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By Mike Goodside

The insurance industry is a true example of a knowledge industry — largely depending on data and analytics to make informed decisions. Today’s actionable insurance information comes from a variety of sources, and while customer data is among the most important resources for insurers, traditional data sources, such as motor vehicle reports, accident reports, and property databases have also proven useful.

In the business environment of the 21st century, one of the most promising sources of new data comes from the Internet. As Web 2.0 technologies and social computing become a common means for people and businesses to interact, these social interactions can, in turn, become new sources of data and decision-making analysis for insurance providers.

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