We offer computer-based training courses for actuarial professionals interested in learning about data science and machine learning techniques, or about how to use the programming language R to help them in their day-to-day work. Two one-day courses are offered, details are below. Please contact us for further details, availability, or specific requests.
R programming for actuaries
This full-day course will introduce R, a statistical analysis programming language which is well-suited to the common problems of data analysis and visualisation faced by modern actuaries. Beyond an introduction to the environment, the course will cover data exploration, including plotting and summarising data, curve-fitting, and random simulation of claims data sets. We will fit both linear models and GLMs to data, and analyse and visualise the results. Finally, we will consider examples of reserving using the ChainLadder package which implements popular reserving methods in R.
Developed by experienced actuaries, the supervised practical programming examples will be directly applicable to the day-to-day needs of an actuarial professional.
No prior programming experience is assumed.
Data science for actuaries
The course will be a full-day introduction to the world of data science, with an emphasis on the practical implementation of machine learning techniques using R. We will contrast supervised and unsupervised learning problems, and classification and regression problems. We discuss fundamental concepts such as bias-variance trade-off, error measurements and cross-validation, and algorithm refinements such as boosting and bagging. We will mix presentations and demonstrations with supervised hands-on implementations of the techniques discussed. Specific techniques that will be covered include:
- trees and random forests
- k-nearest neighbours
- neural networks
- k-means clustering
- hierarchical clustering.
The course is intended for an audience with a basic knowledge of actuarial and statistical analysis, and a brief understanding of the programming language R (obtained from the companion course). No other knowledge is assumed.
The course proved to be the perfect exploratory start into the world of R and data science for actuaries. Having never used the software prior to attending the course, the in-depth content ensured the basic foundations were laid. It was very informative, and I left the course with a toolkit that I shall incorporate in practice. An excellent introduction.
It was a great and comprehensive introduction on how modern data science techniques can benefit actuaries.