Three ways to start a grassroots analytics movement at your brokerage


One of the reasons grassroots movements are popular is because it drives change from the bottom up. It starts small, like a meeting of like-minded individuals at a community hall and builds momentum that can change laws and peoples’ perception of things.


If someone told you in 1994 that cannabis would be legal in Canada one day, would you have believed it? That is the power of a grassroots movement.

As a brokerage principal or a commercial lines manager, you’ve probably been hearing lots of talk on the street about analytics. I believe there’s a grassroots movement associated with analytics in that it too, drives change from the bottom up.

Here’s three ways to initiate a grassroots analytics movement at your brokerage:

1. Make data entry matter.

Analytics begins with data entry as the foundation. It works its way up to the management level in the form of charts, graphs and reports.

You need to verify:

  • Who is doing your data entry?
  • How long are they taking to enter the data?
  • What steps have been taken to include staff in the analytics process as a whole?

When I say including them in the analytics process, I don’t mean mumbling through a thirty second presentation of forecast sheets that resemble abstract art. If it’s important to you, make it your mission for it to be important to them too.

When your staff are actively involved in a process, they have a vested interest in the outcome. Let them know that the accuracy of data entry is the foundation of analytics and the future of the brokerage is determined by the data they’re entering.

2. Start a data community.

Find inspiration by researching legendary grassroots movements like Civil Rights and Women’s Suffrage. These movements didn’t start with thousands of people, multi-million-dollar budgets or support from the mainstream. They started as a group with vision.

When it comes to data and analytics, we’ve been tackling the same issue for decades—data that is kept all over the place. Data in network folders, paper files, Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, PDFs and so on. Data that’s all over the place will never get the chance to become analytics if it’s not congregated.

Start a data community by giving it a platform. Data doesn’t have the luxury of communicating via conference calls, FaceTime and Skype. Data must be in one place for it properly develop into accurate analytics.

3. Think big, start small.

Brokerage principals and commercial lines managers know the value of clear, concise analytics that help you make decisions about:

  • Book of business growth
  • Business retention
  • Insurers
  • Employee performance
  • Department activity

Currently, you may not have all the data needed to generate analytics for more than one type of activity accurately, so start small. Determine the most important analytics needed right now and build from there.

If you’re wondering how Policy Works knows what brokerage principals and commercial lines managers want to know about their business, it’s because we asked them.

We started our own grassroots movement! We conducted one-on-one and focus group sessions with principals at numerous commercially-focused brokerages across Canada and the “Commercial Lines Analytics Roadmap” was the result.

If you’d like to join our grassroots analytics movement, we’re happy to have you aboard. We’d love to hear your thoughts and ideas. Let’s talk!

To quote American writer on business management practices, Tom Peters:

Community organizing is all about building grassroots support. It's about identifying the people around you with whom you can create a common, passionate cause. And it's about ignoring the conventional wisdom of company politics and instead playing the game by very different rules.

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Topics: Commercial_lines, data, analytics