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2018 Break Out Awards, Midwest: Joe Powell

2018 Break Out Awards, Midwest: Joe Powell


Vice president, analytics

Gallagher Bassett Services Inc.

Rolling Meadows, Illinois

Age: 33

A self-described technology geek, Joe Powell earned a master’s degree in information systems at Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business and then worked as a management consultant at Bain & Co. before joining Gallagher Bassett Services in 2014. Named to his current role in 2015, Mr. Powell is responsible for the analytics function for the firm’s U.S. operations.

Job change over the next 10 years

The analytics role is going to continue to shift toward insights and prescriptive analytics. Five years ago, having good ‘analytics’ meant receiving detailed reports about your program. Today, it’s really table stakes to have analytics focused on insights and decision-making. In 10 years, that trend will continue, pushing us to a world in which more and more decisions are supported or fully automated by advanced analytics.

Best-kept secret about insurance

There is so much data. We’re swimming in it. When I tell peers from other industries that I can build my models off of tens of millions of medical records inclusive of patient outcomes, reactions vary from stunned to jealous. Other industries speak of big data, but it’s rare that anyone else has this much data and a problem this meaningful to apply it to.

Something people don’t know about you

I am extremely competitive by nature. Growing up, my parents often refused to play board games like Monopoly and Parcheesi with me because of the attitude I would get if I lost. I think I’ve managed to tone down the attitude, but the competitiveness is still definitely there.

Hobbies and interests

I have two hobbies, ages 2 and 4. I look forward to hanging out with them every evening after work. Aside from the kiddos, I’m a giant geek and spend an embarrassing amount of time reading tech news and hacking together my digital life.


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