Tuesday 26 February 2019 08:00 - Monday 15 April 2019 17:30

The IFoA are launching their first virtual conference on the topic of Data Science, that is free to attend. This is an exciting and forward thinking move to reach members all over the world and to share knowledge and discuss developments and techniques within data science.

John Taylor, President-elect of the IFoA gives his closing remarks on the IFoA's Virtual Conference 2019. 

The virtual conference demonstrated how actuaries can develop their existing knowledge or move into the world of data science and offered a platform for members and students to learn more on AI, Machine Learning and other areas of Data Science. 

The virtual event remains open until 15 April, so delegates can watch the recorded webinars and on-demand videos now the conference has finished. If you did not register for the live webinar, but would like to access our on-demmand content you can register for free from Monday 4 March to access recordings.

Over 10 hours of on-demand videos available in the virtual conference area

Title Description Speakers
Advanced ‘big data’ analytics for mortality Advanced analytics and ‘big data’ are one of the latest sources of competitive advantage. In this session, originally presented at Life 2018, the speakers outline a broad range of advanced analytical techniques (e.g. neural networks, GLMs, GBMs) and the appropriate criteria for choosing between them (e.g. predictiveness v interpretability).  Matthew Edwards and Rachel McNaughton
Artificial Intelligence - Through the Looking glass Discussing AI Professor Dame Wendy Hall
Case Studies in Machine Learning and AI Willis Towers Watson will present a number of case studies showing how Machine Learning and AI techniques can be deployed to deliver benefit across the insurance sector, with a particular focus on claims, pricing and underwriting. Chris Halliday, Andy Rigby and Craig Stevens

Data Science in Health Care: Leveraging Big Data in Predictive Modelling

Exploring how big data sources are being leveraged in data science models around the world. Examples include improving quality of care, forecasting and preventing epidemics, streamlining the hospital admissions and discharge process and cost savings. Lisa Balboa
Data Visualisation as a Powerful Means of Communication – Examples from the IFoA Working Party Data Visualisation helps to communicate information clearly and effectively through graphical means. This talk originally presented at Life 2018 will showcase some visualisations that the working party has found useful for common actuarial situations.  Rob Black and Julian Ellacott

Emerging risk: actuaries, artificial intelligence and the Board

This session originally presented at Life 2018 will show you examples of how to create dynamic and novel content using your company's experts, complemented with artificial intelligence, and how to communicate it effectively to a range of executive and non-executive audiences to prompt action. Neil Cantle and Chika Aghadiuno 
Machine Learning for Actuaries This talk, originally presented at GIRO 2018, aims to address elements of integration of machine learning techniques into the day-to-day by providing an introduction to machine learning as well providing worked examples to illustrate the application of machine learning in an actuarial context. Steven Perkins and Hazel Davis
Machine Learning Actuaries This workshop will cover machine learning techniques with examples in R. This will be a hands-on session.  Louis Rossouw
Pathway for Actuaries into the field of Data Science - An interview with a Practitioner The interview focuses on following questions regarding pathway for actuaries to become data scientists and its relevance to our members  Mahidhara Davangare 

Putting Data Science to Work

 We share our experiences over the past year of introducing data science processes and open source software (R, Python, Git) into our workflow. Alex Breeze and Martin Tynan 
Training a neural network to fit curves to claims data A novel method of producing smooth curve-fits to claims severity data for use in frequency-severity modelling of insurance claims. Alexander Hanks
The use of predictive analytics to enhance life insurance portfolio management Explains, using practical and easy to follow steps, how leading life insurers are using predictive analytics to manage their portfolios, growth, persistency and profitablity. Assaf Mizan; Valerie Du Preez and Martin Snow
You can code your own way? Building data science capability in Risk Discusses why now for data science, developing actuaries and identifying projects.  Matt Saker, Finn Clawson and John Adcock

With thanks to the 2018/19 Data Science Conference Programme Committee


Philip Darke, Actuary studying Cloud Computing for Big Data


Committee Members

Alex Breeze, Data Scientist - Octo Telematics

Mahidhara Davangere MBA, MFC, MSc (Maths) AIA, AIAI, Actuary, Venture Capital, Risk Advisor, Data Science, Mathematics

Niall Fennelly, Director & Actuary at FTI Consulting

Nicolas Nghidipaa, Data Scientist, Nicholas Actuarial Solutions

Valerie du Preez, Director, DUPRO Ltd

Tom Rutter, Senior Market Risk Actuary, Zurich Insurance Company Ltd

Maribel Vazquez, Manager & Actuary at KPMG UK

Heting Yang,Senior Actuarial Analyst at Sovereign







Event organiser

Contact Hannah Watson for more information.


020 7632 2145

Time Session Speaker

26 February

08:00 - 09.00 GMT

Webinar 1: Actuaries in Data Science – reflections from the panel 

John Taylor, President-elect, Institute and Faculty of Actuaries will chair this panel discussion of Data Science professionals.
The panel will set the scene and discuss their views on the following themes: 

  •  Data Science – current applications
  • Collaboration
  • How to get up to speed
  • Ethics.

Chair: John Taylor, President-elect, IFoA


Maz Bown, Aviva

Mahidhara Davangere V, Pramartha

Valerie du Preez

Michael Tripp, Mazars

27 February

12:00 - 13.00 GMT

Webinar 2: Data science and AI: cutting through the hype - and doing it right!

  • Quick intro to the academy / who we are why we were setup
  • Some background to data science and AI  / set the scene on the overlapping areas  
  • Some use cases  and relevant examples to actuaries both from their industry and adjacent ones  
  • Doing it right!  Ethics, working responsibly and with diverse teams, critical things to be aware of!
  • Building Data Science Culture and Capability - Showcase Lloyd's of London
    • Craig Civil Head of Data Innovation
    • Intro what Lloyd's is doing and why, outline a few examples in practice and the journey of growing skills and capability they are on
  • Panel Discussion
    • Dr Rob Blair SDSA
    • Stuart Coleman CEO, Founder infoNation
    • Philip Darke
    • Craig Civil
  •  Q and A 

Craig Civil, Head of Data Innovation, Lloyd's of London

Dr Rob Blair SDSA

Stuart Coleman CEO, Founder infoNation

Philip Darke

28 February

12:00 -13.00 GMT

Webinar 3: Actuaries Embracing Data Science

Join our live interview to discuss the future of actuaries in the world of data science.  The challenges and opportunities found when moving into the Data Science world from the 
traditional actuarial world.


Colin Thores, Education Actuary, IFoA


Niall Fennelly, Director, Digital Science, FTI Consulting

Colin Priest,  Senior Director of Product Marketing and Data Scientist,

Please note titles and subject matter maybe subject to change.



The IFoA's first virtual event 


Nearest Public Transport

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