Ki Series / 29th Sep 2022

Data Science at Ki, and how more women can get into Tech

Discover the world of data science, where algorithms uncover hidden patterns in data, and learn how Ki Insurance utilizes data science to predict policy risk and combine it with underwriters' expertise for simple insights.

Daria Meshcherina

Senior Data Scientist

First things first – a quick explanation of data science

Data science uses algorithms to uncover patterns in data that might otherwise be hard to spot, or simply can’t be found through other methods. It’s like a combination of statistics, analytics and software development. 

How we’re using data science at Ki

Algorithms help to predict how risky a policy might be. 

It learns from past data so we can make decisions significantly faster and at scale. What we do at Ki is combine data science with the real-world experience of underwriters. 

This lets us go further than normal data analysis – it’s complex, but we use that information to create simple insights everyone in the business can use. The algorithm constantly learns, but so do we. 

How I got into data science

I studied economics and then started working in the finance and asset management industry. It was here I gravitated towards analytical and quantitative research, which is where I got my first taste of data science. 

I was doing research using traditional statistical and econometrical methods, but when you add programming into the mix, that’s when you get data science, and it’s like the whole thing’s on steroids. 

But data science wasn’t widely used in the finance industry – they’re a bit conservative in that respect – so I decided to train myself and focus on it 100%. Once I’d established myself as a data scientist, I wanted to help other women do the same. 

Code First Girls

CFG is a charity who help women get into tech professions. 

They find corporate sponsors like Ki and Brit who want to support, attract and ultimately hire more women into these types of roles. CFG offer a 3-month specialist course, followed by a 4-month internship with a sponsor company. 

The sponsor companies pitch themselves through the CFG website, where candidates can apply for a sponsor company that feels right for them. 

It’s a great opportunity because it gets rid of lots of obstacles for women to get into tech roles and doesn’t mandate any technology experience at all. CFG also help explain the market and provide that all-important moral support too. 

Becoming part of Code First Girls

Lots of women used to ask me how to get into finance, and now I get the same questions about data science – so I started mentoring through Code First Girls. 

I give advice on careers, and also teach an Introduction to Data Science course on my days off. 

The key thing is to help people find their own path, what industry is best for them, and how to wiggle their way into it! 

How Code First Girls can help women into tech

  1. They help people decide if tech is something they really want to do, and if it’s a good fit for them. 
  2. From there they arrange free training and support. 
  3. The next step is practical experience as part of a business, so people can learn on the job and see the impact of their work. 
  4. They remove some of the mysteries of what to expect, while growing and gaining confidence. 

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Ki Digital Services Limited is an appointed representative of Asta Underwriting Management Ltd , a company authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority under firm reference number 657311.
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