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Data Science and its Role in the Insurance Industry

29 January 2019

by Megan Walsh

Since the advent of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, the global business market has been shaken by the emergence of Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and most importantly - Big Data.

Today, traditional data pools have been replaced by vast oceans of information made possible by the growing number of smart apps and devices such as fitness trackers and calorie counters.

Of course, for the insurance industry, analysing data is nothing new. Since the market began, actuaries have used their advanced analytical ability to model risk and determine the likelihood of loss for insurers.

And while the role of the actuary will always remain at the very core of the insurance industry, the growing demand for advanced data scientists cannot be ignored. 

As the insurance market evolves, actuaries will need to work hand-in-hand with data scientists to better asses risk and gain greater insight into the multiple types of customer data available.

This will have an impact beyond pricing and underwriting and will massively reduce the number of fraudulent claims – which currently costs the US $80 billion per year.

That said, the data science market is still in its infancy and insurance-experienced data scientists are extremely hard - if not impossible - to come by. 

So, with all this in mind, how do you source a candidate for a vertical that does not yet exist?

The solution here is simple. You must look beyond the insurance market and into other industries. If you’re a hiring manager, this might sound daunting. After all, why would you want to hire a candidate who knows nothing about insurance? 

Well, aside from the huge benefits that will come from bringing innovation to your company, hiring from related industries will provide new insight and bring the insurance industry up to speed with the latest software and technologies.

Take a data scientist with a background in bio-medical research, for example. They deal with mass amounts of disease data – and experience of working with this has clear application to life insurer’s data analysis. They have the expert analytic knowledge, they just need to be trained to apply that knowledge to the insurance industry.

And that’s where we come in. As the world’s leading actuarial recruiter, Oliver James Associates is here to help you navigate the market during this exciting time of transition.

Recruiting in new markets does not come without its challenges, and our expert consultants are here to advise and assist you during your search for a data scientist. Our 17 years in the industry gives us the knowledge and expertise to provide our clients with advice they can trust when sourcing candidates.

We are able to provide training during this time - whether that’s on how to adapt your interview process, or helping you develop new working practices to ensure your retention rates remain high, Oliver James Associates will help you fully integrate your workforce. 

We’ll be posting more on how you can overcome any recruitment challenges you might face – but in the meantime, if you would like to discuss data science and its entry into the insurance market, contact, or call +442038619254 to find out more.

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