Anand Rao, Author at Insurance Thought Leadership



Anand Rao

Anand Rao

Anand Rao is a principal in PwC’s advisory practice. With more than 25 years of experience, he leads the insurance analytics practice, is the innovation lead for the U.S. firm’s analytics group and is the co-lead for the Global Project Blue, Future of Insurance research. In these roles, Rao is responsible for a team of practitioners who work with C-level executives at some of the world’s largest organizations, advising them on a range of topics including global growth strategies, marketing, sales, distribution and digital strategies, behavioral economics and customer experience and statistical and computational analytics.

As the innovation lead for the analytics group, he is responsible for research and commercial relationships with academic institutions and startups focused on new and innovative big data and analytic techniques. With his PhD and research career in computer science and artificial intelligence and his subsequent experience in management consulting, he brings business domain knowledge, statistical and computational analytics to generate unique insights into the theory and practice of data science.

Recent Articles by Anand Rao

How Do Actuarial, Data Skills Converge?

Our survey of leading carriers shows that insurers are increasingly looking to integrate data scientists into their organizations. This is one of the most compelling and natural opportunities within the analytics function. This document provides a summary of our observations on what insurers’ analytics function will look like in the future, the challenges carriers are […]

10 Trends on Big Data, Advanced Analytics

Recently, I was invited to present on the impact of big data and advanced analytics on the insurance industry at the NCSL Legislative Summit. This talk couldn’t have been timelier, as the insurance sector now tops the list of most disrupted sectors. Some of the culprits and causes for this top spot are related to the speed […]

Strategist’s Guide to Artificial Intelligence

Jeff Heepke knows where to plant corn on his 4,500-acre farm in Illinois because of artificial intelligence (AI). He uses a smartphone app called Climate Basic, which divides Heepke’s farmland (and, in fact, the entire continental U.S.) into plots that are 10 meters square. The app draws on local temperature and erosion records, expected precipitation, soil quality […]

Leveraging AI in Commercial Insurance

Softening prices, little or no organic growth and increased competition have characterized most of the commercial insurance environment in recent years. These factors and a relatively benign cat environment continue to attract new types of capital providers (e.g., hedge funds, pension funds, foreign investors, capital markets) looking to diversify their investment portfolios with uncorrelated insurance […]

Innovation: Solutions From… Elsewhere

Insurance is the industry most affected by disruptive change, according to the percentage of CEOs who are extremely concerned about the threats to their growth prospects from the speed of technological change, changing customer behavior and competition from new market entrants. Insurers know they need to innovate to remain competitive. In fact, 67% of insurance […]

AI: Everywhere and Nowhere (Part 3)

This is Part 3 of a 3-part series. Part 1 can be found here; Part 2, here. In our first blog post on artificial intelligence (AI),  we outlined the challenges of defining AI, and in our second blog post, we described how ubiquitous AI is becoming, defining it as “ubiquitous intelligence.” In this post, we define the continuum of AI […]

AI: Everywhere and Nowhere (Part 2)

This is part two of a three-part series. Part 1 can be found here.  As we saw in a previous blog post on AI Everywhere and Nowhere, defining artificial intelligence is like trying to hit a disappearing target. As soon as any aspect of AI gains widespread adoption, people fail to distinguish it as an AI […]

AI: Everywhere and Nowhere (Part 1)

This is part 1 of a three-part series. Artificial Intelligence (AI) is all the rage in the popular press. Even if you are an alien who just landed on Earth from a planet far away, it was impossible to miss the headlines that AlphaGo—the AI program developed by Google—beat the world champion of the game […]

How to Think About the Rise of the Machines

The first machine age, the Industrial Revolution, saw the automation of physical work. We live in the second machine age, where there is increasing augmentation and automation of manual and cognitive work. This second machine age has seen the rise of artificial intelligence (AI), or “intelligence” that is not the result of human cogitation. It […]

InsurTech: Golden Opportunity to Innovate

The insurance industry has remained much the same for more than 100 years, but over the past decade it has seen a number of exciting innovations and new business models. As part of PwC’s Future of Insurance initiative, we’ve interviewed numerous industry executives and have identified six key business opportunities (illustrated below) that incumbents need […]

Insurance at a Tipping Point (Part 3)

This is the last in a series of three articles. The first is here. The second is here. From the impact of analytics, digitization and more exacting customer expectations to the disruptive effect of regulation, geopolitical instability and two-speed global economic growth, the insurance marketplace will look very different in 2020. With the industry at […]

Insurance at a Tipping Point (Part 2)

This is the second in a series of three articles. The first is here. With the entire insurance industry at a tipping point, where many of the winners and losers will be determined in the next five to 10 years, it’s important to think through all the key strategic factors that will determine those outcomes. […]

Insurance at a Tipping Point (Part 1)

Since the start of the decade, we’ve encouraged insurers and industry stakeholders to think about “Insurance 2020” as they formulate their strategies and try to turn change into opportunity. Insurance 2020’s central message is that whatever organizations are doing in the short term, they need to be looking at how to keep pace with the […]

The Rise of the Robo-Advisers?

The robots are here. Not the humanoid versions that you see in Hollywood movies, but the invisible ones that are the brains behind what look like normal online front-ends. They can educate you, advise you, execute trades for you, manage your portfolio and even earn some extra dollars for you by doing tax-loss harvesting every […]

Reinventing Life Insurance

Many life insurance executives with whom we have spoken say that their business needs to fundamentally change to be relevant in today’s market. Life insurance does face formidable challenges. First, let’s take a hard look at some statistics. In 1950, there were approximately 23 million life policies in the U.S., covering a population of 156 […]

What Comes After Predictive Analytics

Historically, “analytics” has referred to the use of statistical or data mining techniques to analyze data and make inferences. In this context, analytics typically explain what happened (descriptive analytics) and why (diagnostic analytics). If an insurer saw its customers moving to its competition, it would analyze the characteristics of the customers staying or leaving, the […]

2 Ways to Innovate in Life Insurance

Individual life insurance ownership in U.S. has been decreasing over the past decade, and the figures are even more depressing when we look at the figures over the past 50 years. Life insurance ownership (both group and individual) among U.S. adults has dropped from 70% of individuals in 1960 to 59% in 2010. The number […]

The Science (and Art) of Data, Part 2

Given the high need and growing demand for data scientists, there are definitely not enough of them. Accordingly, it is important to consider how an insurer might develop a core talent pool of data scientists. As it is often the case when talent is in short supply, acquiring (i.e., buying) data scientist talent is an […]

The Science (and Art) of Data, Part 1

Most insurers are inundated with data and have difficulty figuring out what to do with all of it. The key is not just having more data, more number-crunching analysts and more theoretical models, but instead identifying the right data. The best way to do this is via business-savvy analysts who can ask the right strategic questions […]

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