Business analytics has become a major force of innovation in the insurance industry and beyond in the past decade. Inexpensive computing power, rich data sources and increasingly powerful analytical tools become more widely available every year. As a result, quantitatively skilled professionals have unprecedented opportunities to bring scientific rigor to areas of strategic importance within their organizations. For actuaries, the business analytics revolution affords opportunities to ground traditional actuarial work in rigorous statistical methodology and apply their skills in new domains.
This interactive, hands-on seminar will impart practical working knowledge of statistical and machine learning techniques that are relevant in actuarial work. Core techniques such as regression analysis, generalized linear models, generalized additive models and regularized regression techniques will be covered. Additionally, survival models, decision tree analysis and such “unsupervised learning” techniques such as principal components analysis and clustering will also be discussed. This course will include a blend of brief lectures complemented by stylized hands-on data analysis case studies amenable to classroom treatment.
The seminar will combine theory and practice with theoretical discussions that emphasize concepts and intuitions rather than mathematical formalism. These theoretical discussions will enable attendees to better interpret, communicate and critically examine model outputs. Practical working knowledge of data analysis methodology will be imparted through a series of data analysis case studies. Seminar participants will receive datasets and computer code to work through examples with the instructor.
Inherent to modern statistical and actuarial practice is the ability to compute with data. To that end, the medium of the seminar will be the open-source R statistical computing environment. R is widely considered a primary working language of modern data analysis, and provides users with exceptional facilities for manipulating, graphically exploring and modeling complex datasets.
Attendees will receive a self-contained introduction to R package prior to the seminar that explains how to install and begin using R. Working knowledge of R will be further cultivated during the workshop as participants analyze data in real time.
At the conclusion of this seminar, participants will be better able to:
• Perform basic data manipulations and fit a variety of standard models in the R statistical computing environment
• Graphically explore data to motivate various modeling choices and graphically criticize models and motivate model improvements
• Interpret and critically examine standard model output
• Test the performance of models on holdout data
• Translate a business problem into the design of a data analysis strategy
This seminar will convey foundational information on this topic and a general understanding of statistics is the only prerequisite. The seminar will focus on gaining theoretical intuition as well as practical experience with the “art” of interactively exploring data and building, validating, and interpreting predictive algorithms. It is designed to be accessible to actuaries with little or no experience with predictive analytics. Given that a working knowledge of applied data analysis in R cannot be gained in only a few days, the goal of the seminar is to convey a theoretical framework and computational toolset sufficient for participants to continue to gain expertise on the job. To create an optimum learning environment, this seminar will be limited to 35 registrants.
James Guszcza, FSA, FCAS, Ph.D.
US Chief Data Scientist
James Guszcza, FSA, FCAS, Ph.D., is Deloitte Consulting’s US Chief Data Scientist and a member of Deloitte’s Data Science practice. He is a fellow of the Society of Actuaries (SOA) and the Casualty Actuarial Society (CAS) and has a Ph.D. in the philosophy of science from the University of Chicago. Guszcza spent the 2011–12 academic year as an assistant professor in the actuarial science, risk management and insurance department of the University of Wisconsin-Madison. A frequent author and conference speaker, he also designed the CAS Predictive Modeling Limited Attendance Seminar.
The registration fee includes breakfast, lunch and beverage breaks each day. Register by Nov. 13 and take advantage of early registration. Rates increase by $300 for registrations received after Nov. 13. Registration fees must be paid in U.S. dollars.
Note: Enrollment is limited to 35 attendees.
Register before 11/13/19
Register after 11/13/19
*Payment is required in U.S. dollars. Schedule denotes U.S. dollars.
You will receive an email confirmation of your online order. Mail-in registration confirmations are emailed after the order has been processed. If you do not receive a confirmation, please go to this pageand log in to confirm your order was placed. To request another copy of the order confirmation or to update your registration form, please contact SOA customer service at firstname.lastname@example.org.
SOA incurs significant expenses prior to an event; to minimize losses SOA maintains the following refund and cancellation policy:
Through Nov. 20, 2019, you may cancel your registration with a full refund provided, less a $100 administrative fee.
After Nov. 20, 2019, there will be no refunds provided. However, you may transfer your registration to another SOA Meeting or Seminar within one year of cancellation.
An alternate attendee within the same organization may be substituted at any time prior to the conference start with no penalty. However, if the original attendee is a member and the substitute attendee is not, the difference in rate between member/non-member must be paid in full at time of substitution.
The Society of Actuaries reserves the right to cancel any event if conditions warrant. In the event of such cancellation, registration fees will be refunded in full. The Society of Actuaries is not responsible for any airfare or hotel cancellation fees that an attendee may incur due to event cancellation.
Table of Contents
The seminar will be held at:
111 S. Wacker Drive
Chicago, IL 60606
Please note that the SOA does not have a hotel room block for this seminar.
Attendees are required to bring their own laptop computers.
Breakfast, lunch and beverage breaks will be provided each day.
Business casual attire is appropriate.