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Make Data Work
March 13–14, 2017: Training
March 14–16, 2017: Tutorials & Conference
San Jose, CA

Building the “future you” retirement planning service on a Hadoop data lake

Chris Murphy (Zurich Insurance Group), Martin Lidl (Deloitte)
2:00pm2:30pm Tuesday, March 14, 2017
DCS, Strata Business Summit
Location: LL20 A Level: Intermediate
Average rating: ***..
(3.80, 5 ratings)

Chris Murphy explains how a major insurance company adopted Hadoop to leverage its data to underpin the new customer-centric ethos of the organization and how this has enabled a new approach to helping customers truly understand their financial portfolios, build a roadmap to meet their financial goals, identify opportunities, and help them secure their financial future.

Like many monolithic companies, the company has a large volume of customer data stored across multiple systems that have been built up on disparate technologies over the decades. This has consistently limited opportunities to evolve, as more and more resources are dedicated to maintaining the aging legacy technology. Traditional data warehouses and data marts have offered limited opportunities to leverage this data, encouraging a corporate approach to data based around products rather than people and resulting in business intelligence systems that consistently grew stale and increasingly less relevant. Consolidating data into a data lake leveraging the processing power and scalability of Hadoop has liberated the company from many of the “old world” constraints that have traditionally limited its ability to identify the needs of customers and allowed it to create new capabilities to meet customer expectations in more dynamic ways.

Key to these capabilities is the creation of a single customer view, enabling a better understanding of the position and needs of customers, thus allowing the company the opportunities to meet them. Using Hadoop as the basis for an operational data store (a cornerstone of the company’s digital strategy) is allowing the company to build the capabilities to provide customers with a near-real-time view of their information in a scalable, future-proof way while allowing for massive operational efficiencies by reducing the complexity of the IT landscape and dependencies on obsolete technologies.

An early use case of the data lake is a recently launched proposition aimed at encouraging customers to start planning their retirement earlier and more easily by creating an engaging, simple-to-use web-based portal that is closely coupled with the company’s new customer relationship management system, which also uses the data lake as its operational data store. While the lake is still in its infancy, and many of the teething challenges like consistently streaming data from externally managed systems remain to be overcome, the data lake is a key component to the company’s IT roadmap, which over time will become a single source of truth for all corporate data. As Hadoop matures, the company intends to capitalize on its growing capabilities, allowing the data lake to become the data engine that drives the business.

Photo of Chris Murphy

Chris Murphy

Zurich Insurance Group

Chris Murphy recently joined the architecture team at one of the UK’s leading banks. A highly skilled and experienced IT solutions architect, Chris has held various IT positions at several global financial services companies, including Fidelity Investments, Zurich Insurance Group, and Liberty Mutual. Over the past 16 years, he has led and managed challenging technology projects, including, most recently, the design and delivery of a Hadoop operational data lake and an IT robotics platform. Chris enjoys speaking at major industry events about data management and analytics. He holds a BS in business information systems from University College Cork, Ireland.

Photo of Martin Lidl

Martin Lidl


Martin is a Director within Deloitte’s Technology Consulting practice where he leads the Information Delivery capability and the Big Data proposition across FSI.

Martin’s areas of expertise involve Data Integration, Programme Delivery, Architecture & Design, Reporting and Performance Tuning applied to mission critical and complex systems.

Martin covers the entire breath of Data Management, from designing and implementing technical solutions to providing high level strategic advice, turning round failing projects and troubleshooting. He is an Information Delivery specialist with an excellent track record in delivering, designing, integrating and de-risking Data solutions at blue-chip financial institutions and insurance companies.