Finding, analyzing and presenting information is central to many of our roles in the insurance industry. SIR’s Spring Workshop is a great opportunity to develop new skills in each of these areas.

As we all know, finding the right information is not always easy. Workshop presenters focused on both primary and secondary data collection. Reminding participants that the best information is often not published and must be retrieved from experts both inside and outside your company, Rick Marchetti (The Hartford) led a session on elicitation techniques.

Jen Evert (American Financial Group) followed with a deep dive into free web-based secondary resources, highlighting tools and techniques that allow researchers to more easily manage information overload.

Finding information is only the first step. The real value comes through more effective analysis. Andre Burke (Accenture) walked participants through a model for producing insightful deliverables from a competitor’s investor day presentations. A great session for those who are less confident about adding analysis to their research deliverables, Burke showed how research should always try to answer what, so what and now what.

David Kalinowski (Proactive Worldwide) discussed strategic Early Warning Systems (EWS). The goal of an EWS is to understand the intent of your competitors. Kalinowski examined the process of developing scenarios and identifying indicators that something is going to happen.

Oftentimes researchers spend so much time on finding and analyzing information, the presentation of that information gets short shrift.  Andy Romano and Leanne Storer at Zeldis did a great job reviewing strategies and techniques for using visuals in your reporting. Because images are processed by the human brain 60% faster than text alone, your customers can more easily absorb your data. For those of you who feel artistically challenged, Storer and Romano promoted the importance of brainstorming and collaboration with colleagues to drive more creative visuals.

Mike Warner (Conning) led a session on presenting to Senior Management and the Board. Presenting information to the C-suite requires careful planning. Who will be in the meeting? What interests them the most? How can your presentation tell a story that adequately reviews the current state, while clearly outlining a vision for the future state?

All 2016 SIR Spring Workshop presentations are available for members-only on the SIR website.


Attendees to the Spring Workshops told us that they left Chicago with renewed energy, refined skills and many new industry contacts. The SIR is committed to providing its membership with high-value content and supports professional networking at all of its events.

The upcoming Annual Conference in Scottsdale on October 16-19 will be no exception! If you have not had an opportunity to review the agenda yet, please click here to take a look!