Embracing the Crowd in Life Insurance - Part 2

February 29, 2016 by Anne-Frances Hutchinson

As an idea generator, crowdsourcing is brainstorming expanded to near infinity. In our previous post, we considered the potential inherent in crowdsourcing as more than an ideation tool, suggesting that it can be used to drive new product development and fresh approaches to underwriting. But before we tackle those topics, let’s take a closer look at how the crowd works.

The crowd is powered by the same engine that has driven business since day one: competition. Because the crowd is open to any and every conceivable human participant, the best contributors rise to the top by delivering the most accurate and reliable results for whatever puzzle they choose to tackle. The most complex problems are solved by those best equipped to solve them.

When it comes to task-oriented crowd projects, the most accurate and most reliable competitors get the work. The tasks are often tiny; for example, verifying the spelling of a single word, identifying a single number, letter or symbol. Workers are paid for each correctly completed task or right answer given. For many, crowdsourcing eliminates the cost of rework. Also, the versatility and flexibility of the crowd make it a workable solution for companies of all sizes.

Since the advent of cloud computing, there’s been much handwringing about data security, and rightly so. The wide adoption of cloud computing has pushed forward an entire galaxy of data security solutions specific to that space. In contrast, security for the crowd is the crowd itself.

When it comes to using the crowd as a data capture component, the key is context, or, more precisely, the lack of it. At Captricity, we extract individual data fields from uploaded documents and use crowdsourced data entry workers to process those fields completely out of context from the original document. Because all data is non-contextual when it reaches the crowd, it stays that way while it is being verified. Once context is eliminated, so is the potential for a data breach.

Our proprietary Shreddr™ technology ensures that each data entry worker sees only one ‘shred’ from each document. Here’s how it works.

To whatever end crowdsourcing is used, infinity of solution is a constant. From 30,000 feet, it’s easy to see the ethereal potential of such an elegant mechanism designed to glean the best from the best. But it’s only when we drop down to ground level that we get a more valuable perspective on the power of the crowd – and it’s all about the context.

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