THE RISK DATA OBJECT: AN OPEN DATA STANDARD FOR RISK ANALYTICS
With an open standards program, a library of resources, developer advocates ready to help, and a global community of developers. What risk solution will you create?
OPEN STANDARDS FOR THE RISK MODELING COMMUNITY
Welcome to open standards code, community, and culture.
Discover new open standards, participate in open communities, and join with your peers in the industry to innovate in risk management.
The Risk Data Object (RDO) is a flexible modern data schema that will drive value and innovation through many parts of the industry. The RDO is an Open Standard, that means you can have the code, tooling, and documentation to leverage this technology in your organization, and you can contribute to make our industry better.
Dynamic communities are the cornerstone of open standards. The RDO is supported by resources to help build communities that drive high-impact open projects. Join us and contribute to the future of our industry!
The RDO is designed to hold information on risk, including exposure, coverage, model settings, domain data, and analysis results. It is designed to be an extensible, flexible, and future-proof asset within modeling/analysis systems and as an information interchange vehicle.
The RDO is not locked into any specific technology and can be physically implemented in different manners. The ultimate form of the RDO is as an object-relational construction, but it can also be implemented in SQL and flat file formats. Different platforms will use the physical implementations that best meet their needs. Tooling will be provided to help implement the RDO using the technology that suits you best.
WHY A NEW DATA SCHEMA?
The RDO solves many pain points that modeling practitioners have struggled with for decades and it paves the way for the future of risk modeling. What are some of its advantages?
- A clearer and more flexible representation of exposure and coverage.
- A complete view of how exposure was analyzed and what settings and models generated results.
- Powerful new ways to express contract terms and the business structures that they apply to.
- Modular design that makes adding information simple – new modeling approaches and even new lines of business.
- Technical flexibility to store any type of data – not just relational tables.
- An Open Standard that change with industry needs and is guided by real world practitioners.
Clarity and flexibility
The RDO stores exposure and financial data in distinct areas, which makes it possible to correct shortcomings in financial modeling and also facilitates changes required by new models or model updates.
More complete analysis
Current data models put exposure and results in separate containers, for example the RMS EDM contains exposure and contract terms, and the RDM contains modeling results. There is limited information about how models were used to produce the results. This incomplete picture of the analysis is confusing to consumers of the information – leading to potential misunderstanding of the analysis and to inefficient processes that need to work around the shortcomings of the information. The RDO contains exposure and results in the same construct, and adds more complete information about model setting, linkage between exposure and results, and other domain data – providing a clearer picture of how analysis results were derived.
New model requirements
A new generation of higher definition models require larger input and output data sets and can generate results that are structured differently from the existing algorithms. Models that address new classes of business such a cyber have data requirements that are radically different from traditional property cat models. As modeling options multiply, however, modeling efficiency can plummet as users process too many data formats, and contend with ever-increasing interface requirements. As a remedy, the re/insurance industry needs a single container for exposures and results from any model fit into a single exposure or results format. Rather than attempting to shoehorn unlike data into the old constructs for new models, the RDO is a universal container with the flexibility to suit the new models and products being created throughout the industry.
Improved financial modeling
The best approach to financial modeling uses a language-based description of contract terms. The RDO uses Contract Definition Language (CDL) to build contract terms and conditions that can represent virtually any policy, treaty, or insurance linked security.
Financial modeling is further complicated by the need to refer to business structures. This is particularly the case when describing reinsurance programs, where the subject of a given treaty can be the net of losses that come from combined business units, perils, and inuring reinsurance. Because there is currently no way to represent business hierarchies or complex contract interaction within the modeling framework, building an analysis that combines results and properly applies coverage is often difficult and poorly documented – resulting in wasted time and a greater likelihood of errors. Structure Definition Language (SDL) is a new invention that documents and automates the creation of company-specific financial perspectives – creating significant value and efficiency.
Because the RDO is a NoSQL construct, it can store language – enabling these new financial modeling solutions. However, CDL and some aspects of SDL can be converted to a tabular format, and the RDO can also store financial terms and conditions in a tabular form.
Re/insurers increasingly seek to apply enhanced pricing and exposure analytics to lines of business beyond property catastrophe. Existing schemas are very difficult to extend to new classes of risk and associated coverage, but the RDO is designed to facilitate the addition of new lines of insurance or risk with minimal disruption and effort.
A broad industry work group called the Global Exposure And Clash (GEAC) project created schemas for 14 lines of insurance. Each line has a different set of fields that describe the risk characteristics that are key to analyzing and underwriting that particular type or risk. The RDO would be capable of accommodating this new risk schemas.
Building A THRIVING open standards COMMUNITY
Dynamic communities are the cornerstone of open standard development. We want to encourage people and projects that drive advance risk management practices and profitability across the globe. To accomplish this, we need to support a healthy open standard.
GOVERNING AN OPEN STANDARD
Solid, transparent governance and an inclusive philosophy will attract the largest ecosystems of contributors and users. Open Standard governance assesses new ideas and requests for changes to determine whether they add value and suit the industry and technology. At the core of the Open Standards process is the contribution and change request process (called “pull requests”), and the Steering Committee.
ROLLING OUT THE OPEN STANDARD
The target date for publication of the RDO Open Standard is January 2020. Until that time, a group of industry reviewers will be providing comments and suggestions to ensure that the standard and accompanying assets such as documentation and tooling are ready for public consumption. Note that access to the RDO GitHub Repository will be restricted to pre-release reviewers until public release – at which time anyone can access the RDO material (usage is governed by an see Licensing an Open Standard for further information).
Six criteria an open standard must satisfy*:
- Availability: Open standards are available for all to read and implement.
- Maximize End-User Choice: Open Standards create a fair, competitive market for implementations of the standard. They do not lock the customer into a particular vendor or group.
- No Royalty: Open standards are free for all to implement, with no royalty or fee.
- No Discrimination: Open standards and the organizations that administer them do not favor one implementor over another.
- Extension or Subset: Implementations of open standards may be extended, or offered in subset form. However, the certification organization may decline to certify subset implementations.
- Protective Practices: Open standards may employ license terms that protect against subversion of the standard by embrace-and-extend tactics.
*Source: Bruce Perens, creator of The Open Source Definition
Get access to code, documentation, and tooling that will help you get the most from the RDO.
Discover new ways to use data and emerging best practices through discussion with other like-minded developers.
Help improve our industry by building a standard that opens up new opportunities and improves efficiency.
- Volunteers who wish to comment or request changes
- Often interested in single issues or updates
- Can come from any company or organization
The RDO key contributors recognition program rewards those who participate in open source and also connects potential open source mentors to those who are new to open source. More to come as our community develops.
GitHub is a web-based hosting service for version control using Git. It is mostly used for computer code. It offers all of the distributed version control and source code management (SCM) functionality of Git as well as adding its own features.
It provides access control and several collaboration features such as bug tracking, feature requests, task management, and wikis for every project.
An RDO Git Repository exists and that is where you can access code, detailed documentation, and tooling. GitHub is also where you can submit “pull requests” – new code that you feel should be added to the standard
The Steering Committee guides the development of the Open Standard by reviewing enhancement plans and pull requests. The Committee is made up of leaders from insurers, reinsurers, and brokers
- Are made aware of all development plans
- Review, comment, and vote any proposed changes
- Drive delivery goals and scope of projects
- Can propose change
Gaining access to the Open Standard requires a license that protects all parties from copyright, patent, or liability issues. This is NOT the same as a commercial software license. No one approves the license – anyone who signs has access to the standard and related assets.
There is no fee or permission required to sign the license, but is does set out rules for using and contributing to the standard. The form of license required to use the RDO is an Apache 2.0 license – a standard contract form used to govern and protect many Open Standards.
All the code and components will be available on GitHub on 01/01/2020 and can be freely used under the permissive Apache 2.0 license, and tailored as necessary for specific use cases. Stay tuned
Steering COmmittee Members
DR. MARKUS STOWASSER
Head of Cat Research & Development, Allianz Se Reinsurance
Head of Catastrophe Risk Management
AXA XL, a division of AXA
Catastrophe Center of Excellence at AXIS
Jeremy is a recovering scientist interested in how cat modeling exposure is represented and converted. He was educated as a computer scientist, seismologist, and statistician. Following a series of academic appointments at the University of Southern California, Columbia University, and ETH Zürich, he joined AXIS in Zürich in 2016.
HJÖRTUR THRÁINSSON, PHD
Modeling Expert at Munich Re
Hjörtur Thráinsson is responsible for all non-life catastrophe risk models at Munich Re. He has over 30 years’ experience in probabilistic catastrophe risk modelling. Before joining Munich Re in 2001, Hjörtur was a post-doctoral researcher at Stanford University. He also worked for a software developer in San Jose, California, developing software to quantify insurance risk from natural perils. Hjörtur has served on the Research Advisory Council of the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety, and he helped develop the catastrophe module of the Standard Formula for Solvency II.
Hjörtur has earned the professional designations of Associate in Reinsurance and Associate in Risk Management from the Insurance Institute of America. He holds Ph.D. and M.S. degrees in structural engineering and earthquake engineering from Stanford University, and a degree in civil engineering from the University of Iceland.
Head of Catastrophe Systems at SCOR
Head of Pricing and Analytics at Tokio Marine Kiln
Head of Catastrophe Model Development at Tokio Marine Kiln
Senior Vice President and Global Head of Catastrophe Risk Analytics at TransRe
Monica Mason is Senior Vice President and Global Head of Catastrophe Risk Analytics at TransRe, a leading global reinsurer headquartered in New York. Her team is responsible for the overall use of catastrophe models and associated analytics, portfolio management of catastrophe risk, and developing the TransRe view of risk through model and peril research. Mason has been active in the catastrophe modeling industry for 18 years, with roles at the Lloyd’s syndicate Talbot, Validus Reinsurance, Willis Re, and RMS. Prior to catastrophe modeling, she worked at Deloitte Consulting in the telecommunications consulting practice.
She serves on the board of the International Society of Catastrophe Managers (ISCM), is on the planning committee for the RAA Cat Management conference, is a Director of the Wharton Partnership, and was recently appointed to the Advisory Board of the Gulf Research Program of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine. In her free time, Monica volunteers with the Hoboken Community Emergency Response Team and serves on the Citizen Advisory Group for the HUD-funded Hudson Rebuild by Design project in Hoboken, NJ.
Mason is a graduate of Macalester College with a degree in Mathematics and Economics. She has also completed her ARe and CEEM designations.
Senior Vice President of Product Strategy at RMS
Ryan has more than 25 years experience in the (re)insurance industry building cutting-edge analytics products and teams. He spent the first decades of his career with several reinsurance brokers, most recently Guy Carpenter, where he led the Global Analytics Practice. Since joining RMS in 2010, Ryan has played key product strategy and management roles. Over the past 3 years has focused on Software Product Management and Strategy, adding deep industry domain knowledge and experience to the leadership team at RMS.
Senior Director of Platform Product Services at RMS.
Sudha has more than 20 years of experience in data modeling, with 10+ years on the (re)insurance industry building data analytics products. Currently leading the team of technical product managers focused on building unified data and analytic platform for risk modeling.
Former HP, Intel, Merrill Lynch and startups
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