Analytics Magazine 2018

Posted: 9/24/2018


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eNews: September 20, 2018


AI is everywhere. Should we be worried?

I think it’s now safe to say that artificial intelligence, machine learning and deep learning are omnipresent, not just in the everyday jargon and work found in the analytics community, but out there in the real world where data-driven decision-making runs into, well, reality and, on occasion, science fiction.

No, AI is not going to run amok and override humans à la HAL 9000 in Stanley Kubrick’s classic film “2001: A Space Odyssey.” But AI and its cohorts – machine learning and deep learning ­– will no doubt take over many of the more mundane tasks done by today’s “data scientists.” Should data scientists be afraid that their jobs will disappear as did those various “agent” jobs of years past? (When’s the last time you used a travel agent to book a flight?)

Again, I think the answer is no: data science jobs won’t go away, but the jobs will change … in a good way. AI is a tool, a very smart tool, a tool designed to get smarter and smarter in conjunction with machine learning and deep learning. Properly applied and managed, AI and its cohorts can free data scientists (and all manner of analytics professionals) to achieve new heights in innovation and productivity.

For more on the topic, check out the September/October issue of Analytics magazine. It is full of articles focused on the empowering potential of AI, along with a few warnings and caveats, most notably Joe Byrum’s piece on “The values that should guide the AI revolution.” Joe knows HAL 9000, and he knows how to control the sentient computer.

Peter Horner ( is the editor of Analytics magazine and OR/MS Today, the membership magazine of INFORMS.


Fighting terrorists online: Identifying extremists before they post content

The number and size of online extremist groups using social networks to harass users, recruit new members and incite violence is rapidly increasing. While social media platforms are working to combat this, they traditionally rely heavily on users’ reports to identify these accounts. New research has found a way to identify extremists, such as those associated with the terrorist group ISIS, by monitoring their social media accounts, and can identify them even before they post threatening content. Read more.

Syrian conflict yields model for attrition dynamics in multilateral war

Based on their study of the Syrian Civil War that’s been raging since 2011, three researchers created a predictive model for multilateral war called the Lanchester multiduel. Unless there is a player so strong it can guarantee a win regardless of what others do, the likely outcome of multilateral war is a gradual stalemate that culminates in the mutual annihilation of all players, according to the model. 
Read more.

SAS, Samford University team up to generate sports analytics talent

Sports teams try to squeeze out every last bit of talent to gain a competitive advantage on the field. That’s also true in college athletic departments and professional team offices, where entire departments devoted to analyzing data hunt for sports analytics experts that can give them an edge in a game, in the stands and beyond. To create this talent, analytics company SAS will collaborate with the Samford University Center for Sports Analytics to support teaching, learning and research in all areas where analytics affects sports, including fan engagement, sponsorship, player tracking, sports medicine, sports media and operations. Read more.

Algorithmic matching may double success rates of kidney transplants

Patients with terminal kidney failure require either frequent dialysis or a new, donated kidney to survive. Donor kidneys can be found via cadavers or by finding a willing and compatible living donor – usually a family member – or via exchanges, but those processes face many challenges. A new study has sought to address the challenges by introducing the concept of “failure-aware” algorithmic matching to improve success rates. Read more.

Survey: Consumers would use AI to save time and money

A recent Gartner survey reveals that saving time and money are the top reasons why consumers would use artificial intelligence (AI). “AI is among the technologies that consumers consider using for tangible and more ‘serious’ benefits, as opposed to socializing, projecting self-image and having fun – three common reasons for using other personal technologies,” says Stephanie Baghdassarian, research director at Gartner. Read more.


Regional meeting, Annual Meeting, officer elections on tap

By Jack Levis

Our members continue to work to provide value to our society. Last week we held a regional conference in Seattle, and we will hold another in Chicago on Oct. 11, with more coming next year. We’re striving to make these conferences an ongoing activity, because not only do they allow our members to showcase their work, but they also provide additional avenues for professionals to interact and focus on practice, which benefits our profession and society. Read more.

Women in Operations Research Bayer Scholarship applications due Oct. 5

Are you a female graduate student interested in the practice of operations research or analytics who would like to attend the INFORMS Annual Meeting to be held Nov. 4-7, 2018 in Phoenix? Apply now to be considered for the Women in Operations Research–Bayer Scholarship brought to you by the Analytics Society of INFORMS. One well-qualified individual will be selected to receive $1,300 to cover registration and travel expenses to attend the conference. Read more.

Syngenta Crop Challenge offers a chance to win $5,000

The 2019 Syngenta Crop Challenge in Analytics, brought to you by the Analytics Society of INFORMS, is now open. By accepting the crop challenge, you and your team will be asked to demonstrate how data can be used to feed the future world. The winning team will receive $5,000, while $2,500 be awarded second place and third place will receive $1,000. Read more.

Analytics-SeptemberOctober2018-1Analytics Magazine: Current Issue

The September/October issue of Analytics magazine covers a lot of ground, including a look at how analytics is revolutionizing healthcare, a set of values that should guide the AI revolution and the future of AI in fact checking. In the new era of trade tariffs, volatility and other threats, another topic that deserves attention is strengthening global supply chains. Meanwhile, Corporate Profile turns the spotlight on data science at Monsanto. Check out those articles, along with regular columns and departments such as “Analyze This!”, “Healthcare Analytics,” “Viewpoint,” “Forum” and last but not least, “Five-Minute Analyst.”


Speakers Program is alive, well and getting better

Originally launched by ORSA (a forerunner of INFORMS) more than 35 years ago, the INFORMS Speakers Program is designed to allow INFORMS chapters and student chapters to invite INFORMS members as speakers to their meetings. The program has assembled a star-studded collection of potential speakers (all of them INFORMS members), covering topics as varied as the areas in which operations research and analytics can be applied. Read more.

2018 INFORMS Annual Meeting heading for Phoenix

Phoenix-meetingThe 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.

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.








Prescriptive Analytics Topics



2018 INFORMS Regional Analytics Conference - Midwest
October 11, University of Notre Dame, Mendoza College of Business, Chicago

2018 INFORMS Annual Meeting Phoenix
Nov. 4-7, Phoenix Convention Center and Hyatt Regency Phoenix, Phoenix

2018 Winter Simulation Conference
Dec. 9-12, The Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre, Gothenburg, Sweden


Advancing the Analytics-Driven Organization
Sept. 20, 12noon-5pm, LIVE online

The Analytics Clinic: Ensemble Models: Worth the Gains?
Sept. 20, 11am-12:30pm 

Predictive Analytics: Failure to Launch Webinar
Oct. 3, 11am

Advancing the Analytics-Driven Organization
Oct. 1-4, 12noon-5pm

Applied AI & Machine Learning | Comprehensive
Oct. 15-19, Washington, D.C.

Making Data Science Pay
Oct. 29 -30, 12noon-5pm


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“The problem with modeled data is its very nature – it’s modeled. Therefore, errors and inaccuracies can creep in, making it at best, useless, and at worst, a dangerous tool in business decision-making. That is why confidence scores are crucial to today’s modeled data attributes. In order to trust and use data science and modeled data, many businesses need both the data and the science to be transparent and explainable.”

Emma Duckworth, lead data scientist at Outra, in her Viewpoint column in the September/October issue of Analytics magazine.

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