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Certificate in Data Science – syllabus

The purpose of this certificate is to provide an introduction to the concepts, tools and techniques used in data science, and their relevance within an actuarial context.

The certificate will also introduce you to some of the technical tools used in data science. However it is not intended to be a course on technical data science programming. The syllabus is provided below which you should refer to before signing up for the course.

Module 1: Introduction to data science, data management and processing

  • Introduction to planning a data science project
    • Professional and ethical considerations
  • Understanding how to create the data set
    • Data collection methods - methods by which data can be collected e.g. page scraping, survey, etc.
    • Data preparation - importance of data ‘cleaning’, validity and quality
    • Data analysis - how format and volume of data limits methods of analysis available

Module 2: Data analysis and introduction to machine learning (ML)

  • Understanding of common statistical techniques in ML
    • Analytical methods for different data types and format
  • Visualise result of data analysis
    • Factors to consider
  • Introduction to ML using Linear Regression model
    • Benefits and drawbacks of analysis
  • Application to (IFoA material) case study

Module 3: Data visualisation and communication

  • Identifying audience requirements
  • Data scientist as ‘storyteller’
  • Building a narrative
  • Explaining the technical - how to communicate the role played by ML and/or AI techniques resulting in an informed audience
  • Visualisation techniques
  • Using 'Off The Shelf'/proprietary tools
  • Issues for communication in an actuarial context

Module 4: Further analysis and artificial intelligence

  • Selection of analysis method
  • Common machine learning models
  • Comparison of AI and ML
  • AI selection criteria
  • Benefits and drawbacks
  • Application to (IFoA supplied) case study

Module 5: Good practice of data science, and responsible AI

  • Responsibilities of actuaries around data science and AI (IFoA material)
  • Awareness of ethical issues which may possibly arise within participants organisation
  • Developing ethical and professional safeguards (IFoA material)

Module 6: Future directions

  • Discussion of future directions of data science and AI in actuarial contexts
  • Question and answer (Q&A) and support to complete assignments

Optional and non-assessed materials

Module 1

  • Introduction to Python for Data Science data collection
  • Page scraping using Python
  • Interrogating an 'open data' API
  • Examining a non-relational database

Module 3

  • Visualising Data with Python libraries

Filter or search events

Start date
E.g., 20/01/2022
End date
E.g., 20/01/2022

Events calendar

  • Spaces available

    Over recent months there has been a sharp rise in M&A activity involving British businesses, with interest from overseas, domestic buyers and Private Equity investors.  

  • Spaces available

    Frank Redington is recognised as one of the most influential actuaries of all time. In this talk, Craig will review some of Redington's most important ideas. He will identify the consistent actuarial principles that form a common thread across the contributions Redington made to a broad range of actuarial fields, and will highlight the ongoing relevance of Redington's thinking to 21st century actuarial practice.

  • Spaces available

    The IFoA Mental Health working party look back over their week of blogs and podcasts considering all aspects of the relationship between mental health and life insurance. The expert panel spans adviser, underwriter and actuarial experience and they  explore triggers for purchasing insurance relating to mental health, the various routes to insurance and how these may be more suited to different people depending on their conditions and preferences, the products and processes involved in purchasing these as well as what claims and support are available to policyholders and how to access them.

  • Spaces available

    Part of the 'Finance in the Public Interest 2022' webinar series. If it was ever okay to consider your business in isolation from its surroundings, today it most definitely is not. Thinking about business within its surrounding system is now a necessity. The question we seek to discuss is: How should we prescribe the boundaries in which we consider problems to enable us to create better products and more resilient companies and systems?

  • Spaces available

    What will happen to DC pension savers who see life annuities as poor VFM but still want an income for life?  Pooled annuity funds could offer them a decent lifetime income while reducing significantly the complex choices and risk inherent in income drawdown.  They could be the next generation of CDC pension schemes, slotting into the existing DC framework as a post-retirement option.