Zoom On: Daniel Ryan, Big Data Innovator


Daniel Ryan is the head of research and development of Life & Health and Big Data at insurance company Swiss Re. He will be a featured speaker at the 3rd Swiss Re Symposium on Data Protection being held this year on 18 November in Zurich, Switzerland. The theme of this year’s symposium is “The future of insurance in a data-driven world”. Discussion will revolve around data-driven innovation, and the role insurers have to play in Big Data management.

At Swiss Re, Ryan is the leader of a multi-disciplinary research group that investigates the factors which determine life expectancy. With the global proportion of people over the age of 65 expected to reach 22 percent by 2050, Swiss Re has made significant investments into learning what will drive longevity in the future. As such, Ryan heads the group which considers behavioural economics and genetic testing, among other topics, for a better understanding of how health problems are influenced by disease risk factors and treatments.

A major force in this field is big data, and this year Ryan’s research group established the Big Data & Smart Analytics Centre at Swiss Re. By working to develop new techniques for data analysis, various sources of structured and unstructured data can be used by the company to improve its underwriting responsibilities. Whether it is underwriting for an individual or a corporation, the Centre serves multiple risk classes covered by Swiss Re.

Prior to joining Swiss Re in August 2012, Ryan worked at Towers Watson as Head of Mortality Consulting and Research. Between 2002 and 2010, he was the principal investigator of a research group comprised of insurers and reinsurers, which he founded. The future-focused group used international data sets to investigate such topics as morbidity risk and mortality, as well as product innovation.

Ryan is also a member of the World Economic Forum's Global Agenda Council on Ageing. The group is exploring how the outdated stereotypes of ageing can be transformed to meet the urgent needs of public health and social welfare. Businesses and governments across the globe are being encouraged to capitalise on the economic possibilities of the ageing population. 

In addition to his work at Swiss Re, Ryan chairs an operating committee of the Life & Longevity Markets Association. The non-profit group of insurers, reinsurers and banks promotes a liquid traded market in longevity as well as mortality-related risk.

Ryan holds an MA degree in Medical Sciences from Cambridge University.

Sources: Swiss Re, World Economic Forum

Image Credit: Swiss Re

Published on : Mon, 3 Nov 2014



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