Analytics Magazine 2018

Posted: 5/25/2018



eNews: May 24, 2018


Fact-based decision-making in the ‘post-truth era’

Does fact-based, data-driven decision-making have a role in today’s hyper polarized political environment? The answer is a definitive “yes,” according to an all-star lineup of keynote speakers and panelists at the inaugural INFORMS Government & Analytics Summit held earlier this week in Washington, D.C.

In fact, the role of fact-based, data-driven science, education, homeland security, criminal investigation, journalism and other professions is more important than ever in today’s “post-truth era.” So said keynote speaker Gen. Michael Hayden (U.S. Air Force, ret.), former director of the National Security Agency (1999-2005) under presidents Clinton and George W. Bush and former director of the Central Intelligence Agency (2006-2009) under presidents Bush and Obama, who encouraged summit attendees, many of whom are government analysts, to continue their work and focus on the data and the facts despite the political noise.

As INFORMS President Nick Hall noted, “INFORMS has a great story to share about how Washington can work more efficiently and more effectively by better leveraging O.R. and analytics and the expertise of our members.”

For more on the summit and other news of interest to INFORMS and Analytics Society members, as well as other analytics practitioners, keep scrolling.

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


INFORMS 2018 Government & Analytics Summit

By Kara Tucker

The first annual INFORMS Government & Analytics Summit was held on May 21 in Washington, D.C. INFORMS President Nicholas G. Hall (The Ohio State University) seized a unique opportunity for INFORMS to host an event that could improve understanding within government of the value of operations research (O.R.) and analytics work for solving important societal problems. O.R. and analytics is already used in many government-related areas such as national security and military logistics, scheduling flights and bus routes in transportation, and epidemic preparedness in healthcare. Read more.

Study reveals personal predispositions may drive choice

Imagine you are choosing between two resorts for your island vacation. The factors driving your decision will be “quality” and “price,” but “quality” can be more difficult to define. In the end, this will come to represent all factors beyond price, such as service, amenities, proximity to the ocean and other things that are important to you. So, how will you decide? A new study has found that as consumers we tend to make these kinds of choices in a “boundedly rational” way. Read more.

Data Science Bowl: Using AI to accelerate life-saving medical research

Imagine unleashing the power of artificial intelligence to automate a critical component of biomedical research, expediting life-saving research in the treatment of almost every disease from rare disorders to the common cold. This could soon be a reality, thanks to the fourth Data Science Bowl, a 90-day competition in which, for the first time, participants trained deep learning models to examine images of cells and identify nuclei, regardless of the experimental setup – and without human intervention. Algorithms developed in this competition could save researchers hundreds of thousands of hours of effort per year. Read more.

GDPR seen as opportunity to improve data privacy, security

A new study from IBM reveals that nearly 60 percent of organizations surveyed are embracing the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) as an opportunity to improve privacy, security, data management or as catalyst for new business models, rather than simply a compliance issue or impediment. Read more.

Challenges facing supply chain execs: leadership, labor, legacy technology

While most companies recognize the value of a digitally enabled supply chain – empowered by new technologies like artificial intelligence, blockchain, big data and analytics – many chief supply chain officers (CSCOs) are not leveraging their C-suite counterparts to help reinvent the supply chain function and transform it into an engine of new growth models and customer experiences, according to new research from Accenture. Read more.


Looking forward: local conferences, more volunteers and added value

By Jack Levis

With the INFORMS Conference on Business Analytics & Operations Research behind us and everyone getting ready for summer, our attention is turning to what’s next. Past President Stefan Karisch is finalizing plans for a local conference in the Pacific Northwest. By collaborating with INFORMS and a local chapter of INFORMS, the Analytics Society can create additional meeting opportunities that help invigorate all three organizations. Read more.

2018 Syngenta Crop Challenge in Analytics winner announced

Syngenta and the Analytics Society of INFORMS named a team from the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) in Colombia as the winner of the 2018 Syngenta Crop Challenge in Analytics. The competition, hosted by the Analytics Society, concluded during the 2018 INFORMS Conference on Business Analytics & Operations Research in Baltimore, where five finalist teams presented their submissions to the Crop Challenge Prize. Read more.

Analytics Society seeks volunteers to fill leadership roles

By Erick Wikum

It takes the time and effort of volunteers like you and me to make the Analytics Society of INFORMS successful. The society, which was founded seven years ago, now boasts a membership of 1,800 and a growing agenda to provide value to its members. To support that agenda, the society is seeking volunteers to fill leadership roles. Read more.

Analytics-May-June-2018Analytics Magazine: Current Issue

The May/June issue of Analytics magazine has something for everyone, from features on how software analytics enables real-time customer personalization and how to turbocharge analytics projects to smart automation and why data science projects fail. The issue also includes a profile of Chevron and its operations research and advanced analytics team, as well as a look at data privacy in the wake of the Facebook debacle and the role blockchain may play in solving the problem going forward.


2018 INFORMS Annual Meeting heading for Phoenix

The 2018 INFORMS Annual Meeting will be held Nov. 4-7 at the Phoenix Convention Center and Hyatt Regency Phoenix in Phoenix. The theme of this year’s meeting is “Smart City and Sustainable Communities,” the new paradigm when it comes to urban sustainability. The conference offers unique opportunities to connect and network with the more than 5,000 INFORMS members, students, prospective employers, employees, and academic and industry experts. Read more.

International conference to spotlight O.R., analytics and AI

By Grace Lin

The 2018 INFORMS International Conference will be held in the world-class Taipei International Convention Center (TICC) and the Grand Hyatt Taipei in beautiful Taipei City, Taiwan, on June 17-20. The conference theme is “A Better World Through Operations Research, Analytics and Artificial Intelligence.”

The conference offers excellent opportunities to learn about the emerging O.R. and AI technologies and applications from more than 40 invited, sponsored and contributed clusters featuring more than 600 talks. Read more.

2018 Winter Simulation Conference set for Sweden

The 2018 Winter Simulation Conference (WSC) will be held Dec. 9-12 at The Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre in Gothenburg, Sweden. The conference seeks to highlight applications of simulation for noble causes in addition to continuing to report leading developments and applications in other fields. WSC is the central meeting place for simulation practitioners, researchers and vendors working in all disciplines in industry, service, government, military and academic sectors. Read more.

Essential Practice Skills Workshops in Denver, Washington, D.C.

Patrick Noonan, a former management consultant, business owner and college professor, will lead two-day workshops in Denver and the Washington, D.C., area later this year as part of INFORMS’ Professional Development and Continuing Education program. The workshops, entitled, “Essential Practice Skills for High-Impact Analytics Projects,” will be held June 20-21 at the University of Denver and Sept. 19-20 at the AMA Washington D.C. Area Executive Conference Center in Arlington, Va. Read more





Continuing Education




Prescriptive Analytics Topics



2018 INFORMS International Conference
June 17-20, 2018, Taipei, Taiwan

Essential Practice Skills for High-Impact Analytics Projects Course
June 20-21, 2018, University of Denver, Denver


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“The potential for the smart automation of the future to optimize humans is on a scale far beyond merely improving business processes or constructing higher-quality automobiles. While we have the luxury of time to debate and explore the implications, it falls to us, in the early stages of smart automation, to agree upon a solid set of ethical guidelines. Doing so will help direct research efforts and innovation toward the projects that truly enhance human well-being.”

Joseph Byrum, chief data scientist at Principal Financial Group and a member of INFORMS, in his article, “The direction of smart automation” in the May/June 2018 issue of Analytics magazine.