Data Science Certificate case studies: Charchit Agrawal

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Charchit Agrawal, Appointed Actuary at QBE Insurance in Malaysia, tells us why wanting to understand the terminology involved in data science was the driving force behind him taking the Certificate in Data Science.

Can you tell us about your current role?

As the Appointed Actuary, I am responsible for the quarterly valuation and capital modelling, as well as providing an independent opinion on pricing for any new products. I work very closely with the finance, underwriting and claims functions in deciding the company’s business strategy when advising the Executive Committee that I sit on.

Why did you enrol for the programme?

Data is something that has always been a part of my journey as an actuary, but over the past few years it has become more of a science and I wanted to learn the formal techniques and the terminology that goes with it.

What is your level of data science experience?

At a formal level, none.

What did you like about the programme?

It introduced complex data science terminology in simple terms, using stories and real-life examples, making the learning pretty effortless. The fact that it was self-paced, yet had to be completed within a 10-week framework, facilitated maximum learning.

How did you fit the learning into your current work commitments?

It was a challenge, but juggling work and studies comes naturally to anyone who has been an actuarial student. Regularity, and at times using the fast-forward feature on the videos, also helped. Having a mobile app was an added plus.

What did you gain at the end?

Other than the formal assignments that allowed me to do some hands-on data crunching and real-life case studies, I am now fully familiar with all the terminology, which means it takes me less effort to read articles on data science. The course has allowed me to pursue further in-depth courses available on various online platforms, as well as get started on learning R and Python.

How will you use it?

I intend to set up a data science and analytics team in my organisation.

What do you want to do next in data science?

Reserving using machine learning algorithms.