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The Actuary The magazine of the Institute & Faculty of Actuaries

The actuary as data scientist 

This one-day event exploring data science for actuaries took place at Staple Inn Hall on 5 November.


It was fully attended and covered a broad spectrum of topics, as well as real-world case studies.

The event kicked off with data science applications for automating life underwriting and improving policyholder experience. These included facial analytics from ‘BMI selfies’, the use of wearable technology and other non-traditional data sources. Pitches for six case studies followed. These crossed all practice areas, and each had a focus on a practical data science application that could be taken back to the office. Attendees later sought out more information on their three chosen case studies through ‘speed dating’ style talks. 

The afternoon sessions covered the applications of artificial intelligence in healthcare, and lessons learned from embedding data science projects into actuarial work. Questions on how actuaries could modernise some work practices were also raised, and the day rounded off with a lively panel debate on ‘The Future Actuary’, looking at how the role may evolve and the new skills that will be needed.