Students from the Master's Degree program in Actuarial Sciences participate in the La Vaudoise Assurances hackathon
Seven students from the Master in Actuarial Sciences program at HEC Lausanne, University of Lausanne, participated in the 2018 hackathon of La Vaudoise Assurances. The event was held from October 9th to 11th in Lausanne, and the jury included Prof. Joël Wagner. The winning project of this hackathon was "Better Call Marta", in which the student Alexis Frederick participated. The Faculty congratulates him and his team.
A hackathon in the form of a DataLab
The La Vaudoise hackathon took on the form of a DataLab this year, featuring the theme of data exploitation with the objective of improving client satisfaction. The six participating teams were composed of a mixture of UNIL and EPFL students as well as data analysts. Guided by mentors, the teams developed solutions geared towards insurance company clients.
The projects were judged in terms of both the client and insurer benefits and the quality of the work. However, two elements in particular were decisive according to Prof. Wagner: "Does the solution provide real added value to the client?" and "Is the implementation realistic, and can the proposition be reasonably implemented within 30 days?" This last point, in his view, was a critical one, since it required the teams to consider very practical matters.
The project "Better Call Marta" (BCM360°) rose to the challenge and gained the jury's approval. It will eventually form the basis for providing a personalized Premium service to La Vaudoise clients and employees.
"Its strong point was to highlight the importance of the close relationship between an insurance company and its clients, and in particular in the case of a claim," states Alexis Frederick. "The objective was to improve the quality of client contact and to accelerate claims handling through more efficient data flow management."
A rich experience for the students
For this 2018 edition, Prof. Joël Wagner was invited to join the jury, which enabled him among other things to observe the multidisciplinary skills of the actuarial science students at HEC Lausanne outside of the academic framework and to guide them through this practical experience: "For the actuarial science students, the experience was a particularly enriching one, not only because they were obliged to plunge into the exploitation of real data, but also and especially because they acquired practical experience in the field with an insurance company," he explains. "In the end, the 48 hours of the hackathon also enabled our students to establish relationships with an important insurance company of the region."
From the students' point of view, this hackathon was a unique opportunity to confront the demands of such projects as they are handled in the professional world: in particular the viable implementation of a first product within 30 days, as well as the provision of true added value to clients, one of the imposed requirements of this competition.
"These two days would certainly not have been such a rich experience without this incredible team with which I was lucky to participate," states Alexis Frederick. "A shared motivation and each person's disciplinary specificities enabled us to succeed in this project in a rich, dynamic atmosphere."
par Myriam Bango-Lepage (Faculté des HEC)