Reactions to the Actuary’s Evolving Role in Today’s Industry
Michael Chen

Reactions to the Actuary’s Evolving Role in Today’s Industry

Michael Chen April 11, 2019 Posted in: Blog Posts, Apex Webinar, General

In the February APEX, “The Actuary’s Evolving Role in Today’s Dynamic Industry Landscape,” we discussed the ever-evolving professional expectations of today’s actuary. We also discussed our outlook on the future of predictive analytics in light of so many technological changes. As a follow-up to the February APEX, we’re sharing the results of the live polling questions.

Our first polling question asked which statement best explains your age in three words. This question was used to illustrate how, even though it may feel like the actuarial profession doesn’t change that quickly, there have been vast changes in terms of both technology and role of the actuary. As we can see from the polling results, the participants closely relate to changes from software like Lotus 123 and Excel 2007. While data processing tools have transformed, determining what insights the data can gleam remains constant.   

The second polling question asked which category best fit participants’ behavior within the Threshold Model of Collective Behavior. The polling question related to the YouTube link that showed the evolution of a movement as related to crowd participants dancing at a festival. While the innovator that starts the dance movement gets much of the glory, the early adopters are equally important contributors that give the movement momentum. The APEX participants categorize themselves as slightly higher than the theoretical distribution for the Innovator, Early Adopter, and Early Majority categories. I can’t help but wonder if these categories hold for just the participants’ actuarial careers or in all of life in general.

Our final polling question asked participants to identify where their strengths lie. The majority of those polled felt that insurance knowledge was their main strength. Fundamentally, actuaries are expected to study data and help shape business decisions based on that information. While we all may feel like our strengths lie within one of the categories below, each of us likely has experience in all three categories. We have limited time and energy. Becoming extraordinary in one skill takes tremendous time and energy. A well-rounded actuary doesn’t necessarily have to be an expert at just one thing but can strive to be knowledgeable in numerous topics.

Thus concludes our round-up of the polling questions. We want to thank you if you attended the February APEX. As a part of the APEX webinar, we stressed that change is the only constant. Knowing that change is inevitable can help us embrace change and tackle the opportunities that come with it.


Michael Chen is a Consulting Actuary with Pinnacle Actuarial Resources, Inc. in Des Moines, Iowa and has 15 years of actuarial experience in the property/casualty insurance industry. He has considerable experience in predictive analytics, ratemaking for private passenger automobile, homeowners and commercial insurance, as well as reserving, reinsurance pricing and catastrophe modeling. Michael currently serves as a member of the CAS Examination Committee and the Committee on Professionalism Education. He is a Fellow of the Casualty Actuarial Society, a Member of the American Academy of Actuaries and a Certified Specialist in Predictive Analytics.

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