The actuarial profession used to look at predictive analytics skills as the next best thing. A data scientist was a valuable contribution to the future of insurance. This interesting information came to us from Digital Insurance in their article, “How insurance data science is like gelato.”

In actuality, data science is an ethereal ideal that cannot always be realized. It is organic and fluid. Actionable information that can be easily served and consumed is data science at its best.

Actuarial methods traditionally have had a narrow application to the confidence in a financial forecast that serves to maintain the solvency of the company. This is tightly regulated, oftentimes with a slow and deliberate change cadence. Data science is not that.

Data, artificial intelligence (AI) and cloud computing have grown more important with the emergence of new data, new analytics and new computation capabilities.

So how closely related are actuaries and data scientists? They both work to manage risks and use data to improve the organization’s financial situation, just not always together.

Melody K. Smith

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