Does “Oscar the Grouch” Love Your Bordereau Data?


If you've watched Sesame Street, you’ve seen Oscar the Grouch. He's the puppet covered in mangy green fur that lives in a garbage can. He loves garbage and proudly keeps an assortment of useless junk in his garbage can.


If you’re a large to mid-sized brokerage, I am sure you can relate to Oscar and his assortment of useless junk, especially when it comes to taking stock of your data. You have a lot of data piled up in your commercial lines stockpile. Some of it good, valuable data and some of it useless or unnecessary.

Let’s say you’re a brokerage that has “the pen” and you’re creating location based bordereaux. The insurer has requested the following items be reported:

  • Policy number
  • Transaction type
  • Effective date
  • Expiry date
  • Insured nam
  • Client number
  • Address
  • Province
  • Postal code
  • IBC code

One branch has address, province and postal code entered as a single spreadsheet column. Another has this information parsed, that is a separate column for address, province and postal code. Subsequently, another branch doesn’t collect the IBC code or consistently enters the incorrect code for certain classes of business.

It’s ironic that each branch collects the exact same data but it’s the lack of standardization that devalues it. In the computer science industry, this is known as GIGO, which stands for Garbage In, Garbage Out. Bad data input results in bad data output—plain and simple.

Just how Oscar the Grouch loves his garbage, you too can love yours or at least learn to love it by recycling it into valuable, machinable data.

Machinable data is information that can be exchanged, without human intervention, from one system to another.

The most important part of generating accurate bordereaux is having good, machinable data as your foundation. In Policy Works, that foundation data comes from finalized transactions that contain policy details, underwriting information and insured values. It’s good data because it’s inputted once in a standardized format that makes it easy to transfer onto a bordereau.

As Oscar would say, “it’s called a garbage can, not a garbage cannot.” If you’d like to see how Policy Works can reclaim your data, contact us for a demo.

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