Announcement: SOA releases October 2019 Exam STAM passing candidate numbers.

Plain Talk: Celebrating Our Predictive Analytics Capabilities

Schaumburg, IL (Nov. 9, 2017) – Over the past year, we’ve talked a lot about predictive analytics, data science and the need to raise awareness of actuaries’ analytics capabilities—both with employers and the general public. Educating SOA’s stakeholders about our predictive analytics capabilities helps us cultivate new opportunities for actuaries and keep the actuarial profession relevant, and I am pleased to share with you two ways we are doing just that.

First, our Board of Directors recently approved the predictive analytics certificate program we piloted over the past five months, and it will be an official education offering for the SOA starting in 2018. The pilot predictive analytics certificate program included six online learning modules and an in-person, two-day seminar. All program elements provided practical instruction in analytical techniques within an actuarial context and in a level of rigor consistent with current SOA credentials.

Twenty FSAs successfully completed the rigorous, project-based assessment and received a certificate of completion from the SOA. I encourage you to go to our website, where you will find details of the changes made to our ASA Curriculum and predictive analytics certificate program.

Additionally, I would like to take this opportunity to recognize and congratulate the accomplishments of our SOA members who participated and placed in top positions in recent Kaggle competitions—analytics and data science challenges in which competitors build models to solve real-world machine learning problems for organizations ranging from the Department of Homeland Security to Intel. Through the SOA’s Kaggle Involvement Program, the 15 members and five candidates who placed in the top 10th and 25thpercentiles for their challenges received a monetary reward from the SOA in addition to what they may receive from Kaggle.

By participating in the challenges, our incredibly talented members are proving that actuaries can help companies solve complex business problems with data-driven solutions. I’m pleased to share that the members listed here placed in the top 10 or 25 percentiles for their challenges, and I want to thank them for participating and representing our profession so well.

Competition Member/Candidate Teams   Finish
Data Science Bowl 2017: Can you improve lung cancer detection?
  • Yashvir Kumar Prasad ASA,CERA
Top 25%
  • Michael Yue Xiao FSA,CERA,MAAA
  • Martin Ball (Candidate)
Top 25%
Intel & MobileODT Cervical Cancer Screening: Which cancer treatment will be most effective?  
  • Chen Yang ASA
Top 10%
  • Michael Yue Xiao FSA,CERA,MAAA
Top 10%
  • Moshe Daniel Radinsky ASA,MAAA,ACA
  • Mendel Friedman ASA,MAAA
  • Tim Jarvis ASA,MAAA
Top 25%
  • Nicholas Wei-Ming Hsu FSA,CERA,FCIA
  • Udit Pareek (Candidate)
  • Zijing Li (Candidate)
Top 25%
Planet: Understanding the Amazon from Space: Use satellite data to track the human footprint in the Amazon rainforest
  • Fan Fei Chong (Candidate)
  • Charles David Cadman FSA,MAAA,CERA
Top 10%
  • Kailan Shang FSA,ACIA
Top 10%
  • Benjamin Roberts ASA
Top 25%
  • Gary Stanford FSA, MAAA, FCA 
Top 25%
  • Jason Altieri ASA,MAAA
  • Sarah Prusinski ASA,MAAA
  • Ben Copeland (Candidate)
Top 25%
  • Michael Yue Xiao, FSA,CERA,MAAA
  • Martin Ball (Candidate)
Top 25%
The Nature Conservancy Fisheries Monitoring: Can you detect and classify species of fish?
  • Dale Jacob Cap ASA,MAAA
Top 10%
  • Stuart James McCroden ASA,CERA,MAAA
Top 10%

 

View a full list of 2017 winners.

The competitions are filled with hundreds of teams, cutting-edge technology and industrial titans. With results like these, it’s clear that actuaries don’t need to explain why we’re the predictive analytics experts industries are looking for — we can prove it. We will be sharing more with you about these winners and their solutions on our website. In the meantime, I encourage you to check out Kaggle and consider participating in the Kaggle Involvement Program next year.

In the coming year, I challenge each of us to show the world what we can do, harnessing our hard-earned skill sets and unique capabilities to preserve and expand the role and value of the actuary. It’s up to us, both as individuals and as leaders of actuarial organizations, to make sure we focus our efforts on keeping the profession relevant.  I look forward to sharing additional updates like these in the future.

Sincerely,
Mike Lombardi, FSA, FCIA, CERA, MAAA
SOA President