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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

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Start date
E.g., 17/10/2021
End date
E.g., 17/10/2021

Events calendar

  • The Growth Mindset for Actuaries

    13 October 2021 - 8 December 2021

    Spaces available

    This practical course is aimed at actuaries at any stage of their career who want to develop their own growth mindset and apply it to their work setting and personal or professional lifelong learning. The content of the course builds on the lecture given by Dr Helen Wright on Growth Mindset as part of the President’s 2021 Lecture series, and will be delivered over a period of 2 months, from mid-October to early December.

  • Spaces available

    In this webinar, we will discuss how cause-of-death data from the Office for National Statistics can help us to understand how inequalities arise at the all-cause level. The key to understanding mortality inequality is to think about the chain that connects risk factors, relative risks, and cause-of-death mortality through to all-cause mortality.

  • Spaces available

    The importance of biodiversity for finance, business and policy is being increasingly recognised. While many studies highlight the overall economic impact that biodiversity loss could have, it is much more difficult to quantify and understand the particular impact that is may have on individual businesses or communities. The management and measurement of these risks is a field where actuaries are well placed to contribute.

  • Spaces available

    The climate crisis and the degradation of our planet will affect societies everywhere. How we address these threats will require solutions that transcend borders. As a global profession, the actuarial community is well-placed to consider and propose effective risk management solutions to help manage the climate crisis.

  • GIRO 2021 Webinar Series

    8 November 2021 - 19 November 2021
    Spaces available

    Join leading experts to discuss key issues, emerging ideas and new research across the general insurance sector.

  • Spaces available

    Content will be aimed at all actuaries looking to understand the issues surrounding mental health in insurance and in particular those looking to ensure products and processes widen access for, and are most useful to, those experiencing periods of poor mental health.