Building a data governance framework for Federale Verzekering-Assurance

To harness the power of data and fortify its position in the market, Federale Verzekering-Assurance called on the data intelligence experts at LACO. “In order to gain the most value from our data assets and manage them efficiently, we needed a structured approach to data management,” says Amandine Rouvroy, Chief Data Officer at Federale Verzekering-Assurance. Using its battle-tested data governance framework, LACO tailored a data governance strategy that provided the insurer with the strong foundation it required for ongoing data governance.

Logo Federale Verzekering-Assurance


As a customer-oriented organization with a data-driven approach, Federale Verzekering-Assurance could not afford to work with unreliable data. Combine that with the increasing regulatory pressure, and the need to invest in data governance becomes all too clear.


LACO developed a tailored data governance strategy and, using a battle-tested data governance framework, established the foundations for the data governance capabilities within Federale Verzekering-Assurance. At the same time, it created a foundation for solving real use cases around customer data, generating instant added value for the insurance group.


LACO created several data governance building blocks, along with practical deliverables for each block. This means Federale Verzekering-Assurance is now better prepared for the data management challenges it faces today and any that arise in the future.

Setting the stage: Becoming data-driven


Established in 1911, Federale Verzekering-Assurance is a mid-sized group that employs more than 600 people and had a consolidated balance sheet of €4.1 billion in 2022. The long-standing insurer is well accustomed to adapting to changing market needs. And in today’s business climate, this means transforming into a data-driven organization.

In September 2021, Federale Verzekering-Assurance launched Shape25, an ambitious and strategic program that includes a large-scale digitalization effort. The insurer’s corporate strategy rests on three pillars: “Eliminate complexity,” “From transaction to relation,” and “Build mutual trust.” In other words, by the end of 2025, it aims to simplify its customer relationships, offer more contact options, and create more mutual trust.



The problem: Data quality issues and increasing regulatory pressure


For the insurer’s customer-oriented and data-driven corporate strategy to succeed, reliable data is essential. But ensuring this reliability hasn’t always been easy for the sizeable company: “If you’re working in a silo and only using data from one department, it’s not that hard to ensure data quality,” explains Amandine. “But in a large company, we work with transversal data across multiple departments, such as when preparing marketing campaigns. This makes maintaining data quality more difficult. For example, we’ve had an issue with customer email addresses. They’re used by almost all our services but stored in separate databases. And those databases don’t always communicate seamlessly with one another.”

Along with data reliability, the insurer must also contend with increasing regulatory pressure. “Not only does the National Bank of Belgium impose data quality requirements, but the EU has also introduced new regulations such as DORA, as well as mandatory sustainability reporting in the form of ESG disclosure,” continues Amandine. “Without proper data management and governance, it would be very difficult to meet these requirements.”



The solution: A strong data governance foundation with practical applications


The path forward was clear: Federale Verzekering-Assurance needed a company-wide data governance system. That’s when Amandine turned to Belgian company LACO, a trusted IT partner specializing in data intelligence. “We were starting from scratch,” she recalls. “We needed an advisor who could develop a sound strategy and, based on a basic data governance framework, draft a roadmap to help us on our way.”

LACO started by designing an approach that allowed for the accelerated development of several data governance building blocks. This enabled Federale Verzekering-Assurance to start working on practical use cases, leading to solutions for important issues like the one involving customer email addresses. With a use-case approach, it’s possible to work from the ground up in a concrete and specific way to deliver tangible outcomes. This leads to quick wins that foster support for the initiative and raise awareness of the benefits of data governance among staff.

LACO also mapped out a plan for using data governance to support the company’s corporate strategy. Federale Verzekering-Assurance’s three strategic pillars were used as the starting point for the structure of its data governance framework. First, the pillars were translated into business drivers, i.e. things that improve operational efficiency, improve the accuracy and reliability of customer data, and improve risk management. They were then converted into mission statements (or goals), ultimately leading to a veritable arsenal of practical data governance capabilities.



The result: A tailored data governance framework


To design a tailored data governance framework, LACO first creates some basic building blocks, such as strategy, organization, directives, measurement, technology, communication, and change management. These are the stepping stones that lead to success, and it’s important to put as many of them in place as possible within the first few months.

At Federale Verzekering-Assurance, this approach resulted in concrete deliverables for each building block, including:

  • a data governance charter (strategy) with an associated operating model (organization);
  • an example of a data quality policy (directives);
  • a measurement dashboard metrics definition (measurement);
  • a business glossary and data dictionary (technology);
  • a communication plan and training plan (communication);
  • a change plan (change management).


The data governance working groups at the company were also able to immediately put many of these deliverables into practice through real use cases.

With these foundational data governance capabilities well and truly established, Federale Verzekering-Assurance has hit the ground running. “LACO gave us a solid foundation for data governance and a customized data governance strategy,” concludes Amandine. “With this, we’ve been able to further develop our capability catalog and create a multi-year roadmap for its delivery—an achievement that wouldn’t have been possible without the foundational work performed by LACO.”

Amandine Rouvroy

Chief Data Officer @ Federale Verzekering-Assurance

“Not only does the National Bank of Belgium impose data quality requirements, but the EU has also introduced new regulations such as DORA, as well as mandatory sustainability reporting in the form of ESG disclosure. Without proper data management and governance, it would be very difficult to meet these requirements.”

Amandine Rouvroy, Chief Data Officer at Federale Verzekering-Assurance

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