Apps for ActuariesThe Technology Section is sponsoring a series of meeting sessions titled ‘Apps for Actuaries’; the first of these took place at the Life and Annuity Symposium in New Orleans and is being repeated at the Health Meeting and Annual Meeting. The session in New Orleans was so well received that we thought that a series of articles covering apps would be interesting to our members. Each article will review three or four apps that typically run on smart phones such as the iPhone, Android phones, Blackberry, and Windows 7 Phone, as well as the iPad and Android tablets. We may also cover Chrome OS; more about this in future articles.Surprisingly, a show of hands at the New Orleans meeting showed that only half the attendees at that session had a smart phone or tablet device. Maybe these articles will show you the value in these devices if you don’t yet have one. Another reason to consider these devices is that all future meetings will have Wi-Fi in the meeting rooms and there will be Meeting Apps – appropriately enough the first app we review will be the SOA Meeting App.
Twitter Apps (Kevin Pledge)I mentioned Twitter in relation to the Meeting App; you should also consider a dedicated Twitter App. Before saying what Apps I prefer I should say something about Twitter for those of you who have not tried it. You are probably already know that Twitter is for sending short messages of 140 characters or less and are wondering what you would do with that. While some people may believe that the world wants to know what they had for lunch and how they feel after the gym, in business Twitter is great for sending links to articles and short comments, especially at meetings. Twitter is further enhanced by lists, this allows you to group people and topics. On the desktop I prefer TweetDeck, which is also available for Chrome, however the mobile version of this is not my first choice.Eddie Smith prefers Tweetbot ($1.99 iPhone) because of the list functionality. I tend to use the native Twitter app (free iPhone, Android, Blackberry, Win7) for reading, but I prefer HootSuite(free iPhone, Android) for writing as it has the link abbreviations (necessary when you are limited to 140 characters). Seesmic (free iPhone, Android, Blackberry, Win7) is also worth a look, but it includes ads which I find distracting on a mobile device where the screen is already quite small.
GoodReader (Eddie Smith)Virtually all business professionals—actuaries included—need to look at PDF files on the go. Most iPhone and iPad users agree that GoodReader is the best app for reading, annotating, and managing PDF files when away from their desktop computer or laptop. GoodReader can connect to several different types of remote servers making it easy to retrieve and even sync files. In other words, suppose you mark up a PDF on your iPad: Those changes will be available back on your desktop computer if you connect to a common server. GoodReader also works with Word files, image files, and many other formats making it the de facto “file system” of the iPhone and iPad.
SOA Meeting App (Kevin Pledge)Anyone can download it from the calendar page for the Health Meeting on soa.org.All large meetings – Val Act, Annual, and next year’s Life & Annuity Symposium will have it.Anything that is on the onsite brochure is on this and more.Don’t need to print out presentations. Can write notes on them and email them to yourself.Works better on iPad-sized device.The specific meeting app we are reviewing is for the 2011 Health Meeting, but we believe future meetings will have similar apps. I tried both the iPhone and iPad versions, and they both worked smoothly. There is also Android version and there should be a Blackberry version, although I could not find it, however there is not yet a version for Windows Phone 7. The app allows you to browse the event program, build your personal schedule, take notes, rate sessions and speakers. The transition from the event schedule, to the map or to session slides is seamless. You can also tweet from the application, including tweeting the presentation slides. No doubt, not everyone will be a fan of opening up the meeting to this technology, but I believe it is way forward. If you’d like to see a video of its cool features, you can check it out at: http://vimeo.com/21581588. Congratulations to Kerri Leo and the team at the SOA behind this.
The Technology Section has been influential with the SOA over the years. Recently the Mortality Tables were redesigned. Check out the Technology pages on soa.org.Leaders of the Technology Section introduced the SOA to SharePoint. This is what the Board and the Exam volunteers use to share information. (Did not catch on so much on the section side). Technology was the first SOA entity to have a LinkedIn group. And now Tim Deitz and Eddie Smith are advisors to the SOA on apps.The section considers topics from programs for actuaries to modern technologies as we have covered today that you can use as a business person and in your personal life.On soa.org, go the website and click Join a Section on lower left. Annual dues are $20. Also there are lots of opportunities to volunteer with the Technology Section.
Source: Superman Returns“You see whoever controls technology controls the world. The Roman empire ruled the world because they built roads. The British empire ruled the world because they built ships. America; the atom bomb. And so on and so forth. I just want what Prometheus wanted. Gods are selfish beings who fly around in little red capes and don't share their power with mankind. No, I don't want to be a *god*. I just want to bring fire to the people. And... I want my cut." ~LexLuthor
Agenda Social Networking Apps for Actuaries New Apps from the Society of Actuaries Join the Technology Section! Q&A 2
Social Networking LinkedIn, SharePoint, Web 2.0 etc. The term Web 2.0 is associated with web applications that facilitate participatory information sharing, interoperability, user-centered design and collaboration on the Worldwide Web.–Wikipedia How can actuaries use social networking? The term social networkings, plural, refers to the use of dedicated websites and applications to communicate informally with other users, or to find people with similar interests to oneself. –Wikipedia 3
Evolution of Apps for Actuaries App Defined: Apps is an abbreviation for application. An app is a piece of software. It can run on the Internet, on your computer, or on your phone or other electronic device. Evolution of Smart Phones: PALM=>Blackberry=>Windows Mobile=>Android/iPhone The CompAct newsletter of the Technology Section is publishing a series of articles covering apps of interest to members. Each article will review three or four apps that typically run on smart phones such as the iPhone, Android phones, Blackberry, and Windows 7 Phones, as well as the iPad and Android tablets. Before these articles appear, you can get a head start exploring several apps that follow. 4
Technology: Apps for ActuariesThere’s a huge selection of apps available for modern phones and tablet computers1. LinkedInFreeLinkedIn is a useful business tool for making contacts and connections, but now you can takeit with you, with the free LinkedIn apps that allow you to access your connections and theirprofiles and updates. You can also use it to join The Actuary’s LinkedIn group.Works with: iPhone/iPad/Blackberry/Palm2. BloombergFreeGet business and world news on the move using the company’s collection of apps. There is aversion for general news and a separate one that gives access to extra feeds if you or yourcompany are Bloomberg subscribers.Works with: iPhone/iPad/Android/Blackberry/ Nokia3. Google TranslateFreeThe world becomes a smaller place with this superb new, free translation tool from the searchgiant. It works with over 20 languages, and will even read out translations in some of those,though a network connection is required.Works with: iPhone/iPad/Android 5
Technology: Apps for Actuaries (cont’d)4. GoToMyPCFreeThis desktop program is great for accessing a work computer from home (or vice versa). Themobile version brings that experience to your iPad. Android and iPhone users can make use ofthe similar Teamviewer app.Works with: iPad only5. WebExFreeWeb conferences can be a pain but you can access them easily on your mobile device with theWebEx app that connects to WebEx conferences and allows you to join meetings, view sharedcontent and chat.Works with: iPhone/iPad/Android/Blackberry6. Dragon Dictation$The iPhone and iPad have microphones, so why not put them to some use? The Dragon appdoes just that, recording and dictating what you type in for emails, memos or anything else. Aseparate Blackberry Dragon For E-mail app is also available.(As an alternative, the Windows 7 operating system offers speech recognition setup for theOffice suite via Control PanelEase of Access CenterSpeech Recognition. )Works with: desktops, laptops 6
Technology: Apps for Actuaries (cont’d)7. EvernoteFreeClip any website, article or document you find online for later reading and reference. Either save notesdirectly or email them to your personal Evernote email address, and mark them up with photos andaudio.Works with: iPhone/iPad/Android/Blackberry/ Windows MobileSource for Apps 1-7: Anthony Dhanendran picks some of the most suitable and interesting foractuaries. http://www.theactuary.com/8755108. Tungle.meFreeTungle.me is a scheduling application that syncs with your existing calendar. Eliminate double-bookings, time zone mishaps and the back-and-forth of finding a time to meet. Easily schedulemeetings, inside or outside your organizationInvite others to schedule with you, without having to sign up.Works with: iPhone/iPad/Android/Blackberry/ Windows Mobile9. TwitterFreeTwitter is a free social networking and micro-blogging service that allows users to send "updates" (text-based posts, up to 140 characters long) via SMS, instant messaging, email, to the Twitter website, oran application such as Twitterrific. 7
Technology: Apps for Actuaries (cont’d)10. DropboxFreeDropbox is a web-based file-hosting service that uses cloud computing to enable users to storeand share files and folders with others across the Internet using file synchronization. There areboth free and paid services. It’s free service provides 2 GB of free online storage.Works with: Windows, Mac and Linux; mobile devices Android, Windows Phone 7, iPhone, iPadand BlackBerry.11. Good Reader$GoodReader is the super-robust PDF reader. Its iPad version was the #1 selling non-Apple app foriPad in 2010 in the USA. You can read virtually anything: books, movies, maps, pictures.Works with: iPad, iPhone, iPhone touch12. Khan Academyhttp://khanacademy.org/When you first go to this site, you may think “How does this help me? Unless I need to help mykids with their math homework….” – but wait, page down to the sections on the Credit Crisis orFinance (also check out Geithner Plan and Paulson Bailout) and you’ll see it’s much more thanalgebra videos. 8
Technology: Apps for Actuaries (cont’d)For more free business education resources, see Mary Pat Campbell’sarticles in The Stepping Stone, the newsletter for the Management andPersonal Development Section:http://www.soa.org/news-and-publications/newsletters/management-and-personal-development/pub-management-and-personal-development-details.aspx Get Your Personal MBA.The Stepping Stone, Issue 35, July 2009, pp 19 - 21 Stop Paying for Business Education!. The Stepping Stone, Issue 32, October 2008, pp 1, 14 - 15 9
New Apps from the Society of ActuariesHealth Meeting App 10
New Apps from the Society of Actuaries Mobile Online Directory 11
Join the Technology Section! Build your personal brand • Section leadership – Mortality Tables, SharePoint, LinkedIn, Apps Network • +1100 members Communication • CompAct e-newsletter • LinkedIn (members only) JOIN A SECTION 12 12
Council Members & Roles Technology Section • Chair – Jeff Pomerantz • Vice Chair – Eddie Smith • 2011 Chair – Eddie Smith Detail info on members on our website: http://www.soa.org/professional-interests/technology/tech-detail.aspx 13 13