INSIGHTS FROM THE 16th GLOBAL CONFERENCE OF ACTUARIES
Discussion with Anindya Bhattacharya, Insurance Practice Lead, Aureus Analytics
Q1. What was the dominating theme of the 16th GCA this time?
Application of Technology, analytics and other tools to significantly broaden the actuarial enquiry fields, which is hitherto somewhat limited to pricing and valuation of an entity, was the main theme of 16th GCA. Actuaries are keen to utilize technology more to automate results and focus on the insights and decision making on crucial issues like risk, capital, distribution, underwriting, investment, etc. The “Evolving Frontiers, Exciting Prospects” theme aptly captures their expanding horizon and actuaries are keen on data mining, advanced data analytics to enhance the economic value of insurance companies.
Q2. How are the expectations of, and from an Actuary changing as compared to say 3 years ago?
Earlier, actuaries were keener on mathematical accuracy of key figures. However, currently their focus is also on seeing the emerging patterns from the Big Data sets, analytics, and newer applications.
Apart from the statistical accuracy, actuaries are also keen to discover insights coming out of exploding data sets of insurance companies and utilize these in their pricing, valuation, products and other technical aspects of insurance value chain to optimize the costs, capital and premium utilization.
Q3. How can analytics help an Actuary do his job better?
Advanced analytics will enhance and empower actuaries with enterprise-wide, holistic insights, which can eventually lead to better pricing, accurate valuation, optimizing capital costs, enhanced competitiveness with better products, and pre-emptive risk management for insurance companies.
Analytics also add value by aggregating the organizational insights across the functional pain points moving beyond their core functional focus of pricing and valuation.
The analytical results can enhance and optimize the actuaries’ value in the organization by raising their level to true decision makers armed with fact based insights. They’ll be able to focus more on prudent judgments rather than data preparation and management like in current scenario.
Q4. What are the key concerns of the Actuaries with respect to Analytics and its implementation?
Actuaries are conservative in application of unproven or non-traditional methods or techniques in their subject. So, even with openness, actuarial scrutiny of all statistical and analytical models to deliver final results may be critical enough to protract the analytical implementations as it’s seen from outsider views. Several insider parameters e.g. Risk appetite, Cost of capital, Pricing margin, can be so confidential that external inputs on these parameters through analytical models may raise eyebrows.
It’s necessary to partner actuaries and top management in every step of discovering insights to see a successful analytics implementation.
Actuaries want to see the new insights, however, not at the cost of accuracy. So, all the statistical and analytical models need to be at least academically accepted before they see the light of practical testing and implementation.
Q5. How can Aureus Analytics work with Actuaries to improve decision making?
Superior Technological applications coupled with advanced analytical domain specific skills can augment actuarial decision making with economic and statistically valued insights. Aureus Analytics’ products and services like AURIC, AUPERA, AUCUA can enhance risk management, asset liability valuation, pricing options and optimize capital utilization to provide valuable boost to stakeholders’ return on investment.
On the other hand, Aureus products can also increase customer value within the entire insurance life cycle, thereby increasing stakeholder’s return and confidence, which is effectively actuarial responsibility.