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New R/Insurance Webinar Series: The Journey from Excel to High-Performance Programming in R

By December 13, 2023Blog, Events


The actuarial profession is on the cusp of a transformation spearheaded by integrating programming into the traditional spreadsheet-based workflow. Georgios Bakoloukas, Head Model and Analytics, Swiss Re and Benedikt Schamberger, Head Atelier Technology & AI Consulting, Swiss Re, are at the forefront of this paradigm shift. 

This blog encapsulates 4 upcoming webinars showcasing the journey from Excel to high-performance programming in R. The webinars are scheduled to be broadcast in January 2024, and you can participate directly. Beginners are welcome.

Webinars by Georgios Bakoloukas:

  1. From Excel to Programming in R

            Date: January 10th, 2023

            Duration: 30 minutes

Georgios will introduce a compelling case for why actuaries should embrace R programming while continuing to use Excel. The session promises to demystify the transition, using insurance industry examples, to demonstrate the benefits of adopting a programming mindset alongside familiar spreadsheet computing.

  1. Putting R into Production

            Date: January 17th, 2023

            Duration: 30 minutes

The follow-up webinar takes the discussion from solving problems in R to sharing these solutions. Georgios will cover documentation, testing, and dissemination using R’s packaging, Web API creation, and GUI generation through Shiny. This practical approach ensures that coding efforts are not siloed but add value across the organization.

Webinars by Benedikt Schamberger:

  1. R Performance Culture

            Date: January 24th, 2023

            Duration: 30 minutes

Benedikt will address the nuances of optimizing code performance in R. Acknowledging that premature optimization might be detrimental, he will provide insights into when and how to refine code. The session includes a look at R’s design philosophy regarding performance and the tools available for tuning.

  1. High-Performance Programming in R

            Date: January 31st, 2023

            Duration: 30 minutes

Continuing the performance theme, Benedikt will delve into the limitations of CSV files and introduce binary formats that bolster efficiency. He will explore the arrow R package and the Parquet file format, demonstrating their potential to reduce time and disk space requirements significantly.


These webinars offer a roadmap for actuarial professionals keen on enhancing their toolkit with programming capabilities. As the industry evolves, the skills taught by Georgios and Benedikt will become increasingly indispensable, marking a step towards a more innovative and efficient actuarial future.

Please join us to learn more about actuarial science here.