American Family Insurance Buys Networked Insights

Madison, WI-based insurance provider American Family Insurance has announced the purchase of a Chicago-based data analytics software firm. Networked Insights monitors social media to analyze data from blogs, tweets and reviews to advise companies on their marketing strategy and product innovation. The deal is part of American Family’s larger focus on investing in technology platforms and analytics in the recent years in order to strengthen to use of data, advanced analytics and artificial intelligence.

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Networks Insights was founded in Madison about a decade ago and moved its headquarters to Chicago five years back. The firm employs 74 individuals across its offices in Chicago, Madison and New York.

The insurance provider sees the transaction as helping it meet the demands of a disrupted insurance industry wherein technology and innovation are helping businesses improve how they serve and meet the needs of their customers.

“We have significantly invested in our technology platforms and data and analytics in the past three years,” said American Family Chairman and CEO Jack Salzwedel. “This acquisition and others strengthen our best-in-class agency distribution by bringing best-in-class digital and data capabilities, providing our customers with both expertise and convenience.”

American Family’s other AI and related technology initiatives include its Data Science and Analytics Lab, its Strategic Data Analytics Division, Innovation team and collaborative data-science projects in partnership with UW-Madison.

American Family is a Networked Insights client and has been a minority investor in the company since 2013, upping its stake over time. Terms of the deal, in which American Family will become the software company’s sole owner, were not disclosed.