Highlights from PRMIA’s Chapter Meeting: Big Data


On January 15, 2013 PRMIA’s New York Chapter held an event “Big Data – What is its Value to Risk Management?” The audience consisted of a crowd of risk managers, information technology experts, academia, and others data professionals. We all had the privilege of listening to an amazing group of speakers, including:

  • Michael Di Stefano – Partner, Blinksis
  • Colleen Healy – General Manager – U.S. Financial Services, Microsoft
  • Denny Yu – Product Manager,  Risk, Client Solutions Group, Numerix
  • Ken Akoundi – Global Head of Sales – Global Markets, Opera Solutions
  • Kevin Chen – VP of Analytics – Global Markets, Opera Solutions
  • Brian Sentance – CEO, Xenomorph

The presentations and panel discussions were very interesting, informational, and thought-provoking. Below are a few of the key points that were made:

  • Michael Di Stefano provided an overview of Big Data; what it is and how it came about. He states that when data sets become too large, complex, and come in too quickly, it becomes difficult to derive value from it.
  • Colleen Healy made a very good point that “risk management relies on data”.
  • Denny Yu stated that the speed of calculation and use of data translates into an impact on the business. When reviewing risk solutions, Denny suggests that it is important to assess if the vendor fits your needs based on the following: 1) large computations, 2) data transfers, 3) data queries, 4) logging, and 5) visualization.
  • Ken Akoundi described data as “sludge” which comes out and we need to work to make something out of it.
  • Kevin Chen discussed some of the challenges of dealing with Big Data. He stated that data size, complexity, mixed data sources, data cleanliness, etc., are major challenges which demand an important decision of how data should be handled.
  • Brian Sentance moderated the panel and asked great questions which kept the discussion very interesting.

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