When we design actuarial models and business solutions, we normally accommodate to the applications / software that our clients use internally. Apart from reducing software licensing and maintenance costs, users will have shorter learning curves to master the solutions.
Applications / software we normally use in actuarial modelling and designing solutions for business processes / problems include:
Microsoft Excel is the most common software used by actuarial expertise and other business users in the insurance & takaful industry. Apart from performing calculations and preparing reports, Excel is also used to setup automated business processes by incorporating Visual Basic for Applications (“VBA”) in the templates.
Microsoft’s Excel Help & Learning: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/excel
Microsoft Access is the data management software. Access uses Structured Query Language (“SQL”) in performing data manipulation using queries, which serves as a direct alternative to Visual FoxPro (which Microsoft has stopped distributing and providing supports).
Microsoft’s Access Help & Learning: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/access
Prophet Professional is an integrated suite of actuarial systems used primarily by insurance companies to perform actuarial calculations including profit testing, projections, reserving, asset liability modelling, stochastic modelling and risk management.
Prophet Web: https://www.prophet-web.com/
Microsoft Power Query is a business intelligence tool available in Excel that allow users to connect data from various sources and clean, transform and reshape data in order to meet our data analysis needs. This technique is a good alternative to users who handle a lot of data, without needing to switch to other applications (such as Access).
Microsoft’s Power Query Documentation: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/power-query/
Python is an interpreted high-level general-purpose programming language. Python’s design philosophy emphasizes code readability with its notable use of significant indentation. Its language constructs as well as its object-oriented approach aim to help programmers write clear, logical code for small and large-scale projects.
Our Presentation: Exploring Data Manipulation & Actuarial Modelling In Python for Actuarial Society of Malaysia’s webinar (18.05.2021)
- Python Software Foundation: https://www.python.org/
- Pycharm (Python IDE): https://www.jetbrains.com/pycharm/
- Google Colab: https://colab.research.google.com/ (similar as an online IDE; require login to Google account)
- Pandas (Python Library for Data Analysis): https://pandas.pydata.org/
Data Conversion System
Data Conversion System, which is commonly known as DCS, is a supplementary application comes together with Prophet, which converts external data into model point files that can be used by Prophet. The conversion process is controlled by a program which is written using the DCS programming language and functions, which is similar to the extended formulas in Prophet. Data validation and correction facilities are also available so that you can ensure that any inconsistent data is handled correctly during the conversion.