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 (.firstname.lastname@example.org)
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