Actuarial Outpost Data Investigation / Cleaning in Excel
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#1
06-22-2019, 05:38 PM
 Relmiw Member CAS Join Date: Apr 2013 Posts: 201
Data Investigation / Cleaning in Excel

The first few modules stress data exploration and correction within R.
Do we have the ability to use Excel for this during the exam?
Do we have the ability to cite any Excel results in our formal report?

Thank you very much for any insight.
#2
06-23-2019, 11:00 PM
 PinballWizard100 Member SOA Join Date: Jan 2019 Posts: 34

Yes, you can use excel. I didn’t use it on the last exam, though, and it might be more difficult to communicate what you did to the graders. This exam is not just about what you do but also how well you can communicate what you did.
#3
06-24-2019, 12:22 PM
 DjPim Member SOA Join Date: Nov 2015 Location: SoCal Posts: 698

Excel is available, but I would treat it as a last resort, panic-mode kind of thing. For one, Pinball mentioned the bonus of showing graders your work and coding ability. For another, in most cases it will take you extra time and increase margin for error. Try to get comfortable using only R. I suggest getting comfortable with dplyr package; functions work similar to SQL and have a logical order to them, which you can piece together using the pipe %>% function. For example:

Quote:
 data %>% group_by(state, product) %>% summarise(prem = mean(premium), claim = mean(claims)) %>% filter(product != "HMO")
Pretty easy to follow going in order, and pretty simple code. Filtering rows, selecting columns, and mutating (to change or create new variables) are among the most important for data exploration and correction IMO

ETA: The pipe function just means 'take everything from the left and use it as the first argument of the function on the right', so
a %>% fun(b)
is the same as fun(a,b)
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#4
06-30-2019, 05:28 PM
 Relmiw Member CAS Join Date: Apr 2013 Posts: 201