Big Data Technologies Can’t Solve Small Commercial Problems

Time and again, solution providers look to rapidly expand their business by taking the technology and big data solutions they created specifically for large commercial policyholders and applying it to the small business sector. More often than not, those providers fail and end up abandoning the small commercial insurance market.

Why? Typically because it’s easy to underestimate the complexity of developing an AI-powered data access solution for the small commercial business sector. In some ways, building a technology that automates small commercial underwriting is much harder than creating one for the large business sector. To put it another way, small commercial underwriting has a small data problem – meaning often there is very limited information available online or anywhere about those businesses.

The ice cream shop on the corner or the hobby shop down the street — their presence online may only consist of a single social media site and a sparse website. And not only is their online footprint tiny, but each small business is a snowflake – no two are exactly alike. The patterns that big data AI solutions use won’t work for such small data sets. The classification and risk-assessment details they return will often be inaccurate.

At NeuralMetrics, we understand this challenge of classifying and assessing risk for small businesses. And we specifically developed a solution that could locate and access small amounts of data and accurately answer the underwriting questions required by carriers in a matter of seconds. We also added transparency and reliability indicators for the data, enabling carriers to return to the source and see exactly why a question was answered in a particular way.

Off-the-shelf big data AI techniques won’t work in small commercial underwriting. Because small businesses often have a small online footprint, a range of AI techniques are needed to uncover and present relevant data for small commercial insurance.  And that’s the focus of NeuralMetrics: Delivering a data solution to measurably boost small commercial underwriting — accurately, transparently, and in real time.  

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