Ben Bonekyn is a Business Information Analyst for Atrium Underwriters in London and a graduate of the Lloyd's and Southampton Data Science Academy Fundamentals of Data Science (Technical) course.
We spoke with Ben about why it's important for insurance industry professionals to enhance their data science skills, and how he's applying the skills and knowledge he's acquired on the course in his day-to-day work.
Tell us a bit about yourself – what's your background and where are you based?
I studied mathematics at university and started working as an accountant shortly after finishing my course. The company I was working for at the time had a data analytics department and I thought the work they were doing was interesting. I decided to learn SQL and was offered a role within the data analytics department, where I worked as a consultant for a while.
I then left that company to join Atrium Underwriters in London, where I have been working as a business information analyst for the past 6 years. We are based in the Lloyd’s building.
Why did you decide to do the Lloyd's training?
Over the past few years, I have completed some online courses on data science. I was interested in doing the Lloyd’s Fundamentals of Data Science (Technical) course so that I could get some guidance on how to start using these skills within my organisation. I also thought it would be a good opportunity to get an idea of how other companies within Lloyd’s may be using data science.
Why is it important for insurance professionals to enhance their data science and AI skills? Is the impact of data science and AI on the industry growing?
One reason I think it is important is so that they can start to spot trends in their data that aren’t easy to find using traditional methods. There is also the opportunity to use AI and data science to make certain processes more efficient. This could be through creating visualisations in order to monitor processes or making use of AI for triaging, for example.
I think the impact of data science and AI is growing within the industry. The Lloyd’s Lab has introduced some interesting companies to the market in this area, some of which Atrium has been working with to explore ways we can use their products.
Have you been able to apply the skills and knowledge you’ve learned to your current role?
Yes, there are certain parts of the course that I have started to use within my role. Mainly the parts on working with JSON and calling APIs. I am hoping that I will be able to use some of the machine learning aspects in future projects.
Do you think the training will help you in your future career?
Yes. The course has been great so far and it has made me want to continue developing my skills in this area.
Would you recommend the course to other insurance professionals?
I would. There is quite a lot of coding involved, so it may not be appropriate for people who are not interested in learning to code, but this is a great starter course for anyone who is interested in developing their knowledge of Python and data science.
Lloyd's has partnered with the Southampton Data Science Academy (at the University of Southampton) to offer data science and artificial intelligence training courses for Lloyd's insurance marketplace professionals: