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The Actuary The magazine of the Institute & Faculty of Actuaries

Data science: opportunities for actuaries

Tuesday 26 February 2019 was a groundbreaking day for IFoA events.


At 8.00 (GMT), president-elect John Taylor and a panel of specialists with a wide range of experience in the data science domain opened the IFoA’s first ever virtual conference. The event’s theme was ‘Data science – Opportunities for actuaries’, and it showcased a huge range of resources, recordings and live webinars.

More than 3,000 delegates from 70 countries took part in the conference, which was open to members and non-members and free to attend.

Preparation began last July, when a group of volunteers formed a committee to work with the Events and Lifelong Learning teams. The committee created a programme to highlight the impact that actuaries are having, and could have, in data science. The committee included recorded workshops that provided a hands-on training experience for delegates.

The content covered all practice areas and demonstrated how actuaries can develop their existing knowledge and move into the world of data science. It also offered a platform for members and students to learn more about artificial intelligence, machine learning and other areas of data science.

Due to the interest and success of the conference, access to the materials was extended to provide further opportunities for delegates to view and engage with the materials after the live event concluded.

During the initial webinar, the panel was inundated with questions. Time did not permit for all of these to be answered, so next month you will be able to read more about the virtual conference in a response on the key themes of the questions raised during the event.

If you missed the conference, members will be able to view the resources in the Virtual Learning Environment.