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Lighthill Risk Network - Data project


This is a good oppportunity for the actuarial profession showing how networks (including the the profession's own "Quantitative Finance Network") can work. Please do spend a few minutes reading the proposal below. If you are a senior actuary and can encourage more junior ones to get involved - please do make the effort!


Those signed up so far



The lighthill risk network (LRN) is a not for profit organisation set up "to bring together scientific research and the insurance industry". Lloyds of London (for example) is a core member and sees the LRN's objective as critical to the ongoing health of the insurance industry.


One area where the network can add value for business is by finding good quality data sources (for example hurricane data, information on pandemics, crime indices etc etc). A vast amount of data is sourced (and cleaned) by scientists in their work; the LRN has recently met with the UK research councils who are keen to make their data available (often for free). There is much to be gained for the actuarial profession and the insurance industry becoming familiar with what is available. Here are some more details.


Just providing access to data is not enough - indeed it may be off putting as there is so much of it out there! What is needed is meta-data; data about data. This will be in the form of a brief commentary explaining what a given data field represents and how useful it might be (and the uses to which it can be put). Ideally this meta data would be produced by those wanting to use the data in practice…..

The project


There are three phases:


  1. Action Required by 21 August Industry Data Requirements: Imagine any data you wanted we available for free - what would you ask for? Please email your data requests to the LRN This page gives more details, including who to email them to.
  2. No Action! Build Data Catalogue: The lighthill risk network will then attempt to find the data for us! This is why this is a great opportunity.
  3. Action Required Informed Data Evaluation: The idea is to get a group of actuaries to review some data and comment on it. Several have already signed up. This phase will run from early September to Late October. A very small amount of time is required from each actuary 0.5-1 hour per week over the period would do - perhaps people can fit this in when they are bored on the train (surely more fun than soduko?!).

Benefits of being involved


Key benefits are:


  • Chance to influence the LRN
  • Feed in suggestions of data that you would like the Lighthill Risk Network to get, but without needing to do the work to find it yourself
  • Gain understanding of what data is available
  • Deeper knowledge of a particular data set (phase 3)
  • See comments from other participants (phase 3) - see how they have analysed it
  • Chance to use some cool collaboration software (phase 3)
  • Counts as CPD!!

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