MY JOURNEY FROM INSURANCE TO DATA SCIENCE CONSULTING

Consulting almost always felt an improbable next step after an industry job. Having worked for a few years in insurance, I had gotten used to working on a single product and within one organisation. I was an engineer embedded in an actuarial team. How could my experience translate into a data science consultant role? In fact, my skills and experience were closer aligned to data science consulting than I could have imagined. 

Before joining Capco, I had the pleasure working with a very small team of extremely capable actuaries. If you talk to actuaries about data science, they will argue that they were the original data scientists, and that the field is nothing more than simple computational statistics. However, data science has become a broad field that includes more than statistics, with advancements in cloud, open-source and model architectures being an example of a few key drivers. Data science has been proven to provide value and is radically disrupting the world around us, and the insurance industry is no exception.

Many insurance industry players are currently undergoing large transformational programmes. This has partly been forced upon them by the impact of the global pandemic, but also to ensure that they are not swallowed by more nimble start-ups that are taking larger chunks of their market. The insurance industry is in a unique position to rapidly grow, from having access to enormous amounts of historical data, which it has been slowly capturing over many years, to benefitting from the vast available resources (e.g., software or Platform as a Service) and increased computing power offered by cloud vendors that are desperate to onboard them. However, all this change presents amazing opportunities to build truly innovative products that can lead to real positive change in wider society, whilst ensuring they are more accessible and open to new customers.

One reason why I took the leap into consulting was to have the opportunity to experience this transformation journey across a number of organisations, instead of just the one. Supporting a number of clients with, for example, workloads on the cloud or data science projects, has so far been a lot more exciting than working on the same product for multiple years. The exposure to new problems and technologies makes every day at Capco an interesting one.

When I first came across Capco, I immediately knew it was a different kind of consulting firm. From what I had read online, the culture seemed to be exactly what I was looking for; entrepreneurial, diverse, and with interesting work. When I reached out, I went the ‘safe’ route and applied to Capco’s engineering team on the strength of my academic education.

Surprisingly, Capco disagreed. They felt I could contribute more to the internal Data Science team, which was one of the early signs that showed me that Capco truly cared about ensuring they are hiring the best people for the right roles. After a few conversations with the data science leads, I was convinced that it was the right place for me.

In the few months that I have been with Capco, I have been involved in a number of interesting projects. From helping build internal assets for the data science capability, to working with an exciting large insurer, it has been an exciting time for me.  From day 1, I was seen as a valued member with knowledge of insurance and data science and actively empowered by my leads to propose and build solutions for clients, without a hint of hierarchy. For example, I’ve been actively involved in exploring and building an innovative application of machine and deep learning systems to do underwriting, pivoting away from age-old rule-based engines.

We are rapidly expanding and working on more projects, so if you think you are up to the challenge, do take a look at some of the open roles on our website. If you have any questions, about whether Capco is the right fit for you after your industry experience, feel free to send me an email at abdi.timer@capco.com. I'm more than happy to help answer any questions you may have.