The workforce is evolving. The days of working 40 hours per week in an office from 9 to 5 are long gone
MEDIA 7: Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dig in, our readers would love to learn a bit more about you. Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
DAN FIEHN: Firstly, thank you for giving me this opportunity. I am delighted to be taking part in this interview. This is a great first question. Since I was young, I've been interested in technology and how this can be harnessed to solve problems. The launch of the ZX Spectrum in the 1980s inspired me to learn basic computer skills, as many people growing up in the 80s did, which allowed me to acquire fundamental computing knowledge. I spent hours and hours copying code from weekly computer magazines. Frequently, these never worked, and I had to wait until the following week for the fixes to the bugs to be published. Over time, I learned how to fix these issues myself and eventually write my own programmes. I was fortunate that my college had a computer room that I could use at lunchtimes and after lessons. This allowed me to develop my skills further. I also joined a computer club where I met like-minded people who encouraged me to pursue a career in IT. Fast forward to today, and I'm proud to say that I've been working in IT for over 30 years. I've held various roles during this time, from software development to project manager and now lead a team of data scientists as Chief Operating Officer. The thrill of "delivering" a new thing continues to live with me today, albeit the solutions take much longer to deliver and are more complex.
M7: Could you please elaborate on how Incited is accelerating insurers' digital journeys?
DF: Many Insurers are developing machine learning models to address similar business issues. This development is often costly and time-consuming, necessitating the employment of in-house Data Scientists and specialist IT data experts. Furthermore, most current machine learning algorithms aren't based on unique ideas. Incited is accelerating insurers' digital journeys by providing pre-built predictive models as a service, which have been specifically developed to address the most common business problems. Our platform, called IMMERSA365, provides a range of predictive algorithms and data enrichments, bringing affordable machine learning to organisations previously excluded by prohibitive costs, a shortage of skilled resources, or a lack of confidence in starting the data science journey. IMMERSA365 is a cloud-hosted software-as-a-service product accessed over the internet (via secure APIs). It supports many high-throughput tasks and generates hundreds of data points from millions of daily transactions. IMMERSA365 is a game-changer as our data science service represents a new way of doing business.
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The future wave of digital transformation will be driven by a confluence of technologies, such as AI, IoT, quantum computing, blockchain, superfast networks and the Metaverse
M7: What impact do you think Analytics & Big Data will have in the next 5 years?
DF: Over the next five years, the role of analytics and big data will become increasingly critical for businesses. The future wave of digital transformation will be driven by a confluence of technologies, such as artificial intelligence (AI), the internet of things (IoT), quantum computing, blockchain, superfast networks like 5G and the Metaverse. This will result in better, more accessible data. This is where analytics and big data will play a critical role. They will help make sense of all the generated data and turn it into insights that businesses can use to make better decisions, optimise their operations, and stay ahead of the competition.
Businesses are going to need to focus on three key areas:
1) Developing a data-driven culture: This means making data-based decision-making a part of the company's DNA. From marketing to HR to R&D, it will need to be driven by data.
2) Investing in the right technology and infrastructure, including data management and analytics tools to cloud-based platforms and 5G networks.
3) Partnering with the right solution providers and create powerful ecosystems.
By utilising these new data sets, businesses will be able to understand their customers and what is driving their company outcomes. This information will assist organisations in making more informed judgments and obtaining a competitive advantage. As a result, company executives must begin planning for this shift and figure out how these technologies might help their organisation.
M7: What are the top challenges that you see for the industry in general and Incited this year?
DF: Every business leader knows that the key to success is having a talented team. However, finding and retaining top talent has become one of the top challenges for the Insurance market this year. Incited is a fast-paced Insurtech using the latest AI technologies and practices, and we are not immune from the general lack of availability of digitally skilled individuals. There are many reasons for this, including the competitive job market and the increasing demand for skilled workers. To stay ahead of the competition, businesses need to find new and innovative ways to attract and retain top talent. This can include offering competitive salaries and benefits packages and creating a positive work environment that employees will want to be a part of. By focusing on talent acquisition and retention, businesses can set themselves up for success in the years ahead.
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By focusing on talent acquisition and retention, businesses can set themselves up for success in the years ahead.
M7: What is your plan to navigate the increasingly important and complex ESG agenda as a business leader?
DF: As you rightly say, ESG is a complex area and requires focused attention. ESG risk is something all businesses face and have been dealing with for many years to a greater or lesser extent. Environmental challenges, such as climate change and resource scarcity, are no longer a sideshow, and they're essential components that may impact your company's financial success.
There are a few key things to keep in mind:
1) Be proactive. Don't wait until there's a crisis to address ESG concerns.
2) Seek out expert advice. There's no need to go it alone.
As a rapidly growing Insurtech, our approach at Incited has always been to surround ourselves with the right partners and advisors. This has helped us develop board capabilities and ensure the proper governance mechanisms to oversee, enable, and support our ESG agenda are in place.
M7: What do you see as the most noticeable change in the workforce, encouraged by the rise of digital technologies?
DF: The workforce is evolving. The days of working 40 hours per week in an office from 9 to 5 are long gone. People may work from anywhere at any time due to technological advancements. Business executives must adapt their strategies in response to the global pandemic effects, which have resulted in a notable shift in the demands of their workforce. Over the last 12 months, I've witnessed much movement within the c-suite and senior management levels, where individuals have sought to change their careers after many years in one place. These individuals seem to be responding to effects triggered by the pandemic and have taken the opportunity to review their work-life balance. This human movement has resulted in a favourable impact on the Insurtech sector, as experienced individuals seek to capitalise on their expertise and networks and new digital technologies to optimise commercial opportunities across existing value chains. At the same time, many businesses have woken up to the significance of IT. More than ever, companies are upgrading or re-platforming to extend their services and protect revenue streams. Insurers have also become more customer-focused than ever, ensuring that customers have easy access to solutions that offer high self-service. Combined, these demands are putting pressure on the limited supply of highly skilled digital skills available in the marketplace.
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M7: You are an experienced keynote speaker, and your videos are extremely informative for the professionals. Did you have any role models you looked up to when you started your career?
DF: When you're starting your career, it's crucial to have a role model to look up to. Someone who has been where you are and can guide you on the right path. For me, that person was my boss at my first job. She was a tough but fair leader who had much experience in the business world. She taught me the importance of hard work and dedication and showed me that anything is possible with enough perseverance. If I had to single out one individual who had a long-term influence on my thinking, Bill Walsh, the legendary American football coach, would be my choice. I've been a massive fan of professional sports for as long as I can remember, and their unwavering devotion to a single goal impresses me the most. Bill Walsh's influence went well beyond the football field as a coach and leader. His squad's success record speaks for itself, and his approach to leadership was ahead of its time. I've tried to take this laser focus on making a lasting positive difference in everything I do in my career. If you're looking for a role model yourself, don't hesitate to ask your colleagues or friends for recommendations. There's no shame in seeking guidance from someone who has already achieved success. Follow their lead, and soon you'll be on your way to achieving your own goals.