Casualty Actuarial Society

2014 Centennial Celebration and Annual Meeting

Big Data – What It Is, and What It Means for the Insurance Industry

Monday, November 10, 2014: 8:45 a.m.
Grand Ballroom Suite (New York Hilton Midtown)
“The term itself is vague, but it is getting at something that is real… Big Data is a tagline for a process to transform everything.”  -- Jon Kleinberg, Cornell University

Big data is one of the signature opportunities of the day, but also one of the most poorly defined.  There is growing awareness that ever-expanding data sources can enable scientific advances, new product development, and business model innovations.  Yet as the recent Google Flu Trends episode illustrates, sloppy methodological thinking about big data can lead to scientific errors.  Analogously, sloppy business thinking about big data can lead to expensive strategic errors.

This session will begin by offering a variety of definitions and examples of big data in action.  It will then sketch both the technologies and analytical methodologies that enable big data to be converted from a raw material to a strategic asset.  With these prerequisites in hand, the session will focus on the strategic aspects of the topic:  current uses of big data in insurance and beyond; promising future applications; ideas for product innovation; and ethical issues involving privacy and fairness.

Moderator: Benoit Carrier, Managing Director, Aon Benfield


Presentation 1
James Guszcza, US Chief Data Scientist, Deloitte
Presentation 2
Stephen Mildenhall, CEO of Analytics for Aon, Aon Benfield
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