24 June 2014 Insurance

Potential of new data hindered by cyber concerns

The potential of new data and the risks associated with it will be a big talking point at this year’s International Insurance Society (IIS) Seminar, which is taking place in London this week.

This is according to Daniel Ryan, head of population risk and data analytics R&D at Swiss Re. He believes that the conference, and in particular the seminar he is taking part in ‘Big Data’, will discuss how data can be used to improve predictions about the future.

Ryan’s main talking point will be the transformation of how data is being used and the effects of this.

“There will be a transformation in the way in which we collect data, switching from a situation where people are focused on how they can analyse and better understand existing data sets, to a situation where we have large amounts of data that have been voluntarily contributed by individuals because those individuals are seeking to better understand their health or their financial circumstances.

“This will potentially lead to an opportunity for data to be used and understood by people in a more constructive and collaborative way,” he said.

He expects the conference to provide “a much clearer understanding of why the insurance industry, and other industries, are interested in the data and what the benefits of using that data are for society as a whole.”

Ryan expects that attendees at the conference will be trying to make better predictions about the future, which relates to two areas.

“There are two key issues that we need to grapple with. One is trying to form the best view we can in terms of what may happen in terms of life expectancy. The other is the uncertainty around that best view. Regulators around the world have increased their focus and attention on insurers making better estimates as to what the uncertainty might be. The reality is we find ourselves at a time of great uncertainty when it comes to future longevity.”

However, he notes that increasing concerns over how data has been constructed and who has access to it, may hinder the potential of data to improve predictions. He hopes that a stronger discussion will take place as to how the data might be used and how it will benefit society.

“There are clear areas where we are making very significant and potentially major strides in terms of life improving treatments. At the same time, we seem to be exposing ourselves to more and more risk.

"We need to help individuals appreciate and understand how the choices that they make now will impact them over the long term. Until we are able to communicate these risks effectively, individuals will put too much faith in the ability of future developments to cure all.”

Already registered?

Login to your account

To request a FREE 2-week trial subscription, please signup.
NOTE - this can take up to 48hrs to be approved.

Two Weeks Free Trial

For multi-user price options, or to check if your company has an existing subscription that we can add you to for FREE, please email Elliot Field at efield@newtonmedia.co.uk or Adrian Tapping at atapping@newtonmedia.co.uk