Archive for October, 2010

The ‘What is an actuary song’

I’m a little late finding it myself, but here’s a promotional video for the actuarial field (via iii.org).

In my opinion, there are many potential uses for video media in the actuarial profession, and they go well beyond simply promoting the profession. For example, why not use YouTube videos to provide instruction for actuarial software?

It would be an ideal way to provide on-demand education and also allow the exchange of ideas in comment threads. It would also help relieve employers of the burden to train new employees on software. Use the web to let new hires train with others, and let them cheaply find answers to questions that may have already been asked.

Advertisements

Leave a comment

FarmVille insurance

Not that long ago, I asked the question: What role will actuaries and risk analysts play in virtual economies?

I may get an answer much sooner than I expected. Insurance Journal reports that Farmers Insurance is now offering coverage in FarmVille, a “virtual world” game within Facebook:

When players place the Farmers Airship on their farm, they receive free “wither protection” for the crops on their virtual farm. In a nod to the security that Farmers Insurance offer its customers, this protection means players crops won’t wither for the 10 days of the promotion.

But if you’re an actuary that wants to start pricing virtual goods and services, I wouldn’t get too excited just yet. This first take appears to be mostly a marketing campaign – an effort to draw attention to the Farmers Facebook page.

But still, it’s a start.

Hat tip to Claude Penland for sharing a link to this story.

, , , ,

Leave a comment

Actuaries and Web 2.0 in 2010

Risk 2.0 has been a little quiet lately. I’ve been immersed in several projects. One of them just culminated in a trip to New York City to attend the 2010 Society of Actuaries Annual Meeting.

I was part of a panel that presented a session called “The Actuarial Technology Perfect Storm.” In the session, we discussed a model for creating a better working relationship between actuaries and IT professionals. Our goal was to point out that while a disintegrated actuarial-IT structure may work okay today, it’s not sustainable given the rapidly changing technological demands on actuarial work.

Our findings were based on a survey of actuaries that we’ve conducted the past three years. In 2009, we introduced a question on Web 2.0. The question asked respondents to indicate their awareness and implementation of seven Web 2.0 technologies:

  • Crowdsourcing
  • Social Networks
  • Dynamic Documentation
  • Wikis
  • Instant Messaging
  • Collaborative Product/ Service Design
  • Blogs

Awareness and implementation increased across the board in 2010. However, it’s clear that actuaries are still very much in a discovery phase with Web 2.0.

Instant messaging, blogs, and social networks were the most recognized Web 2.0 technologies in the survey. Roughly 90% of respondents had heard of each of them. They were also among the most highly implemented to date. 30% had implemented instant messaging, 11% blogs, and 8% social networks.

In my mind, the Web 2.0 tool that would provide the biggest immediate benefit to actuaries is the wiki, which is an ideal way to openly store documentation and procedures for easy access. Wikis were recognized by 73% of actuaries in 2010 (a healthy increase of 16% over 2009). But only 10% had implemented a wiki in their work.

If you’ve implemented any of these technologies or want to know more about them, let me know.

, , , , , ,

1 Comment