Big Data has officially arrived, and it’s changing the way business works, including actuarial science, wrote David Zornek, an actuarial consultant at Oliver Wyman, in the most recent issue of the Actuarial Review. Zornek, who is also a candidate representative to the CAS Candidate Liaison Committee, highlighted a variety of resources that actuaries can use to advance their technical skills. Since the Actuarial Review article included many links to other websites, we thought it would be helpful to post a summary of the article with links on the CAS blog, for easy access to the resources.
- The CAS provides an inexpensive predictive modeling course, which is directly applicable to actuarial work and includes GLMs in both loss and retention modelling. An added bonus is that CAS courses provide 1 CE Credit per 50 minutes of education session time.
- Coursera provides access to online university-sponsored courses free of charge, or users can pay a fee to receive a certificate of completion at the end of completing each course. Notable courses include Johns Hopkins Coursera Data Science Series, Stanford Machine Learning, and Michigan Programing for Everybody.
- MIT offers free web-based publication of materials from its undergraduate- and graduate-level courses through MIT OpenCourseWare. Courses of interest include Data Mining, Prediction: Machine Learning and statistics, and Machine Learning.
- The following programming language courses are available free online and some even include video:
- Good textbooks on machine learning and predictive analytics include:
- Predictive Modeling Applications in Actuarial Science will be valuable for any P&C actuary whose main concern is using predictive modeling in his or her work.
- Machine Learning: A Probabilistic Perspective gives an excellent overview of mathematical theory behind machine learning though its applications are in MATLAB.
- Machine Learning With R is more of a hands-on guide than an educational resource making it quite useful since R is more commonly found in the workplace.
- Predictive Analytics: The Power to Predict Who Will Click, Buy, Lie, or Die is less of a theoretical investigation than it is an accessible primer for those who are new to the field.
In addition to the resources Zornek mentioned, the CAS recently announced a new resource at the CAS Annual Meeting in November — the creation of The CAS Institute, an organization offering new credentials and specialized professional education. The new credentials are targeted to a wide range of experts, including both actuaries and non-actuaries. According to CAS President Bob Miccolis, the first credentials developed and granted by The CAS Institute will focus on predictive analytics and data science. Additional credentials will follow in other areas of specialization such as catastrophe modeling, capital modeling and quantitative reinsurance analysis.
Do you have any comments on these resources, or are you aware of additional resources that could be useful to actuaries in advancing their technical skills? Let us know by leaving a comment below.