Monday, December 23, 2013

An Actuarial Application of Social Network Analysis

While the article from The Future Actuary linked to below doesn't really mention social network analysis (SNA), it speaks to insurance products designed to protect you from loss, personal liability, or related litigation issues involving social media. I'm sure there has already been plenty of work done in this area and if I get the chance I'll provide some updates. I would think knowledge of SNA would be critical i.e what is the relationship between centrality measures and network structure and risk? How can this help price products designed to protect individuals and businesses?

"As a social media entrepreneur, Matt Mullenweg put it: “we’re only one click away from a billion people.” While these technological advancements have made ‘getting connected’ one of the top priorities for employers and individuals, it doesn’t come without its perils. The increasing risks of legality/operation, security, and defamation are also just one click away. Maybe it’s time for social media risk management plans to take off. "

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Econometrics and Big Data

Thanks to Dave Giles at Econometrics Beat for pointing out Hal Varian's paper. Big Data: New Tricks for Econometrics

"I believe that these methods have a lot to offer and should be more widely known and used by economists. In fact, my standard advice to graduate students these days is “go to the computer science department and take a class in machine learning.” There have been very fruitful collaborations between computer scientists and statisticians in the last decade or so, and I expect collaborations between computer scientists and econometricians will also be productive in the future."

See also Economists as Data Scientists.

The Convergence of Big Data, Genomics, Biotechnology and Seed Choice

Some recent discussion including big data found on my applied economics blog EconomicSense:

-Big Data, Genomics, and Seed Choice
-AgriTalk Discussion

Also, Blake Hurst's American article:

"Tyler Cowen argues that we’re about to see an even wider disparity in incomes between the 10 to 15 percent of the population that can relate well to computers and the vast majority of us who will deliver services to the computer-savvy class. Farming may be one of the first industries to explore the validity of Cowen’s thesis. All of us involved in agriculture will soon have to decide whether we want to occupy the nostalgic niche providing artisanal beets and heritage pork to Cowen’s 10 percent, or whether we’ll roll the dice on surviving the transition to a data-driven agriculture."