Managing the Big Data Opportunities


May 06, 2015


New York Marriott Marquis
New York, NY

  • External Forces & Industry Knowledge
  • Technical Skills & Analytical Problem Solving
  • Strategic Insight and Integration

Registration is now closed. The SOA Customer Service Center is available to assist you Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. CDT. Please call 888.697.3900.


Insurance companies have always had to deal with very large volumes of data, but "Big Data" is about much more than size. The richness of data and the speed with which it can be ingested and applied offers not just competitive advantage; it will shortly be a business requirement. It is not just a technology play, valuable insight from new forms of data, new sources of data, faster time to value and new tools to manage it are the benefits.

Organizations other than the digital giants like Google are only now putting practices in place to manage Big Data. It requires new working models between IT professionals and the analytic community, including actuaries. This seminar designed to equip the actuary to participate in the design and delivery of tools and methods to effectively navigate the opportunities in order to provide the most meaningful and reliable results.

In this full day seminar, you will learn about the Big data industry, its capabilities and it hype (and there is a lot). Some sections will be somewhat technical, such as how to evaluate whether the effort of blending various streams of data is useful, how to validate quantitative models and how other kinds of organizations have placed these models into production without replacing existing legacy systems. Case studies will demonstrate approaches for actuaries in our various roles, such as how life insurers may find that they can profitably underwrite classes of business that they could not previously.

For actuaries, there are challenges simply managing data, big or small. There is a need to analyze, share and collaborate, report and summarize, control and govern data. There are growing regulatory and compliance requirements concerning the results of the analysis of collected data.

Specifically, this seminar will explore these opportunities and challenges faced by actuaries:

Approaches to working with Big Data

  • Exploratory Data Analysis (EDA)
  • Data Mining
  • Analytical Toolsets

Evolving IT Roles

  • Driving New Value from Legacy Systems
  • Architectural and Design considerations
  • Keys for a successful partnership

Processes for Trusted and Reliable Results (CVAT)

  • Change Control
  • Validation
  • Auditing concerns
  • Team collaboration

Other Challenges

  • Very Large and Complex Data
  • Sources of Data
  • Performance not sufficient
  • Ethical, Legal and Regulatory Concerns

In addition, the seminar will explore various tools that are available to effectively accomplish some of the above issues.

Educational Objectives

At the conclusion of this seminar, attendees will have insight as to how to address various data management requirements and issues related to data architecture. Participants will be aware of tools and options for analyzing and reporting results, approaches to setting actuarial assumptions.

Target Audience

  • Actuaries who rely heavily upon results from Excel Spreadsheets
  • Pre-fellows seeking professional development credits
  • Pricing and other Modeling Actuaries looking to summarize large amounts of data to set assumptions
  • Actuaries
  • Statisticians

Level of Difficulty

The seminar is designed for participants of all levels.




Demonstrating the listening, writing and speaking skills required to effectively address diverse technical and nontechnical audiences in both formal and informal settings.

Professional Values

Adhering to standards of professional conduct and practice where all business interactions are based on a foundation of integrity, honesty and impartiality.

External Forces & Industry Knowledge

Identifying and incorporating the implications of economic, social, regulatory, geo-political and business changes into the design and delivery of actuarial solutions.


Initiating, innovating, inspiring, creating or otherwise acting to influence others regardless of level or role toward a common goal.

Relationship Management & Interpersonal Collaboration

Creating mutually beneficial relationships and work processes toward a common goal.

Technical Skills & Analytical Problem Solving

Applying the actuarial knowledge, skills and judgment required to provide value-added services.

Strategic Insight & Integration

Anticipating trends and strategically aligning actuarial practice with broader organizational business goals.

Results-Oriented Solutions

Providing effective problem solving that addresses relevant interests and needs.