A private exhumation

Is this blog dead? No, but you could be forgiven for thinking so. I will be posting a little more frequently than over the last year. That isn’t a high bar. Given the long silence, there are quite a few topics I’ve been thinking about and discussing with friends and colleagues. You’ll have to check […]

Claims analysis, inflation and discounting (part 1)

I’ve had the privilege to straddle life insurance and non-life insurance (P&C, general, short term insurance, take your pick of terms) in my career.  On balance, I think having significant exposure to both has increased my knowledge in each rather than lessened the depth of my knowledge in either.  I’ve been able to transport concepts […]

Modest data

I’m as excited as the next guy about the possibilities of “Big Data!” but possibly more excited about the opportunities presented by plain old “Modest Data”. I believe there is plenty of scope for useful analysis on fairly moderate data sets with the right approach and tools. I’d go as far as to say that […]

Economic growth during and after Apartheid and the real problem with 1%

I read a letter from Pali Lehohla on news24 this weekend. Lehohla, the head of StatsSA, disagreed with a report by DaMina Advisors on economic growth in South Africa during and post the apartheid era. To paraphrase Lehohla, he disagreed with their methodology, their data and their values and ethics: First, I need to engage the […]

Open mortality data

The Continuous Statistical Investment Committee of the Actuarial Society does fabulous work at gathering industry data and analysing it for broad use and consumption by actuaries and others. I can only begin to imagine the data horrors of dealing with multiple insurers, multiple sources, multiple different data problems. The analysis they do is critically useful […]

The virtual irrelevancy of population size to required sample size

Statistics and sampling are fundamental to almost all of our understanding of the world. The world is too big to measure directly. Measuring representative samples is a way to understand the entire picture. Popular and academic literature are both full of examples of poor sample selection resulting in flawed conclusions about the population. Some of […]