored proposals for his accounts, working closely with the pricing and product delivery teams to develop the products, ensure they go live and track the proposals to ensure they have the desired performance.
Data Analytics as a career-enhancing skill
Alex was considering a Diploma in Insurance for the next step in his personal development when he heard about the Data Analytics Diploma. He felt that the data programme would suit him better because “learning new skills around data management, coding, statistics and probability, and data visualisation will be relevant for whichever career path I take; effectively future-proofing my career in a world where data skills are increasingly in demand.”
“I now have greater control over my accounts, with better data to drive decisions.”
Alex had some experience of using tools such as SQL in previous roles, but improving those skills and learning Python has enabled him to speed up the process of preparing and analysing unique data files from brokers, without having to ask another department to fit it into their work stack. “What would have taken a couple of weeks, I can now do instantly. Not only that, but by doing it myself, I have a greater understanding of what the data entails. I can control the variables within the data extraction, so if more granular analysis is needed, I can change the banding of variables myself from 1-10 to 1-5, for example, and re-analyse the new data set. I can also help my team – as if they have data that they can’t extract, I have generally been able to do it for them since being on the course.”
“I’ve transformed how I present proposals, and am able to apply soft skills to my data-driven work.”
Alex says that he had got into the habit of using lots of words when presenting proposals; and is now a lot better at focusing on key information, knowing which data to bring in when, and which charts and layouts to use. Creating so much more of the data himself as had a huge impact in his ability to build compelling proposals that effectively tell a story and can withstand robust questioning.
Both Alex and his line manager describe a marked shift in the way he works with data since joining the programme.
“My line manager has had a number of catch ups with my Professional Development Expert (PDE), Minesh, and has noted how I am applying my new skills in my day-to-day work. She has commented too that the wider team is benefitting. Prior to the course, when colleagues in other departments spoke about data analysis, I just saw a series of graphs without necessarily knowing what they meant; I now see those same graphs through a different lens. I have a better understanding of the kind of modelling they have used and what they mean for the business.”
Alex is now working more competently and confidently in his day-to-day role, using new skills to spot patterns in his data and act on that insight.
The impact of this is felt across his team. Alex values how responsive and understanding his PDE has been, taking time to fully explain complex concepts and techniques. The flexible structure of the Diploma has allowed him to re-order his work to fit in around life events and Alex has found this invaluable in order to make good progress. “I’m seeing so many roles that require skills and knowledge around Big Data or high-level analytics”, he explains. “The Data Analytics Diploma is a serious commitment, but one that will undoubtedly help you progress in your career.”