Bitesize InsurTech: Optalitix
November 14, 2020 Tom Austen
Optalitix allows insurers to convert spreadsheets into cloud-based models and “remove spreadsheet chaos.”
Acumen is Optalitix’s flagship solution. It aims to provide value in four ways:
- “Liberate” data stored in Excel spreadsheets and allow it to be accessed by other systems
- Make spreadsheets available to multiple users on multiple computers
- Populate models currently run in spreadsheets with live data feeds
- Improve the governance on Excel spreadsheets, for example change controls
Founded in 2013 by Dani Katz, an actuary, and Jonathan Shapiro, a software engineer, Optalitix combines technological know-how with an understanding of the insurance industry.
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Spreadsheets can be uploaded into the cloud, at which point webforms and APIs are automatically created. These can be easily integrated with databases and cloud-based AI tools such as AWS AI, Azure ML and Google Cloud AI. This allows the spreadsheet to become an AI-augmented model within a day. That said, in a discussion with Oxbow Partners, Dani was keen to stress that AI does not have to be applied to every model for Optalitix to provide value.
Acumen has a ‘no code’ interface and does not require users to learn a new programming language.
Optalitix was recently selected to be part of the Lloyd’s Lab Cohort 4. At Lloyd’s, Acumen has been able to convert spreadsheets (which in some cases had been around for over a decade) into real time, AI-augmented models that integrate with legacy systems.
The Oxbow Partners view
The insurance industry is one of many to be run on Excel spreadsheets. However, this is changing. In late 2018, Verisk announced that it had agreed to purchase Rulebook, a technology business being incubated by accounting and consulting firm Moore Stephens, for $87m. Oxbow Partners InsurTech Impact 25 Member hyperexponetial has secured some high-profile contracts with specialty insurers such as Convex for cloud-based pricing software.
We like these kinds of businesses because they are mission-critical to insurers’ operations but also sufficiently accessible that they can be managed by underwriters and actuaries directly, in a controlled and transparent environment.
Underwriters who continue to price using spreadsheets could see themselves be selected against for a number of reasons:
- They could have version control issues on their pricing spreadsheets leading to errors, or underwriters could even be using a version where a cell was accidentally not deleted after its previous use
- They cannot analyse the conversion rates of different quote types, for example they might always lose business when they quote a particular policy section in a particular industry
- They will struggle to match claims data against granular pricing data
If your underwriters are continuing to use spreadsheets for their pricing, you should probably suggest they email us.