Senior Research Investigator
Emeritus Professor of Mathematics, Imperial College
Data Science for Financial Applications
Financial applications of data science provide a perfect illustration of the power of the shift from subjective decision-making to data- and evidence-driven decision-making. In the space of some fifty years, an entire sector of industry has been totally revolutionised. Such applications come in three broad areas: actuarial and insurance, consumer banking, and investment banking. Actuarial and insurance work was one of the earliest adopters of data science ideas, dating from long before the term had been coined, and even before the computer had been invented. But these areas have fallen behind the latest advances in data science technology - which means there is considerable potential for applying modern data analytic ideas. Consumer banking has been described as one the first and major success stories of the data revolution. Dating from the 1960s, when the first credit cards were launched, techniques for analysing the massive data sets of consumer financial transactions have driven much of the development of data mining and data science ideas. But new model types, and new sources of data, are leading to a rich opportunity for significant developments. In investment banking the “efficient market hypothesis” of classic economics says that it is impossible to predict the financial markets. But this is false - though very nearly true. That means that there is an opportunity to use advanced data analytic methods to exploit the tiny gap between conventional theory and what actually happens. Other data science issues, such as data quality, ethics, and security, along with the need to understand the limitations of models, become particularly pointed in the context of financial applications.
Professor David Hand is Senior Research Investigator and Emeritus Professor of Mathematics at Imperial College, London, where he formerly held the Chair in Statistics. He is a Fellow of the British Academy, and an Honorary Fellow of the Institute of Actuaries, and has served (twice) as President of the Royal Statistical Society. He is a non-executive director of the UK Statistics Authority, a member of the European Statistical Advisory Committee, a member of the International Scientific Advisory Committee of the Canadian Statistical Sciences Institute, and of the Advisory Board of the Cambridge Institute for the Mathematics of Information. He has published 300 scientific papers and 29 books, including Principles of Data Mining, Information Generation, Measurement Theory and Practice, The Improbability Principle, and The Wellbeing of Nations. In 2002 he was awarded the Guy Medal of the Royal Statistical Society, and in 2012 he and his research group won the Credit Collections and Risk Award for Contributions to the Credit Industry. He was awarded the George Box Medal in 2016. In 2013 he was made OBE for services to research and innovation.