Asia Awards 2022: Best alternative data initiative—FWD Group


While the rate of digital technology adoption among customers had been steadily rising before the emergence of Covid-19, the pandemic sent it skyrocketing. Users have long sought greater personalization, efficiency, and speed from their services, and the effects of the pandemic on daily life transformed these casual desires into urgent necessities. In response to this digital adoption rush, artificial intelligence (AI) has been pushed to the fore for insurance providers, making it an essential element of improving systems and processes.

“We are combining new digital technologies, data analytics and artificial intelligence to reinvent the insurance journey of our customers. We’ve enhanced our data architecture framework to support an ‘AI-everywhere’ approach, making it simpler for customers to purchase, claim and engage with FWD.”
Dr Yao Yu Hui, group chief data officer, FWD Group


In 2021, FWD Group stepped up to the challenge of meeting customer needs by speeding up its digital transformation. It did so via the launch of the FWD Group Data’s Smart Insurance Framework, a modern data architecture designed to improve operational efficiency. A two-year roadmap was created with the goal of improving operational efficiency and allowing the support of a spectrum of AI initiatives, the leveraging of data analytics and an AI-focused approach to enhance customer experiences.


Since its inception, AI+ Smart Insurance has been an essential element of the FWD Group Data’s Smart Insurance Framework and will continue to play a big part in its long-term plans. It facilitates the creation of innovative and intuitive products while providing simplification and automation for both underwriting journeys and claims. FWS plans to build more than 150 AI models to increase the capability of AI+ Smart Insurance in strengthening distribution channels, formulate data partnerships in emerging channels, drive real-time automated campaigns, and allow multi-channel personalization via recommendation engines.


All of FWD Group’s data has been integrated into a single enterprise platform, allowing its business users to harness data and run analytics across its markets. FWD also undertook several major initiatives:

  • Business improvements: FWD formed a centralized data lake, common data model, data analytics platform, and cloud data warehouse on AWS/Azure.
  • Conservation frameworks: Noting financial concerns faced by customers due to Covid-19 lockdowns, AI Lapse Prevention models were created to identify those customers likely to renew their policies or at high risk of lapsing. Its insights allowed the prioritization of retention efforts and the crafting of personalized experiences and offers, including payment grace periods.
  • Growth: The company expanded its share of data specialists on staff, with about 40% of its total headcount at the group office level being represented by data scientists, data engineers, and data analysts as of September 2021.

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