Actuarial Outpost
 
Go Back   Actuarial Outpost > Actuarial Discussion Forum > General Actuarial
FlashChat Actuarial Discussion Preliminary Exams CAS/SOA Exams Cyberchat Around the World Suggestions



General Actuarial Non-Specific Actuarial Topics - Before posting a thread, please browse over our other sections to see if there is a better fit, such as Careers - Employment, Actuarial Science Universities Forum or any of our other 100+ forums.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
  #31  
Old 10-14-2018, 09:13 AM
Ginda Fisher Ginda Fisher is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Posts: 155
Default

Data science is inevitable. It's a better tool, of course people will use it. It's not clear to me that data scientists will completely replace actuaries. They might even create new opportunities for actuaries.

I am an FCAS, but I started in pensions. One of the things I did was literally calculate people's benefits with an adding machine when plans were terminated. (Well, a calculator that printed out its work.) Then spreadsheets and databases happened. There were computers before, but they weren't as easy to use for that sort of thing. Anyway, there was some fear that computers would replace actuaries. And indeed, canned programs did replace a certain fraction of the entry-level pension analysts. But overall, it turns out that an actuary with a computer is more valuable than an actuary with an adding machine, and there are many more total actuarial jobs now than there were back then.

Either way, data science is going to replace a chunk of what actuaries do today. And I suspect the PhDs will be better at it than actuaries who took an exam or two. If we want actuaries to remain relevant, we need to learn how to work with data scientists and add additional value. (And "we have better ethics than they have" isn't going to convince anyone.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by hjacjswo View Post
The thing is that I believe the efforts against the data scientists might actually be diluted if they merge. Under the combined society, there will be 5 practices: Life, Health, Pension, P&C, and Others. Others is supposedly made up of banking and finance, but, really, it will be mostly academia. Now, out of these 5 practices, only 2 practices are directly concerned with data science: health and p&c. Maybe some life actuaries care, too, but, definitely not as much as health and P&C. So, you are really talking less than a half of the new organization to really concentrate on data science stuff.
This. I think competing with the SOA has made the CAS stronger, and made us try harder. I think assimilating into the SOA will weaken that effort. We will be a little practice in a big organization that has most of its attention elsewhere.

I think we should work with the SOA to clarify the entry path to undergrads, and to give joint exams where it makes sense. I don't see how doing that means the SOA needs to "irrevocably give up its GI track". If there are real differences in how we approach credentialing (and there are -- The SOA requires a lot of "general knowledge" and certifies an ASA with no field-specific training. The CAS tries to pick out the parts of general actuarial knowledge that are relevant to the P&C industry and certifies an ACAS with all the P&C basics under their belt.) maybe we should keep them. Maybe two paths gives the market a choice and will help the profession compete.

But I come back to the CAS's Mission Statement (numbers added by me):

The purposes of the Casualty Actuarial Society are:

1) to advance the body of knowledge of actuarial science applied to general insurance, including property, casualty and similar risk exposures;
2) to expand the application of actuarial science to enterprise risks and systemic risks;
3) to establish and maintain standards of qualification for membership;
4) to promote and maintain high standards of conduct and competence;
to increase the awareness of actuarial science;
5) and, to contribute to the well being of society as a whole.

These are solid objectives having to do with the health of the insurance industry and of society as a whole. #3 and #4 are inward looking, but support those broader goals. These objectives don't say "make sure members of our group get a bigger slice of the pie", and I think that's fine. Yes, it's possible our slice of the pie will shrink. The world changes. I want P&C actuaries to continue to work to make the world a better place, and to advance the knowledge and skills that help insurance help people and industry -- not to compete with "data scientists".

And I think the CAS would do better to reach out to groups of data scientists and collaborate with those organizations than to merge with the SOA. Better for the future jobs of P&C actuaries, but more importantly, better for the health of the P&C insurance industry and for society as a whole.

Last edited by Ginda Fisher; 10-14-2018 at 09:20 AM..
Reply With Quote
  #32  
Old 10-14-2018, 09:20 AM
Ginda Fisher Ginda Fisher is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Posts: 155
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Colymbosathon ecplecticos View Post
He most likely meant "craft."
I'm pretty sure he meant cruft
Reply With Quote
  #33  
Old 10-14-2018, 09:40 AM
Colymbosathon ecplecticos's Avatar
Colymbosathon ecplecticos Colymbosathon ecplecticos is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 5,972
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ginda Fisher View Post
I'm pretty sure he meant cruft

Yeah, I'll bet you're right.
__________________
"What do you mean I don't have the prerequisites for this class? I've failed it twice before!"


"I think that probably clarifies things pretty good by itself."
Reply With Quote
  #34  
Old 10-14-2018, 10:22 AM
JMBNYC JMBNYC is offline
Member
CAS
 
Join Date: Sep 2018
Posts: 51
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ginda Fisher View Post
If we want actuaries to remain relevant, we need to learn how to work with data scientists and add additional value. (And "we have better ethics than they have" isn't going to convince anyone.)

One of the least convincing parts of an already unconvincing town hall.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ginda Fisher View Post
And I think the CAS would do better to reach out to groups of data scientists and collaborate with those organizations than to merge with the SOA. Better for the future jobs of P&C actuaries, but more importantly, better for the health of the P&C insurance industry and for society as a whole.
Bingo. The merger proposition is essentially "but data science!" But the SOA has no better knowledge on data science than the CAS. Instead of putting casualty actuaries in a situation where they will need to play politics with the other tracks when it comes to the educational path, why not collaborate with groups that actually have the knowledge we are seeking?
Reply With Quote
  #35  
Old 10-14-2018, 11:57 AM
Veni Vidi Vici Veni Vidi Vici is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 152
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by hjacjswo View Post
The thing is that I believe the efforts against the data scientists might actually be diluted if they merge. Under the combined society, there will be 5 practices: Life, Health, Pension, P&C, and Others. Others is supposedly made up of banking and finance, but, really, it will be mostly academia. Now, out of these 5 practices, only 2 practices are directly concerned with data science: health and p&c. Maybe some life actuaries care, too, but, definitely not as much as health and P&C. So, you are really talking less than a half of the new organization to really concentrate on data science stuff.
If anyone is perceiving any of this as "efforts against data scientists", we've completely failed. We need to stop thinking organizational decisions or petty rivalries matter and just get back to the core fundamentals of training insurance professionals and advancing quantitative insurance knowledge. And, yes, those advances include data science--and some of those advances will be made by actuaries and many will not be. Get over it. This isn't a competition between professions unless we stupidly make it one. There's way too much twisted, byzantine, scheming-and-plotting thinking going on here. The CAS and SoA need to get back to doing their jobs! See Ginda Fisher's post for additional detail. She said a lot of things I was thinking better than I could have.
Reply With Quote
  #36  
Old 10-14-2018, 12:02 PM
Arroway's Avatar
Arroway Arroway is offline
Member
CAS SOA AAA
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: In a house
Studying for Done, bois!
College: UConn
Favorite beer: Barq's or Mug, or any local Root Beer with caffeine
Posts: 319
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ginda Fisher View Post
I'm pretty sure he meant cruft
I like that definition. Reminds me of folderol and gimcrackery.
__________________
Arroway, Injustice 2 Raid Leader

All opinions are either my own, or made up for dramatic and/or comedic effect.

Reply With Quote
  #37  
Old 10-14-2018, 01:40 PM
Westley Westley is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Posts: 27,664
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maphisto's Sidekick View Post
While there is always the threat that data scientists could compete with actuaries, the rebuttal is that actuaries are uniquely positioned, straddling the data/statistics realm and the business-knowledge realm to shape data science to be relevant to our businesses, directing the efforts of data scientists if not doing their work within our big tents.
This is a good summary IMO. Most of the really best data scientists have no interest in the business side of what it takes to run an insurance company IME. And that's fine - you've got specialized skills that are very valuable, just keep fine-tuning those abilities to maximize that value. If you can cooperate and coordinate with actuaries, underwriters, claims, etc - you don't have to do all those things, just add your value to the team that includes those people.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Veni Vidi Vici View Post
If they do that now and then absorb the CAS 10 years from now, what's the worst that can happen?
Yeah, maybe merger makes sense, maybe not, but the whole "SOA will absorb CAS" - what's the downside there? They can only do that by putting out a better product - better credentialing, better CE, etc. If they can eventually do that, great, would be glad to participate in a group that's even better run than the CAS and offers even better support for practicing casualty actuaries than the CAS does. I'd participate in such an org today, if there was one, but there isn't, not really close IMO. If the SOA can do that somehow some day, great; although I consider that unlikely - they're far behind and only have gotten as far as they did by copying stuff that the CAS gave away freely.
Reply With Quote
  #38  
Old 10-14-2018, 03:20 PM
Maphisto's Sidekick's Avatar
Maphisto's Sidekick Maphisto's Sidekick is offline
Member
CAS
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: South Park Genetics Lab
College: Ardnox
Favorite beer: The kind with alcohol
Posts: 2,731
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Westley View Post
This is a good summary IMO. Most of the really best data scientists have no interest in the business side of what it takes to run an insurance company IME. And that's fine - you've got specialized skills that are very valuable, just keep fine-tuning those abilities to maximize that value. If you can cooperate and coordinate with actuaries, underwriters, claims, etc - you don't have to do all those things, just add your value to the team that includes those people.
You know, the kinds of roles that have always attracted me are those where the actuary is the designated jack of all trades -- roles that need knowledge a mile wide and deep enough to swim in.

I don't need to be a data science expert. However, I need to know enough about data science to incorporate its tools and techniques into my work, and to know what "real data scientists" can do so that I can get them to build me better tools and techniques.

Similarly I don't need to be an expert in underwriting. But I need to know enough about underwriting to know what they need to get their jobs done, and to know how best to frame data collection or frame proposed changes to maximize utility and future analysis.

I don't need to be an expert in claims adjusting, or in finance, or.... but I think most of us know why there is value in having a sufficient understanding in those functions. The list could go on.

I am absolutely all for helping me and my peers learn more about data science and how to capitalize upon it or whatever the next buzzword thing is going to be. If merging will help with that, then great....but I don't get how a merger is a best way to achieve that.
Reply With Quote
  #39  
Old 10-14-2018, 03:56 PM
IANAE IANAE is offline
Member
CAS AAA
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 201
Default

From what I'm reading, many are reaching the same reasoned conclusion that a merger isn't necessary and doesn't make sense irrespective of the myriad benefits touted by the CAS and SOA dealmakers.

How can CAS Members - those seemingly outside the process while being led down the garden path by the strongerasone insiders - communicate to the CAS Board in a valid, timely, and effective manner?
Reply With Quote
  #40  
Old 10-14-2018, 04:16 PM
campbell's Avatar
campbell campbell is offline
Mary Pat Campbell
SOA AAA
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: NY
Studying for duolingo and coursera
Favorite beer: Murphy's Irish Stout
Posts: 84,692
Blog Entries: 6
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ginda Fisher View Post

Either way, data science is going to replace a chunk of what actuaries do today. And I suspect the PhDs will be better at it than actuaries who took an exam or two. If we want actuaries to remain relevant, we need to learn how to work with data scientists and add additional value. (And "we have better ethics than they have" isn't going to convince anyone.)
"We actually understand how insurance works" is going to be a bit more convincing.
__________________
It's STUMP

LinkedIn Profile
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 03:40 PM.


Powered by vBulletin®
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
*PLEASE NOTE: Posts are not checked for accuracy, and do not
represent the views of the Actuarial Outpost or its sponsors.
Page generated in 0.31559 seconds with 9 queries