O.R./Analytics at Work Blog

Blog Entries for analytics

2014 proved to be a winning year for analytics. Going by the number of conferences devoted to the topic of analytics and attendance, including this year's record-breaking INFORMS Annual Conference

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I’ll never forget my first day of kindergarten. A week before school started, I broke my leg. With a cast on my leg and with the help of crutches, I limped into class and became an instant curiosity/celebrity. All the other kids asked me about the cast and how I broke my leg.

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We all know the value of analytics, and many organizations are just now hearing about its power. Now that we have their interest, these organizations will need the help of talented analysts...

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INFORMS Strategic Planning Committee, led by Past President Terry P. Harrison and Executive Director Melissa Moore, conducted a member survey in late August and early September designed to measure member attitudes about the analytics movement and INFORMS place in it.

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The era of Big Data has come upon us, and not every healthcare professional is happy about it. This surprises my analytics colleagues – don’t we all like making more informed decisions? Why would anyone be reluctant to gain more insights? It surprised me too, the first time I heard about it.

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870 business professionals and academics gathered in San Antonio (Texas) for the yearly INFORMS Conference on Business Analytics & Operations Research. In general, Big Data was a big theme again this year. Moreover, it is clear that “Analytics is coming of age”. We observe more and more true predictive and even prescriptive analytics projects... in short, these are exciting times.

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How many analytical projects have foundered due to lack of problem definition and other soft skills? As my SAS colleague Sascha Schubert writes, people and process matter, in addition to great technology. Great technologyis a great first step, but having the right people following the right process is critically important. But how do you find the right people and what process should they follow? What skills should they have and how do you teach them?

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My subject here is the "analytics initiative" that has earned a high priority with INFORMS and CPMS. Actions resulting so far from the initiative include publishing the online Analytics magazine, renaming and reprogramming the spring practice conference, organizing the new analytics section, and, when it comes to fruition, offering professional certification in analytics. As the topic of analytics rose to prominence, we heard various anxiety provoking questions that still may trouble some of us...

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Professionals in the fields of operations research – which uses advanced analytical methods to help make better decisions – and analytics are slowly becoming aware of one another, and after 70 years of crunching numbers for business and government, the synergy is becoming more manifest...

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Barry List
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