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Following his standing-room only session, A New Breed of Analytics: Holistic Risk Management Decision Making, we chatted with Ben Fidlow, global head of core analytics at Willis Towers Watson, about how their predictive analytics are moving beyond client risk into other business needs and how they find the talent to get them there.

How are you using data differently? 
I think we can do a lot more than we’ve ever done before. The technology, the access to data and the computing power has really changed how we do analytics. We can do predictive analytics almost on the fly, and we’re making it much more consumable. Gone are the days of the 80-page PowerPoint. Now it’s dynamic and interactive, and you can pull in other things like a client’s EBITDA or cash flow. So, we can tell a better story, and I think that’s going to change even more as we go forward.

I think our industry has been slow to get to it, but we have a couple of advantages: we’re good at data, we’re good at risk analyses; and we can empower our corporate clients who are trying to figure out what to do with data and analytics. Once we get good at big data sets and analytics, we can apply it to almost anything, so I think we can branch into helping our clients beyond risk as well. It could be manufacturing process optimization, sales, M&A activity.

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