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Analytics e-Newsletter - April 20, 2017


eNews: April 20, 2017

From the Editor
Analytics conference: ‘best show in Vegas’

What happens in Vegas shouldn’t stay in Vegas.

That was the message driven home at the 2017 INFORMS Conference on Business Analytics and Operations Research held earlier this month in “Sin City.” The conference, which drew more than a thousand analytics professionals from around the globe, was full of valuable “takeaways.” In fact, conference chair Maher Lahmar and other presenters encouraged attendees to go forth and share the many success stories they had heard, the lessons they had learned, the cutting-edge technology they had witnessed and the unlimited opportunities presented them.

As more than one speaker put it, there has never been a better time than right now to be a member of the international analytics community, whether you consider yourself an operations researcher, a data scientist, an analytics professional or any of a dozen other analytics-related job titles with the skills that the corporate world craves.

From the opening day of 20 hands-on technology workshops to a trio of informative and inspiring plenary talks, from the 9-to-5 lineup of topical tracks to the multiple networking events capped by the Oscar-like Edelman Gala, the conference delivered on Chairman Lahmar’s promise to make it the “best show in Vegas” (despite stiff competition from the likes of Donny & Marie, Penn & Teller and, of course, the unsinkable Celine Dion, appearing at various venues just down the Strip from the host hotel Caesars Palace).

For more on the Edelman Award and other prizes showcasing the best and brightest in analytics work, keep scrolling.

– Horner, editor, Analytics and OR/MS Today magazines (

Analytics Newsmakers

Holiday Retirement earns Edelman Award

Holiday Retirement won the 2017 Franz Edelman Award for Achievement in Operations Research and the Management Sciences from INFORMS for its use of operations research (O.R.) to improve the pricing model for its more than 300 senior living communities across the United States. The prestigious Edelman Award, considered the “Super Bowl” of O.R. and analytics practice applications, was presented at gala held in conjunction with the INFORMS Conference on Business Analytics & Operations Research in April in Las Vegas following a yearlong vetting process and conference presentations before a panel of judges. READ MORE.

U.S. Air Force, Disney receive INFORMS Prize

The U.S. Air Force Academy and The Walt Disney Company received the 2017 INFORMS Prize for their pioneering and enduring integration of operations research (O.R.) and analytics programs into their organizations. The prizes were presented at the INFORMS Conference on Business Analytics & Operations Research in April in Las Vegas. The INFORMS Prize honors effective integration of operations research into organizational decision-making. The award is given to organizations that have repeatedly applied the principles of O.R. in pioneering, varied, novel and lasting ways. READ MORE. 

UPS Prize salutes Air Force Academy’s O.R. program

The U.S. Air Force Academy also won the 2017 UPS George D. Smith Prize for its operations research (O.R.) program, which prepares graduates to become frontline O.R. practitioners as analysts in the Air Force. The program exposes more than 50 percent of cadets to at least one O.R. course and provides cadets the opportunity to graduate with a Bachelor of Science degree in O.R. A year-long applied senior capstone serves as the apex of the program, during which teams of cadets consult for military, corporate, local government and nonprofit organizations to address real-world problems. READ MORE.

Student Team Competition targets food production 

With the backdrop of a fast-growing global population and looming challenges to produce enough food to feed the world, a group of students from the University of Warwick, Nottingham University and Cardiff University in the United Kingdom developed a new method to produce better-performing soybean strains that could lead to a worldwide increase in food production. Their solution was developed as part of the first annual O.R. and Analytics Student Team Competition. The new competition, organized by INFORMS and sponsored this year by Syngenta, challenges students to apply their considerable talent to develop solutions to some of the biggest challenges facing our world today. READ MORE.

Sharing social responsibility produces surprising results

Firms sharing social responsibility for the social good with customers is generally seen as a win-win – more patronage from socially responsible customers and larger benefits to society. A forthcoming study in the INFORMS journal Marketing Science, a leading academic marketing journal, however, questions the premise. The study finds that when a firm shares social responsibility with customers by asking them to “pay what you want,” promising a certain percentage of revenues to be donated to charity, consumers respond to whether firms give, but very little to how much they give. A firm only needs to donate very little for customers to open their wallet – a win for firms, but not for charities and society. READ MORE.

Recognizing Analytics Excellence

At the recent INFORMS Conference on Business & Operations Research, the Analytics Society hosted a recognition breakfast for the winners and participants in competitions that the Society sponsors. The awards included the Innovative Applications in Analytics Award (IAAA), the Student Analytical Scholar Award and the Syngenta Crop Challenge. As these awards have grown in reputation and reach, we use this annual event to recognize and celebrate analytics excellence. READ MORE.

Turner Broadcasting wins 2017 IAAA

Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. won the 2017 Innovative Applications in Analytics Award for its presentation of the work titled, "Audience Targeting Solutions Powered by Advanced Analytics." The winning team included Wes Chaar, Jose Antonio Carbajal and Williams. Sponsored by Caterpillar and the INFORMS Analytics Society, the IAAA recognizes creative and unique applications of analytical techniques. Finalists presented their work at the 2017 INFORMS Analytics Conference to the judging committee chaired by Scott Grasman. READ MORE.

Syngenta Crop Challenge applies analytics to global hunger

The 2017 Syngenta Crop Challenge in Analytics asked participants to use data analytics to predict which soybean seed variety  – or assortment of varieties – is most likely to be chosen by farmers within a specific growing region. Since seed variety selection is one of the most important decisions farmers make each season and no two seasons are alike, data-driven models are increasingly being deployed in making seed decisions. This year's winning entry, "Portfolio Optimization for Seed Selection in Diverse Weather Scenarios," was presented by a team from the BioSense Institute, University of Novi Sad, Serbia. READ MORE.

Analytics Magazine: Sneak Preview

The upcoming May/June issue of Analytics magazine will include a wide range of articles, including features on a “new app for enterprise optimization,” a “new paradigm for service as a software,” and the always popular topic, “leveraging big data for better decisions.” The issue will also feature a corporate profile of Praxair and its global analytics team, as well as multiple articles on healthcare analytics in the ACA/Trump era.

Meanwhile, the current March/April issue of Analytics magazine explores several topics of interest including a survey of statistical analysis software, voter motives and messages, predictive talent acquisition strategy and much more. 


Ready for Rotterdam: 2017 INFORMS Healthcare Conference

All over the world, healthcare organizations are being challenged by obstacles related to the aging of the population and other global trends. It is vital that the complex and growing demands in healthcare delivery are tackled swiftly and optimally. With the abundance of data available, operations researchers across the globe can pool resources and share solutions to come up with innovative ideas to remedy shortcomings within current healthcare systems. The 2017 INFORMS Healthcare Conference, being held July 26-28 in Rotterdam, Netherlands, is the ideal forum for O.R. professionals to come together to optimize health service operations and outcomes. READ MORE.

ISMS Marketing Science Conference

The 39th Annual ISMS Marketing Science Conference will be held June 7-10 at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. The ISMS Marketing Science Conference is an annual event that brings together leading marketing scholars, practitioners and policymakers with a shared interest in rigorous scientific research on marketing problems. READ MORE.

Applications for 2017 Daniel H. Wagner Prize now open

INFORMS is now accepting applications for the 2017 Daniel H. Wagner Prize for Excellence in Operations Research Practice. A two-page abstract in English that provides evidence of mathematical development, solution, unique new algorithm or series of coherent advances developed in conjunction with an application is due by May 1. READ MORE.

Pro Bono Analytics program accepting volunteers

Make a difference in underserved communities by volunteering your time and talents to the INFORMS Pro Bono Analytics program. Volunteer opportunities are constantly being added. To learn more, click here.

 Frontline Solver

Upcoming Analytics Conferenes


2017 INFORMS Healthcare Conference
July 26-28, 2017, Rotterdam, the Netherlands

2017 INFORMS Annual Meeting
Oct. 22-25, 2017, Houston


Predictive Analytics for the Enterprise: Comprehensive Experience
May 15-18, 22-25, 30-31, 2017, 12 noon-5 p.m. EDT, live online

Predictive Analytics: Failure to Launch Webinar
May 16, 2017, 4 p.m.. EDT

Advancing the Analytics-Driven Organization
June 19-22, 2017, 12 noon-5 p.m. EDT, live online

Big Data Rhetoric & Reality
June 27-28, 2017, 12 noon-5 p.m. EDT, live online


CAP® Exam computer-based testing sites are available in 700 locations worldwide. Take the exam close to home and on your schedule:

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"Business users ... are hungry for comprehensive, contextual and timely data on which to make decisions. The process of 'idea creation, data gathering, decision' is a motivational force for economic development in all organizations. The key to effectively implementing this is the smooth democratization of access to data. Can, in one fell swoop, an organization satisfy its newly enabled users' data hunger while simultaneously quenching information technology's (IT) thirst for time? That's the challenge.

 Heine Krog Iversen, CEO of TimeXtender, in his Executive Edge column in the upcoming May/June issue of Analytics magazine for a "web first" look, click here

U.S. DoD uses AIMMS-based models to boost cybersecurity efforts

Frontline shipping Solver SDK (Pro and Platform) V2017

FICO named a leader in predictive analytics, machine learning solutions
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