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

April 7-9 event to focus on marketing analytics, big data, HR analytics and much more.

Two senior executives from marquee companies – Nicole Piasecki, (VP of Business Development and Strategic Integration at Boeing Commercial Airplanes) and Sandy Carter (VP of Social Business Evangelism and Sales at IBM) – will headline the 2013 INFORMS Conference on Business Analytics & Operations Research, April 7-9, in San Antonio, Texas. Both will deliver thought-provoking talks, highlighting two days of intensive, real-world education on descriptive, predictive and prescriptive analytics.

The program will feature presentations by more than 100 speakers representing a broad range of industries and applications areas (see sidebar story). Two expanded, 10-session tracks will focus on marketing analytics and the analytics process. The marketing track includes talks by executives from Target, Nielsen, Mars, USAA, Emory University and other leading organizations, covering everything from marketing mix optimization to stochastic models for customer analytics. The analytics process track offers sessions on topics such as distribution processing and hospital business analytics, presented by speakers from Stanford, GE, Schneider National, SAS and Strata Decision Technology.

New this year are focused talks on big data, as well as a track on analytics for human resources management. Speakers from Ford, Teradata, IBM and the U.S. Internal Revenue Service will discuss both the technological and business aspects of big data. The HR track features speakers from Google, PepsiCo, IBM and Abbott Consulting. Other tracks will cover supply chain management, forecasting, decision analysis and soft skills for analysts.

Award-Winning Analytics

The Franz Edelman Competition, showcasing the best in high-impact analytics and O.R., will feature presentations by six finalists: Baosteel, Chevron, Dell, Delta Commissioner of Holland, Kroger and McKesson. A new track for 2013 will highlight applied work that has received recognition in other competitions, including finalists for the Innovative Applications in Analytics Award and winners of the Wagner Prize, INFORMS Prize, UPS George D. Smith Prize and Spreadsheet Guru Prize.

Career-Building Programs

Two special programs within the conference are designed for future analytics leaders. The Early Career 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. This year, the program is open to both Ph.D. and master’s degree recipients.

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

For more information, visit the conference website:

INFORMS Conference on Business Analytics & O.R.

Focused Tracks and Speakers:

Marketing Analytics
Neil Biehn, Ph.D.
Vice President of Science and Research, PROS, Inc.
Nathan Brixius, Ph.D.
Senior Vice President, Analytics Development, Nielsen Marketing Analytics
Allen Crane, M.S.
Executive Director, Applied Analytics, United Services Automobile Association (USAA)
Maher Lahmar, Ph.D.
Manager R&D, Merchandising Business Intelligence, Target
Rob Parkin, M.S.
Senior Manager-Group Lead, Collaborative Science, IBM
Sorin Patilinet, M.Sc.
Marketing Services Manager, Mars Inc.
Damon Ragusa
Chairman & Chief Strategy Officer, ThinkVine
David Schweidel, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Marketing, Co-Director of the Emory Marketing Analytics Center, Goizueta Business School, Emory University
John (Jeff) Tanner Jr., Ph.D.
Professor of Marketing, Associate Dean, Baylor University
Big Data
Jeff Butler, M.S.
Director, Research Databases, U.S. Internal Revenue Service
Michael Cavaretta, Ph.D.
Technical Leader, Predictive Analytics, Research & Advanced Engineering, Ford Motor Co.
Amol N. Ghoting, Ph.D.
Research Staff Member, IBM TJ Watson Research Center, IBM
Priyank Patel
Director of Product Management, Teradata
Analytics Process
Jake Breeden, MBA, M.S.
Principal, Breeden Ideas; author of Tipping Sacred Cows
Ted L. Gifford, MSOR, M.A.
Distinguished Member of Technical Staff, Schneider National, Inc.
Juergen A. Klenk, Ph.D.
Principal, Booz Allen Hamilton, Inc.
Don N. Kleinmuntz, Ph.D.
Executive VP and Chief Analytics Officer, Strata Decision Technology LLC
Kathy Lange, M.S.
Sr. Director, Business Analytics Practice, SAS
Steve Sashihara, A.B.
President & CEO, Princeton Consultants Inc
Sam L. Savage, Ph.D.
Consulting Professor, Management Science & Engineering, Stanford University
Dirk Van den Poel, Ph.D.
Professor of Marketing Analytics, Faculty of Economics & Business Administration, Ghent University
Sameer Vittal, Ph.D.
Manager of Advanced Analytics, General Electric-Power & Water
Supply Chain Management
Stan Aronow, MBA
Supply Chain Research Director, Gartner
Chris Caplice, Ph.D.
Executive Director, MIT Center for Transportation & Logistics, MIT
Lora Cecere, MBA
CEO, Supply Chain Insights
Thomas Rucker, Ph.D.
Director, Technology Development, Intel Corp.
George Swartz, Jr., BSBA
Practice Director, Sedlak Management Consultants, Inc.
Decision Analysis
William Haskett, MBA
Senior Principal-Energy Strategy, Decision Strategies Inc.
Max Henrion, Ph.D.
Chief Executive Officer, Lumina Decision Systems, Inc
Freeman Marvin, MPP
Vice President, Innovative Decisions, Inc.
Col. Brian K. Sperling, Ph.D.
Senior Military Advisor/Military Deputy Director, Center for Army Analysis, US Army
Dieter Ambruster, Ph.D.
Professor, Mathematical & Statistical Sciences, Arizona State University
Scott A. Bernhardt, B.S.
President, Planalytics, Inc.
Michael Gilliland, M.A., MSE
Product Marketing Manager, SAS Institute
Shaun Snapp, M.S.
Consultant, Founder & Editor, SCM Focus
Soft Skills for Analysts
Carrie Beam, Ph.D.
Principal, Carrie Beam Consulting
Gary Cokins, MBA
Founder & CEO, Analytics-Based Performance Management LLC
Stephen Hora
Director, CREATE
William K. Klimack, Ph.D.
Decision Analysis Consultant, Chevron USA, Inc. (Col. US Army, retired)
Randy Krum, BSME
President, InfoNewt, LLC
Human Resources Analytics
Dean Abbott, MAM
President, Abbott Analytics Inc.
Aleksandra Mojsilovic, Ph.D.
Manager, Predictive Modeling & Optimization, IBM TJ Watson Research Center, IBM
Mark Rivera, Ph.D.
People Analyst, Google Inc
Christopher Shryock, M.A.
Senior Director, Workforce Planning & Analytics, PepsiCo