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The Slope Blog

Discover key insights and thought leadership on the latest trends of industry and technology.

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Conversation with Arthur Da Silva

We recently had the pleasure of sitting down with Arthur Da Silva, the Vice President of Actuarial at Slope, who is widely recognized for his thought leadership in AI and the actuarial field. Arthur has been an influential voice in the Society of Actuaries (SOA) as Vice Chair for the Emerging Topics community and has […]

Conversation with a Co-Founder

In the dynamic world of actuarial modeling, innovation is key to staying ahead of the curve. With the emergence of SLOPE, a new player in the field, we’re witnessing a seismic shift in how actuaries approach their work. We sat down with Andy Smith, Co-Founder and CEO of SLOPE, to explore the driving forces behind […]

Cycle Time vs. Runtime

Actuarial work is an iterative process. Exploring “what if”s and answering questions that have been asked of you leads deeper and deeper into the numbers. And in order to begin digging into those numbers, they first need to be calculated. Optimizing models for runtime has long been a focus for actuaries, and it makes sense […]

Lessons Learned from Starting a Software Company, Part 2

We’re proud to offer several lessons we’ve learned through the roller-coaster experience of starting a software company. Part 1 offered the first six of these, from Innovation is NOT Just “Do The Same Things Faster” to “Seek Out Advisors and Mentors Who Have Been There”. But there’s so much more we’ve discovered in this journey. […]

Lessons Learned from Starting a Software Company, Part 1

Slope Software, and the SLOPE platform, were born out of frustration with poor user experience. Along the way, founders Andy Smith and Taylor Perkins have learned much about innovation, leadership, and how to do great work. In this article, we’ll share some of those lessons and offer perspectives on how actuaries might apply them. Before […]

The Actuarial Software Spectrum

“No-code” and “Low-code” software applications are very much in vogue these days. For actuaries, there is a spectrum of options from do-it-yourself to everything-done-for-you. What are the positives and negatives of such options for actuarial software applications? We break them down in this article to give you helpful perspectives when you must choose. First, let’s […]

AI/ML Models for Actuaries

Deep Blue, Alpha Zero, HAL 9000, SkyNet, and… your reserve model? The idea that you’re facing off against a multi-billion dollar silicon-based mind capable of destroying humanity (or just winning every chess game ever) may be a little far-fetched. But a growing number of actuaries have, in the very recent past, run into artificial intelligence […]

How to Develop a Culture of Innovation

In order to take advantage of new technologies, and adequately satisfy new requirements, actuaries will need to develop a "culture of innovation" rather than performing a "project of modernization". This article provides tips to make that happen.

How to Determine If Your Actuarial Model is Right

Actuarial modelers need to ensure that all the components of their model are right before they depend on model outputs for business decisions. This article provides tips and strategies to help modelers uncover potential errors within and avoid problems in the future.

Guest Post: Bradley Shearer - The Slippery Slope of Specialisation

Actuarial specialisation can be a challenge to producing superior results. Bradley Shearer offers an international perspective on why actuarial teams need both close inspection and wide range visionaries. He also cautions against trusting experts too widely and encourages diversification in skill and career development.

The GameStop Lesson for Actuaries

The investment world has had a busy week. We offer a lesson on perspective from the trading around GameStop stock. What's adverse for one may be beneficial for another.

Ease of Use and Flexibility – System Selection Case Study

An insurance company needed to adapt to new insurance accounting regulations with a comprehensive cash flow projection system. SLOPE became the clear choice for intuitiveness and functionality. See OneMain's selection process and criteria in this case study.

Wasted Time Survey - 2020 Results

The Actuarial Wasted Time Survey Results for 2020 are presented. Actuaries rank Data and Model Management tasks as more impactful than Hardware and Software Management tasks. Read more by downloading the full survey.

Slope becomes recognized as AWS Select Tier Technology Partner

Slope Software announces today that it has been recognized as an AWS Select Tier Technology Partner. This approval helps identify the company’s cash flow modeling platform (SLOPE) as uniquely positioned to help actuaries do more work in less time by applying cloud technology. In order to achieve this designation, Slope completed multiple AWS-verified steps. First was ensuring […]

Be a Better Actuary

SaaS providers have the ability to change underlying aspects of their offering for better experience. This case study shows how Slope upgraded database processes and users got their results faster.

A Note About Timing in Your Actuarial Model

Actuaries investigating model differences (either compared to actual results or other models) need to understand whether those differences are due to timing. This article explains why timing is important and gives reminders of how to structure changes.

"We can set the market"

An insurance company offering pre-need insurance struggled with a traditional actuarial system. SLOPE helped slash pricing cycle time by 95%.

7 Steps to Effective Actuarial Model Conversion

Actuarial model conversion is perceived as difficult. Ask any actuary who’s had to convert a model from one system to another, and they’ll tell you the same things: It was confusing, because it was hard to understand just where we were starting from. We didn’t really know what we were doing when we started, so […]

Proper Assumption Management Can Lead To Blockbuster Results

Let’s be honest, the next $100 million blockbuster isn’t going to be titled The Actuary, starring Liam Neeson as an experienced FSA looking to make sure that pricing, valuation, and forecasting are all on the same page with their best estimate mortality assumption. We’re not going to hear that famous Hollywood voice-over saying “The fate […]

Data Visualization Ain’t Just For Marketers Anymore

It seems like “data storytelling” is all the rage these days. A quick Google search (in early 2020) returns over 100 million results. Even more popular, “effective data visualization” checks in at over 192 million possibilities. You’ve no doubt seen the numerous vendors, certifications, on-line communities, books, consultants, and trainings you can harness to improve […]

Surprise! The Flexibility vs. Control Debate Is Not The REAL Problem

There is one dimension of your actuarial modeling system that’s often viewed as a point of contention. This is the range of options for allowing model changes. Here we’re going to call that the Flexibility vs. Control Spectrum (FVCS). The basic point is this: either your actuarial system can be totally locked-down (Controlled), or it […]

Work Remote or Slack-off Remote?

It seems like everyone is talking about work-remote and flexibility and telecommuting as the next big thing. Apparently, it’s been on the rise since 2005 (up 173%, according to Global Workplace Analytics), and the growth doesn’t show any signs of stopping. Employers like it for increased productivity and decreased savings. Plus, many professionals (like our […]

Theoretical vs. Practical Solutions

What’s 6 + 2? 8. It’s obvious. But the next question is not: How do you know that is true? There are a couple of different ways. One, you just remember. You learned some kind of fact long ago (similar to “The American Revolution began in 1776” or “Cats have five claws on front paws […]

Precision vs. Accuracy

We promised a series of articles discussing actuarial model trade-offs, and dang it, we’re going to keep our word. Our first trade-off article was about Modeling Efficiency versus Detail, and you can read that one here. Today we’re discussing another trade-off that many actuaries contend with on a daily basis: how precise do you need […]

Good Actuarial Model Documentation Practices

(We’re not going to say “best”, because, frankly, that’s a bit more arrogant than we wish to be.) One of our colleagues had a practice of typing his thoughts out as he was having them. Literally. He would document his thoughts in real-time, as he was having them. Not the I can’t believe it’s not […]

Model Detail vs. Run Efficiency

As any actuary who’s been in modeling for any time knows, there are multiple trade-offs in creating your model. We’ll be presenting some of those tradeoffs over a series of articles. This is the first, discussing the inevitable compromise between model detail and run efficiency. AN UNLIKELY CASE STUDY There once was an insurance company […]

What Is A Model?

What Is A Model? “All models are wrong, but some are useful.” —George E. P. Box This quote is very familiar to modelers, not just in the actuarial world but in statistics, biology, economics, and even politics. The essence of the quote comes from the need to simplify the “real world” in order to understand […]

Model Change

Change is hard. At least, that’s what we’ve been told. But sometimes change is easy; Way too easy! This is part 2 of our discussion on Model Governance.  If you missed the first one, check it out here. Model Change Management can be a tough topic for many people. Model change management programs exist across […]

Why Actuaries Need The Cloud

Despite the meteoric rise of cloud computing, actuarial software (and the financial services industry in general) seems to be lagging behind.  Numerous articles written over the years point to the benefits cloud computing can provide, but most software available today still requires too much manual intervention.  Be it installation and maintenance of desktop software, or […]

Actuarial Model Governance

Model Governance? Sounds boring. Why do I need that? Well, in short, it’s about managing risk. Specifically model risk – the risk of adverse consequences resulting from reliance on a model that does not adequately represent that which is being modeled or that is misused or misinterpreted. That covers a fair amount of ground.  If […]