INFORMS News: INFORMS Conference on Business Analytics & O.R.

Nicole Piasecki, vice president of business development and strategic integration at Boeing, will deliver the opening keynote presentation at the INFORMS Conference on Business Analytics & Operations Research, set for April 7-9 in San Antonio, Texas. The keynote will kick off two days of intensive, real-world education on descriptive, predictive and prescriptive analytics.

The conference program, designed by a 27-member committee of analytic practitioners and academics, is chaired by Jim Williams, manager of advanced analytics at Land O’Lakes. Two expanded, 10-session tracks will focus on marketing analytics and the analytics process. Other tracks will cover big data, supply chain management, forecasting, decision analysis, soft skills and special topics such as human resources analytics.

When complete, the program will feature presentations by more than 75 speakers representing a broad range of industries and applications areas. Confirmed speakers include executives and analysts from Intel, MIT, Strata Decision Technology, Arizona State University and Supply Chain Insight.

The Franz Edelman Competition, showcasing the best in high-impact analytics, will be held April 7 in conjunction with the conference. A new track for 2013 will highlight applied work that has received recognition in other INFORMS competitions, including finalists for the Innovation in Analytics Award and winners of the Wagner Prize, INFORMS Prize, UPS George D. Smith Prize and Spreadsheet Guru Prize.

While most speakers are hand-picked by the committee to deliver talks on specific topics, interested professionals can submit a poster proposal and receive a 35 percent to 40 percent discount off regular registration rates. The poster submission deadline is Feb. 1, 2013. The poster format lends itself to works-in-progress in which the presenter is looking for feedback, successful projects that may not be extensive enough for a 50-minute talk and corporate or consulting work subject to nondisclosure restrictions that can still be presented at a high level. Poster presentations will be scheduled in standalone sessions on two days of the conference.

Career-Building Programs

Two special programs within the conference are designed for future analytics leaders. The Young Researcher Connection, for junior faculty and young industry researchers, provides participants with insights into the critical problems facing business, helping them to broaden their research agendas and providing important networking contacts.

The INFORMS Professional Colloquium offers a full-day, interactive workshop on career guidance for master’s and Ph.D. students interested in practice careers. The colloquium will be held April 7, and students can stay for the remainder of the conference.

Participants in both programs can register for the full conference at a steep discounted rate of $395; they must be nominated and selected to attend. Limited financial aid is available for the colloquium. The nomination deadline is March 1, 2013.

For up-to-date conference information, visit