Unlocking the Potential of Big Data

At Safety 2014, attendees learned what the new era of big data means for safety professionals.

ORLANDO -- Christopher Iovino, CSP, and Leslie Batterson, CSP, of Aon discussed the new era of big data and what it means for safety professionals during a June 10 breakout session at Safety 2014, ASSE's annual conference. New technology and more available IT reporting systems are flooding these professionals with more and more data each year; Batterson and Iovino discussed what big data is, the future state of big data, and how to leverage big data to improve a safety culture at work.

The speakers gave examples of big data (such as vertical apps, media apps, and business intelligence) and then defined big data as the process of extracting actionable intelligence from disparate, and oftentimes non-traditional, data sources. They cited a survey in which 72 percent of companies said they use big data to impact their costs.

They then discussed where companies get big data and how to use it so that it makes sense and positively affects a company's overall performance. Having drawn more than 40 different types of data, the two presenters picked out four relevant types of data to discuss in detail: indemnity claims, medical only to indemnity conversion rates, temporary total disability days, and claim report log time. The last point is particularly important because most claims should be reported within three days after an accident. However, in several industries, most do not get reported within this time period.

Batterson and Iovino concluded their presentation by discussing the future of big data and the changing landscape of the workforce, as workers overall are getting older and more overweight. There is a longer lag time in claim reporting with the 45+ age group, they said, giving examples of how dissecting and understanding big data can help companies deal with these changes to their advantage and to improve worker health and safety.

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