“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 […]
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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 […]
It's easy for actuaries to get caught up with precision when they should be using system thinking.
Actuaries can improve their actuarial model management by applying product management principles.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Actuaries of the future will work in agile teams across functions. How will we get there? What might actuarial deliverables look like under an agile mindset?
Agile and waterfall are two ends of the software development spectrum. This article explains the differences and illustrates how agile development at a software provider aligns well with the expected future of actuarial work.
Actuarial departments have traditionally been de-centralized. Recent years have seen a push to centralize modeling functions. This article compares pros and cons of centralized/de-centralized organization and offers an alternative model for consideration.
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.
Actuaries may wish to learn how to modify their practice from "Actuarial as a Product" to "Actuarial as a Service". This article highlights benefits of AaaS and encourages actuaries to adopt this forward-looking mindset.
Good actuaries have many characteristics in common. This guest post by Jeff Samu, FSA, MAAA, gives his perspective on what makes a good actuary.
Software as a Service applications have a lot to offer actuaries. Discover the benefits of applying SaaS to actuarial work with this comparison article.
Actuaries, their employers, and consumers benefit from actuarial software competition. So why isn't there more? Explore some consequences of thin offerings in this article.
Actuaries can learn a lot from software development principles. What they learn may influence their actuarial model development for better results.
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.
Actuaries can improve the effectiveness of their models, much like humans pursue self-improvement. This framework gives actuaries a structure for prioritizing those improvements.
Initial results of our first Actuarial Wasted Time Survey are in. Check out a preview of some differences between actuarial levels and across different systems in use.
After converting an actuarial model to a new system, what happens afterwards? This article gives practical steps to show value of the project and leverage learnings for future success.
Ending a contract with an actuarial software vendor doesn't have to be so hard. Follow these 6 tips to keep focused on the good to come.
When it's time to compare outputs from a modern actuarial system to your prior version, hitting all 7 of these stages will ensure a smooth transition.
An insurance company offering pre-need insurance struggled with a traditional actuarial system. SLOPE helped slash pricing cycle time by 95%.
Some reasons for choosing a modern actuarial system are good: they allow you to be a better actuary. Are there some bad reasons? Absolutely. Read this to avoid making a big mistake.
Actuaries evaluating modern actuarial systems will need to compare many dimensions. These will help actuaries understand differences between systems.
Actuaries making a case for a modern actuarial system will need structure to their argument. This article outlines a straightforward way to think about the necessary elements.
There are many signs an actuary may need to update their actuarial modeling system. Here are 4 more.
There are many signs an actuary may need to update an actuarial modeling system. Here are 4.
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]