AIR Worldwide Selects Actian as the Underlying Database for Its Advanced Risk Modeling Analytics

Processing vast amounts of data allows insurers/reinsurers to obtain a more complete view of risk

REDWOOD CITY, CALIF. & BOSTON, June 15, 2015 — Actian Corporation (“Actian”), the highest-performance enterprise-grade SQL (Structured Query Language) analytics platform company, and AIR Worldwide (AIR), the scientific leader and most respected provider of risk modeling software and consulting services, are working together to deliver the next-generation of risk management analytics. AIR is using the Actian Analytics Platform as the foundation and underlying back-end database for AIR’s innovative catastrophe modeling platform, Touchstone®. The Actian platform will enable faster model run times and advanced data-driven analytics for better catastrophe risk management. AIR is a Verisk Analytics (Nasdaq:VRSK) business.

As insurance and reinsurance industry regulatory requirements grow more stringent and the marketplace becomes even more competitive, companies’ appetites for data-driven analytics are growing. By advancing the underlying infrastructure of its groundbreaking Touchstone platform to Actian Analytics Database – Matrix, AIR makes a seamless transition to richer and higher-volume data sets and new analytical capabilities while helping to ensure maximum performance, security, and reliability of the analytics and modeling process.

Through its industry-leading risk models, the Touchstone platform arms AIR customers with a more comprehensive understanding of risk, giving them the ability to better manage their catastrophe risk globally. Touchstone is already established as the industry’s next-generation risk management platform, with capabilities far beyond just catastrophe models. With the Actian Matrix database at the heart of Touchstone, users will have the ability to ingest and analyze more sources of both catastrophe and noncatastrophe data and to perform more advanced queries for larger catalogs at a higher resolution.

“Our customers need tools that empower them to own their risk,” said Peter Lewis, senior vice president at AIR Worldwide. “With the addition of higher-resolution models and ever larger data sets, risk modeling has become extremely compute-intensive. The Actian Matrix database gives us the ability to keep up with our clients’ evolving requirements and advance our analytics, enabling our customers to better own their catastrophe risk. Collaborating with Actian means our customers get access to scalable and high-performing big data analytics, all while leveraging their existing hardware investments and SQL skill sets.”  

Actian’s massively parallel database can complete data-intensive operations many times faster than traditional databases housed on a single server by distributing queries across multiple servers. With Actian Matrix as the back-end database, Touchstone will address many performance bottlenecks often imposed by serially processing data-intensive operations. And because Actian Matrix runs on a cluster of inexpensive commodity hardware that can be scaled as data volumes grow, AIR customers will be able to limit IT costs while increasing processing power to drive next-generation risk models.

“Combining and analyzing traditional, social, mobile, and public data sources represent one of the biggest opportunities in decades, but yesterday’s approaches to data management and analytics can’t cope with the proliferation of sources and amounts of data at our disposal. Organizations that find ways to crunch massive amounts of data economically and derive actionable insights will win. Those that stick with yesterday’s technology will watch opportunities die on the vine or — worse yet — be crushed by their competition,” said Mike Hoskins, CTO at Actian. “By implementing Actian Matrix, which is purpose-built to analyze large, complex, diverse data sets quickly and efficiently, AIR removes the technical ceiling from its core offering and prepares its customers to survive and thrive in the Age of Data.”

Lewis concluded, “AIR remains committed to offering clients choice in where they deploy Touchstone — whether on premises or in a public or private cloud — and that was a selection criterion in our evaluation of big data solutions. By choosing Actian Matrix, we are able to continue to offer that choice. Touchstone with Actian Matrix is not a technology that needs to leverage the cloud to perform well.”

Click here to watch a video interview with Actian’s CTO, Mike Hoskins, discussing the integration of Actian Matrix with AIR’s Touchstone platform:

About Actian: Accelerating Big Data 2.0
Actian transforms big data into business value for organizations of all sizes, no matter where they are on their analytics journey. We help companies win by empowering them to connect to data of any type, size or location; analyze it quickly wherever it resides; and take immediate action on accurate insights gained to delight their customers, gain competitive advantage, manage risk and find new sources of income. The 21st century software architecture of the Actian Analytics Platform delivers extreme performance on off-the-shelf hardware, overcoming key technical and economic barriers to broad adoption of Big Data. Actian also makes Hadoop enterprise-grade by providing high-performance data enrichment, visual design and SQL analytics in Hadoop without the need for MapReduce skills. Among tens of thousands of organizations using Actian are innovators in the financial services, healthcare, telecommunications, digital media and retail industries. The company is headquartered in Silicon Valley and has offices worldwide. Stay connected with Actian Corporation at or on FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn.

About AIR Worldwide
AIR Worldwide (AIR) is the scientific leader and most respected provider of risk modeling software and consulting services. AIR founded the catastrophe modeling industry in 1987 and today models the risk from natural catastrophes and terrorism in more than 90 countries. More than 400 insurance, reinsurance, financial, corporate, and government clients rely on AIR software and services for catastrophe risk management, insurance-linked securities, detailed site-specific wind and seismic engineering analyses, and agricultural risk management. AIR, a Verisk Analytics (Nasdaq:VRSK) business, is headquartered in Boston with additional offices in North America, Europe, and Asia. For more information, please visit

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 Actian, Actian Analytics Platform, Actian Analytics Database – Matrix, Accelerating Big Data 2.0, and Big Data for the Rest of Us are trademarks of Actian Corporation and its subsidiaries. Touchstone and all other trademarks, trade names, service marks, and logos referenced herein belong to their respective companies.


Actian Corporation
Lacy LaBorde

AIR Worldwide
Kevin Long

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