“Unstructured data consists largely of interactions; it’s all those angry or pleasant customer phone calls, the thousands of emailed questions, the Facebook wall posts and tweets directed toward a company. Despite being told otherwise by big data experts, most business practitioners see unstructured data as largely useless. … The problem is, they are missing one of the most important parts of the calls: why the customer was calling.”
– Ryan Pellet, chief strategy officer of Nexidia, in his Executive Edge article in the March/April issue of Analytics magazine.
The Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS), publishers of Analytics magazine and the leading association for professionals in advanced analytics, recently announced three finalists for the UPS George D. Smith Prize that recognizes an academic institution’s excellence in preparing students to become practitioners of analytics and operations research.
Marketing managers traditionally segment customers by three summary measures (also known as the RFM model): recency (the period of time since their last visit), frequency (how often they visit) and monetary value (how much they spend on a visit). However, a new study published in the INFORMS journal Marketing Science shows that, in contrast to traditional market segmentation, one based on “binge consumption” brings a higher long-term return to business.
So, as an analytics expert, circa 2015, you think you’re on the cutting edge of a nouveau profession? Think again, my cutting-edge friend. According to a new infographic from Ninja Metrics, the profession dates back to 5000 B.C., when the first use of business analytics involved erstwhile cavemen employing sticks and rocks to “help predict sales trends of new inventions.” Sticks and stones? Now that’s what I call real-world, real old-school analytics tools.
CIOs around the world are facing high levels of uncertainty as 2015 gets underway, according to a global survey by Gartner, Inc. The 2015 survey showed that issues experienced by CIOs are far from universal and real differences exist at both a regional and country level.
Few businesses’ profits and losses are determined by how good their prediction models are. The insurance business is one of the exceptions, an industry where analytics is not just a “nice to have” to improve performance, but a necessity. Claims forecasting, which drives premiums, are at the heart of what actuaries do. Given the critical nature of these models, insurance companies have been voracious customers of data, models, tools and processes.
Eva K. Lee, Ph.D., a professor in the School of Industrial and Systems Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology, was recently selected to serve a three-year term as one of the 13 members of the National Preparedness & Response Science Board (NPRSB), providing advice to the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Preparedness and Response, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and to the White House.
At the INFORMS Conference on Business Analytics and Operations Research, set for April 12-14 in Huntington Beach, Calif., the Analytics Section will highlight its three sponsored competitions: the SAS and INFORMS Analytics Section Student Analytical Scholar Competition, the Innovative Applications in Analytics Award and the Spreadsheet Guru competition.
Section to sponsor cluster at INFORMS/CORS Conference
Ayse Bener has taken over responsibility for the Analytics Section-sponsored cluster at the INFORMS/CORS Conference in Montreal on June14-17 and has arranged the following sessions: 1. Innovative Analytics Solutions; 2. Industrial Analytics Applications; 3. Analytics Around the World and the Future of Analytics; 4. Developing Analytics Talent; and 5. Building Analytics Teams. For updates and more information, visit the conference website: http://meetings2.informs.org/montreal2015/
Volunteers needed to organize track at INFORMS Annual Meeting
The Analytics Section of INFORMS aims to sponsor an invited session track at the INFORMS Annual Meeting in Philadelphia on Nov. 1-4. The Section is looking for one or two volunteers to organize the track, which will involve putting out a call for presentation and/or approaching likely session chairs or speakers, then making sure abstracts are submitted by the appropriate deadlines. If interested, contact Tarun Mohan Lal at MohanLal.Tarun@mayo.edu.
Celebrate and learn more about the INFORMS CAP program
Anyone interested in learning more about the INFORMS Certified Analytics Professional (CAP®) program and celebrating the program’s two-year anniversary is invited to a gathering on the afternoon of April 13 in Huntington Beach, Calif., in conjunction with the INFORMS Conference on Business Analytics and Operations Research. While there are many analytics master’s programs, certificate programs, training and continuing education programs, CAP is the only one that assesses an individual’s knowledge against an industry benchmark. Administered through computer-based testing with international sites, CAP is poised to become the worldwide standard for analytics practitioners.
The new INFORMS Analytics Maturity Model (AMM) is proving to be a reliable self-assessment tool for analytics experts who want to determine how well their organizations gain the benefits of analytics. AMM allows you to input data about your organization – data is double encrypted to ensure security – rank your use of analytics on a 10-point scale and reuse the model to do comparisons over time. Read more
Data exploration and visualization are hot topics for successful analysts, statisticians and data scientists. Attendees of the Data Exploration & Visualization course offered by the INFORMS continuing education program will experience first-hand the power of visualization in exploring data as an adjunct to tried and trusted analytics methods. The course will be offered March 19-20 in Dallas. Read more
Because the question asked most often about INFORMS’ Certified Analytics Professional (CAP®) program is, “How do I prepare?”, CAP volunteers and staff developed a series of webinars designed to increase candidate awareness of the exam content. The webinar series began in December 2014 and ended in February. During this period, a new webinar was delivered every two weeks on the INFORMS channel of BrightTalk (www.brighttalk.com). The webinars follow a similar format; each provides an introduction, about 50 minutes of presentation and a Q&A segment. Read more
Presented by INFORMS, the executive forum, “Especially for Senior Executives: Strategic Use of Analytics & O.R.” will be held April 12 in Huntington Beach, Calif., in conjunction with the INFORMS Conference on Business Analytics and Operations Research. Read more
Irv Lustig, a longtime and active member of INFORMS, recently joined Princeton Consultants as an optimization principal. Lustig will serve as a leader in the firm’s Custom Optimization practice, which focuses on transforming business decision-making through the implementation of advanced analytics and optimization.
AnyLogic North America, LLC, a simulation modeling software and services company, has moved its North American headquarters from Lisle, Ill., to Chicago. The new address is 20 N. Wacker Dr., Suite 2044, Chicago, IL 60606, inside the historic, newly renovated Civic Opera Building.