A perfect storm of technological, economic and societal forces is driving the insurance industry towards accelerating investment in the digital and data science agenda. However, this is not without operational, legal and ethical risks. This paper examines the drivers for data management in the industry and how a lean and agile approach to data management reduces the burden of data curation and preparation, while simultaneously managing those risks and maintaining stakeholder participation and buy-in. We find that organizations that build lean and agile data management foundations can perform data science and digital innovation at greater scale, effectiveness and with quicker returns on investment. This provides not only immediate competitive advantage through enhanced business insights and customer engagement, but also the ability to sustain these advantages in the long run through uplifts in the data culture of the organization.