World’s best analytics teams selected for 2016 INFORMS Franz Edelman Award competition

CATONSVILLE, MD, December 14, 2015 – INFORMS, the largest international association of professionals in analytics and operations research, announced today that six expert teams from around the world have been selected to participate in its 2016 Franz Edelman Award competition, which recognizes outstanding examples of real-world advanced analytics and operations research projects that are transforming industries, companies, and people’s lives.

Now in its 45th year, the Franz Edelman Award for Achievement in Operations Research and the Management Sciences is the world’s most prestigious recognition for excellence in developing and applying advanced analytical methods to help organizations solve complex problems or create new opportunities that result in highly impactful outcomes for the economy and society. Franz Edelman finalist teams have contributed more than $220 billion in benefits to businesses and the public since the first prize was awarded in 1972.

Past winners of the INFORMS Franz Edelman Award include Pillsbury Company, AT&T, City of San Francisco Police Department, Health Care Financing Administration, Harris Corporation/Semiconductor Sector, IBM, South African National Defense Force, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, General Motors Corporation, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Syngenta.

The six finalists for the 2016 Franz Edelman Award competition are:

1)    360i for “360i’s Digital Nervous System”

Digital Nervous System is a suite of paid search optimization and management systems for online marketers that rapidly selects keywords and creates campaigns; reverse engineers the Google second-price auction to identify quality score problems before they arise; calculates accurate bids for keywords with sparse data; integrates advanced application programming interfaces into real-time search bids and ad creation; and creates detailed pricing forecasts to produce bids on keywords.

The Digital Nervous System has resulted in $250 million in cost savings and $1 billion in revenue generation for the company’s paid search clients.

2)    BNY Mellon for “Transition State and End State Optimization Used in the BNY Mellon U.S. Tri-Party Repo Infrastructure Reform Program”

BNY Mellon is a leader in the tri-party repo market with approximately $2.2 trillion serviced globally, which includes $1.3 trillion or 85% of the U.S. tri-party repo market. In response to the 2008 financial crisis, BNY Mellon worked closely with its clients, their investors, and other market participants to meet the recommendations of the U.S. Tri-Party Repo Infrastructure Reform Task Force sponsored by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

In August 2012, Karen Peetz, BNY Mellon President, spoke before the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Securities, Insurance, and Investment about the U.S. tri-party repo market and this initiative to practically eliminate intraday credit risk, defined as a 90% reduction. BNY Mellon has exceeded the 90% goal to reduce secured credit extended in the tri-party repo market as $1.44 trillion risk reduction has been achieved, or 97%.

3)    Chilean Professional Soccer Association (ANFP) for “Operations Research Transforms Scheduling of Chilean Soccer Leagues and South American World Cup Qualifiers”

Over the last 11 years, operations research techniques have been applied to schedule professional soccer leagues in Chile. These techniques have yielded a direct economic impact of more than USD 55 million through a combination of increased ticket sales, cost savings, and subscriber growth for Chile’s soccer television channel and cost reductions for the teams due to the better travel schedules resulting from an improved ordering of home and away games.

These techniques have also been used to schedule the South American 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers.

4)    The New York City Police Department (NYPD) for “Domain Awareness System (DAS)”

The Domain Awareness System (DAS) is a network of sensors, databases, devices, software, and infrastructure that delivers tailored information and analytics to the field and to precinct desktops enabling police officers to make more informed decisions. Originally designed for counterterrorism purposes, the DAS has been modified for general policing and is now deployed across every police precinct in the five boroughs, and will shortly be on all 36,000 officers’ smartphones and all 2,000 police vehicle tablets. No other police department in the world shares information and delivers analysis to its officers as effectively.

Prior to the NYPD’s adoption of the DAS, much of the Department’s information was only available to officers in the precinct house with permission to access standalone siloed software applications. For example, only the domestic violence specialist had access to the database of domestic violence records, and only when sitting at his or her desk. Officers who responded to a 911 call for domestic violence were dispatched by radio knowing only the address and the nature of the complaint. They were forced to manage each situation, literally making life and death decisions, without any historical context (such as prior complaints). This situation was not limited to domestic violence incidents – as a whole, the NYPD’s decision making was hampered by a failure to take full advantage of the information at hand, and the service we provided to the public suffered as a result.

The NYPD is now more effectively using its data to inform decisions at all levels of the Department, allowing it to better serve the City of New York.

5)    UPS for “UPS On Road Integrated Optimization and Navigation (Orion) Project”

The UPS Orion project is based on a sophisticated algorithm that automatically plots the course of more than 30,000 UPS drivers every day, which will increase to 55,000 drivers in 2016.

Because ORION provides an optimized delivery sequence that meets multiple operational constraints, the drivers are relieved of the complexity of determining how to make their deliveries.

Costing $250 million to build and deploy, ORION is expected to save $300--$400 million annually, reduce annual CO2 emissions by 100,000 metric tons, and decrease yearly fuel consumption by 10 million gallons.

6)    U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Command (CECOM) for “Bayesian Networks for U.S. Army Electronics Equipment Diagnostic Applications: CECOM Equipment Diagnostic Analysis Tool, Virtual Logistics Assistance Representative”

Soldiers in Afghanistan are required to operate and maintain complex electronic weapon systems with minimal resources in combat conditions. The inherent logistics challenges of the Combat Outpost (COP) environment make it difficult to provide timely assistance with support personnel.

Research on the life cycle of COP equipment problems shows that early misdiagnoses can initiate a chain of events that can create lengthy system outages and put lives in jeopardy. CECOM has developed and implemented the CECOM Equipment Diagnostic Analysis Tool, Virtual Logistics Assistance Representative (CEDAT VLAR) to directly address the onsite needs of soldiers in Afghanistan by mitigating knowledge gaps in the COP environment.

This has resulted in tens of millions of dollars in cost savings, increased maintenance efficiency, reductions in troubleshooting time, and No Evidence of Failure (NEOF) component returns have been reduced to zero over the last 18 months.

The 2016 INFORMS Franz Edelman Award finalists were chosen after a rigorous review by accomplished verifiers, all of whom have led successful analytics projects. The verifiers come from organizations such as Verizon Wireless, HP, Turner Broadcasting System, Carnegie Mellon University, PricewaterhouseCoopers, SAITECH, Princeton Consultants, University of Chicago, and University of Maryland.

Finalists are chosen on the merits of how analytics methodologies were applied to solve problems, reduce costs, or otherwise improve results in real-world environments.

The 2016 Edelman Award winner will be announced at the Edelman Gala on April 11, 2016 during the INFORMS Conference on Business Analytics & Operations Research in Orlando, Florida. The winner will receive a $10,000 honorarium.

Additional information about the INFORMS Franz Edelman Award and competition can be found online at


With nearly 12,000 members from across the globe, INFORMS is the leading international association for professionals in analytics and operations research. INFORMS advances research and promotes best practices in analytics and operations research through an array of highly-cited publications, conferences, competitions, networking communities, and professional development services.

More information about INFORMS, analytics, and operations research is available at or @informs.


World’s best analytics teams selected for  2016 INFORMS Franz Edelman Award competition

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