Starting and developing a business inherently involves some level of risk, but the most successful businesses know how to measure and proactively exercise risk management. Strategic efforts like this can be even more effective by utilizing risk analytics. Risk analytics is about measuring, quantifying, organizing, and predicting outcomes based on the kinds of risk to which a business is exposed . By knowing the risks facing a company, where they come from, and the likelihood of them occurring, businesses are far more prepared for success.
There are both qualitative and quantitative risk analysis methods, and in today’s modern and largely online world, both methods are relying more heavily on advancing technologies and systems to help gather accurate and actionable information. This may include big data, artificial intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT), and machine learning, among many others.
Risk analytics can have a lot of detailed steps and processes, depending on the circumstances and needs of a company. Portfolios or stock returns, risk modeling, risk and loss predictions, and trend analyses are just some of the risk analytic tools that businesses use. Some of the most common types of risks that are tracked and analyzed include the following:
Financial risk is likely one of the first areas people think about when considering business ventures. Understanding both the potential pitfalls and the possibilities of certain financial strategies is a basic but critical part of risk management.
Economic or Market Risk
Certain choices that businesses make can be more or less risky based on the current market conditions, particularly in their specific field. For example, employment and unemployment periods can greatly affect the standards of living, which, in turn, affect a company’s goals, options, and customers.
Along with looking at external conditions, like the market, it’s also essential to look at internal conditions, which is what operational risk assesses. Human/employee errors, natural disasters, global health crises, man-made crises, unsafe or ineffective internal policies or controls, and anything else that can threaten a company’s operations can be analyzed in terms of risk.
Companies should implement long-term and short-term strategies to help prevent fraudulent opportunities utilized by criminals. Risk analytics can help reveal blind spots in a company’s procedures or cybersecurity controls and establish more effective ways of detecting criminal and other nefarious activities.
Transportation and Logistics Risk
There are many moving parts of the transportation industry and many potential risks that come with those parts. Risk analytics can focus on several elements, including scalability and connectivity, and even more literal risks like the potential impact of weather conditions.
Supply Chain Risk
Issues with the supply chains can cause a ripple effect and create new issues for all industries. Common risks include material shortages, price spikes, poor supplier relations, and quality failures.
Investing money as a business may feel incredibly risky, and it can be without the right research and preparation. With historical predictors, statistics, and other methods of risk mitigation, companies can find the right balance between risk and reward.
A breached IT system can be one of the worst risks to a business, especially with vulnerable private information and money at risk. Risk analytics can help look at weaknesses and potential threats to an IT system, such as how easy it is to breach, the severity of the damage should someone get access to it, and other calculations that measure related risks.
Who Uses Risk Analytics?
All industries can benefit from risk analytics in one way or another; it all depends on the needs of the particular company. Some risk types are more niche compared to others—for example, every business should have some form of financial risk management, but transportation and logistics won’t be as broadly applicable to businesses outside of commerce. That said, here are some of the industries that especially benefit from actively utilizing risk analytics.
Insurance companies use risk analytics to help secure the information of their customers as well as evaluate their pricing and underwriting processes. Some of the more common types of risk analytics include credit, market, and operational risk. Ultimately, information insurers gather from their clients to determine premiums is typically private information that should be protected.
Financial services and banking are other sectors that must carefully handle private information, especially with direct access to their customers’ money. Banking relies heavily on system integration, the source of data, risk modeling, and other monitoring tools to help keep information secure. Fraud and investment risk are especially important analyses to conduct for financial services companies.
The healthcare industry has all kinds of risks, from patient information security to law-abiding systems and procedures, safety policy practices, insurance fraud, and many other potential hazards. Some mistakes can be incredibly costly and others can cost someone’s life. As technology advances, the more important it is for healthcare devices and networks to be secure, so IT risk management is also a prominent type of analysis in the healthcare industry.
Governments have the responsibility to protect civilian information and keep the country secure, which can include weather forecasting, border security management, policy control, and other services that help keep the nation running. Not only this, but governments are a constant target, so there are extensive operational, fraud, and IT risks, just to name a few.
This is in no way a comprehensive list; other industries include (but are not limited to) retail, technology, telecommunications, media, transportation and logistics, manufacturing, energy and utilities, and construction.
The Benefits of Risk Analytics
Security and Preparedness
There are a lot of advantages to risk analytics, but it’s more than a benefit: it’s a necessity. There’s a much greater chance of failure and money loss by not having an intentional and data-driven plan for your business. By collecting data about past, current, and future trends in your company and industry, you are investing in peace of mind. Not only should you be routinely assessing your company’s current protocols and opportunities, but the more prepared you are, the more options you have for your business down the road, even during uncertain times.
Risk analytics is also more than preventive; it also give businesses an edge in their field. They allow business owners to take greater risks that can pay off in more profits and better services. The more success an organization has, the greater appeal it has to new and potential customers, which is a profitable and honest strategy to help beat out competitors.
The more a company understands its blind spots, the more that purposefully business leaders can make wise decisions. Instead of being reactive, companies utilizing risk analytics can be proactive in their strategy. Plus, they can more confidently interact with clients and customers because they have data insights that can help direct their services.
Because risk analytics can be so extensive and advanced, it has the potential to impact every level of your company, from the frontline workforce up to top management. Any areas in which a company can tighten up and implement better risk mitigation practices, the more secure and profitable a company can be. Risk analytics can also help get everyone on the same page about necessary risks that are backed by airtight data.
How to Implement Risk Analytics
Risk analytics may seem like a daunting task, but with the right steps, tools, and expertise, business owners and leaders can seamlessly integrate risk analytics into their business strategies. Here are 3 steps to help you get started:
Establish a Risk Management Model
The first step to utilizing risk analytics is probably the most obvious: get a system in place. Risk analysis isn’t a one-and-done process. Risks need to be routinely evaluated over time, not only to uncover threats but also to gather usable data about your business. Analyses should be conducted using a combination of digital risk analytics software and hardware, and company culture evaluations.
Have a Collection of Risks
You have to be able to identify the potential risks to evaluate them. Consider the levels of operation in your organization. Do you have people on phones? Do you ship items or products? How do you gather and protect the information of your customers? Do you have the proper safety procedures and equipment for your employees? Do you have remote employees? Do you work with contractors? What kind of fraud detection system do you have in place?
Once you have identified those possible risks, it’s important to know the consequences of worst-case scenarios, like risk indicators. What triggers these potential issues? What are the signals when problems occur? What is the protocol for coming back from a disaster? All of these topics deserve attention and can either stifle or nourish your company’s growth.
Test, Report, Expand, Repeat
Once you have a system and you know what you need to evaluate and analyze, businesses should test data sources to help determine data quality. Reporting the analytical findings should break down the probability of risks, suggest how potential risks should be prioritized, offer solutions based on the severity of the consequences, and distribute action items company-wide. After the changes are implemented and practiced for a time, it’s time to start the risk analytics process again.
Risk and uncertainty are a part of any business, and by being more aware of them by using risk analytics, companies can have greater control over their present and future.
Acrisure offers AI-driven cybersecurity solutions that can act as both a preventative measure for current risks and as a recovery tool for unexpected disasters. We also connect businesses with the best insurance providers using advanced and powerful technology, so you know you’re getting the right help and security based on data.
Contact us today to learn more about our risk analytics and insurance solutions to have the ultimate protection.