It’s great to see John Taylor championing data science within the actuarial profession as he begins his term as IFoA President.
Actuaries are uniquely placed to leverage the latest data science techniques. We can combine these with our strong understanding of business, finance and risk management. By embedding data science into our actuarial work we can further improve resource optimisation and enhance our ability to understand and solve business problems.
As part of its commitment to data science, the IFoA has also announced that it is developing a Certificate in Data Science. This will help actuaries to further integrate Data Visualisation, Machine Learning, AI and Ethics into our work. It is a strong endorsement of the growing career opportunities that are emerging for actuaries who possess cutting-edge data science skills.
I’d like to see actuaries working successfully alongside other data science experts. Data science experts are likely to remain highly relevant in understanding and analysing large volumes of specialised data sets. If actuaries undertake training in data science techniques this can strengthen collaboration between actuaries and data science specialists. This in turn could lead to all parties working together to find new ways to create business value and optimise products to better meet customer needs.
As actuaries we can also draw on our strong communication skills to ensure the public understands how AI-based data science tools are becoming increasingly embedded into everyday life. It’s important the public has a good understanding of how their data is being used and analysed. This will allow more people to express opinions on how this technology should be integrated into society in a fair and ethical way that benefits us all.