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2 years ago
Wise Practitioner – Predictive Analytics Interview Series: Syed Mehmud at Wakely Consulting Group, Society of Actuaries


In anticipation of his upcoming conference presentation, Leveraging Predictive Analytics to Understand the Financial Drivers of the ACA, at Predictive Analytics World for Financial in Las Vegas, June 3-7, 2018, we asked Syed Mehmud, Principal at Wakely Consulting Group and Senior Consulting Actuary at the Society of Actuaries, a few questions about his work in predictive analytics.

Q: In your work with predictive analytics, what behavior or outcome do your models predict?

A: I work with health plans. The models primarily focus on predicting morbidity (i.e. frequency and severity) and cost outcomes (e.g. profitability). In limited cases, I have worked to predict specific events (e.g. readmission risk).

Q: How does predictive analytics deliver value at your organization – what is one specific way in which it actively drives decisions or operations?

A: Predictive analytics delivers value for our clients as they are better able to understand the financial consequences of various scenarios including maintaining current strategies or evaluating new ones.

Q: Can you describe a quantitative result, such as the predictive lift of your model or the ROI of an analytics initiative?

A: We constructed an algorithm that searches through millions of possibly interesting segmentations of a population to reveal the most important differentiators of a health plan’s profitability.

Q: What surprising discovery or insight have you unearthed in your data?

A: A surprising discovery was that post-risk adjustment, the members that may be costlier may also be driving up the profitability – which is counter-intuitive.

Q: Sneak preview: Please tell us a take-away that you will provide during your talk at Predictive Analytics World.

A: I hope that the audience finds value in the discussion of an approach to uncover drivers of profitability, and the specific drivers of profitability as measured over benefit year 2016 data for a number of health plans.


Don’t miss Syed’s conference presentation, Leveraging Predictive Analytics to Understand the Financial Drivers of the ACA, on Tuesday, June 5, 2018 from 3:05 to 3:25 pm at Predictive Analytics World for Financial in Las Vegas. Click here to register to attend. Use Code PATIMES for 15% off current prices (excludes workshops).

By: Eric Siegel, Founder, Predictive Analytics World

Eric Siegel is the founder of Predictive Analytics World ( — the premier machine learning conference, with cross-vendor industry events in Las Vegas, Washington DC, London, Munich, and Berlin — and the author of the award-winning book, Predictive Analytics: The Power to Predict Who Will Click, Buy, Lie, or Die – Revised and Updated Edition, (Wiley, 2016).

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