INFORMS News: Valuable content, contacts await analytics conference attendees

Since 1729, Baltimore has served as a vital hub of discovery and growth in Maryland. The city played a defining role in the founding of the United States, and has grown from a bustling port city to an industrial center to a community focused on service. Image © Jon Bilous |

Since 1729, Baltimore has served as a vital hub of discovery and growth in Maryland. The city played a defining role in the founding of the United States, and has grown from a bustling port city to an industrial center to a community focused on service. Image © Jon Bilous |

Considering attending the 2018 INFORMS Conference on Business Analytics & Operations Research?

Nowhere else in the world will you find the analytics and operations research expertise and experience across so many industries coming together for a three-day event. On April 15-17, a thousand professionals from more than 400 companies and essentially all industries will convene in Baltimore to hear 150 carefully chosen talks from the best in the business. Whether you are a leader in the analytics profession, lead analytics projects or are just starting out in your analytics profession, the conference offers valuable content. In addition, over the three days, the conference will provide plenty of planned networking opportunities with contacts who can help your career and your business. Professionals with tried and true experience will tell you how analytics have worked for them, the impact on the success of their businesses and how you can apply analytics more effectively.

The INFORMS staff, Invited Track Committee and Selects Committee have thoughtfully handpicked industry giants and dynamic speakers for nine tracks each day created to give you useful techniques and practical information regarding all aspects of business analytics. Topic tracks include: analytics process, decision and risk analysis, revenue management and pricing, supply chain, marketing analytics, unstructured data, analytics leadership, emerging analytics and analytics in the public sector.

The wide range of opportunities available make this conference a unique event for anyone looking for insight into helping decision-makers understand and utilize analytics to their highest potential.

Bill Schmarzo

Bill Schmarzo

INFORMS has always taken great care in its keynote speakers and this year is no exception. Leading off the conference is keynote speaker Bill Schmarzo, CTO within Dell EMC’s 2,000-plus-person consulting organization and author of “Big Data: Understanding How Data Powers Big Business” and “Big Data MBA: Driving Business Strategies with Data Science.” Schmarzo works with organizations to identify where and how to start their big data journeys. With more than three decades of experience in data warehousing, BI and analytics, Schmarzo consistently shares his expertise as a teacher, author and speaker and was recently ranked as the No. 4 “Big Data Influencer” worldwide by Onalytica. Schmarzo holds an MBA from the University of Iowa and a bachelor of science degree in mathematics from Coe College. If you have followed Schmarzo on LinkedIn, you already know that he has provocative, interesting and impactful ideas, making him the perfect speaker to kick off this event. For more, visit:

Bruce Greenstein

Bruce Greenstein

Bruce Greenstein, chief technology officer from the Department of Health and Human Services, will also deliver a keynote. Greenstein provides leadership and direction to ensure that HHS effectively uses data, technology and innovation to improve the lives of American people and the performance of the operating divisions across the department. Prior to his current appointment, Greenstein held a cabinet post with Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal as the secretary of the Department of Health and Hospitals, where he led 11,000 employees with a budget of $9 billion. The Department of HHS has undertaken a huge analytics journey, which will affect health policy of all 330 million Americans. For more, visit:

As the general chair for this year’s conference, I am extremely honored to be working with experienced, successful and respected analytics professionals to help select key areas of interest and exciting speakers from these areas. Our knowledgeable volunteer members come from Deloitte, Accenture, Intel, Amazon, GM, American Airlines, Gartner, Kroger, Kromite, MITRE, academia and the government.

To give you an idea of the level of our speakers’ analytics ability combined with excellent communications, a few of the speakers we have already confirmed include: Robert Moakler (Facebook), Anu Raman (Monsanto), Robert Phillips (Uber), Jim Guszcza (Deloitte), Mike Bentley (Revenue Analytics), Anuradha Bhamidipaty (IBM), Greg Parnell (University of Arkansas) and Michael Feindt (Blue Yonder/CERN).

In addition, the conference will offer an Analytics Career Fair, which brings dozens of top employers to Baltimore, all looking for topnotch analytics professionals. Starting on Sunday, April 15, the career will be open throughout the conference, so bring your resume and meet representatives from many companies who will be interviewing candidates all three days.

One of the annual highlights of the conference, the 2018 Edelman Gala and presentation of the Franz Edelman Award for achievement in operations research, will take place on Monday evening, April 16. This truly international award has been presented since 1972 and has celebrated and honored outstanding applied work in business and government from around the world. This year’s finalists include:

  • China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC)
  • Europcar, and ACT Operations Research – OPTICAR system
  • Federal Communications Commission, which recently completed the world’s first two-sided auction of valuable low-band electromagnetic spectrum
  • Intel, fully automated Multi-Echelon Inventory Optimization (MEIO)
  • Pediatric Heart Network and Georgia Institute of Technology, creators of clinical practice guidelines (CPG)
  • Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., TargetingNOW and AudienceNOW

Nowhere else will you find such a collaborative, comprehensive approach to analytics and operations research practice than at the INFORMS Conference on Business Analytics & Operations Research. From talks involving real-world case studies to networking with industry giants, you will gain the blueprints you need to solve business problems in every sector. Join us April 15-17 in Baltimore at the beautiful Baltimore Marriott Waterfront. The early registration rate of $1,175 for INFORMS members and $1,470 for non-members ends March 12. If you’re a newcomer, we encourage you to come check us out and enjoy a further discounted rate of $1,070.

This is an exciting time for those of us in the analytics and operations research profession. Nearly every company and government organization is considering how to improve its use of data, analytics and operations research. Companies have learned that to ignore this area is to lose ground to the competition. Governments who ignore it risk inefficiency and ineffectiveness. The Edelman competition plainly shows how people and the environment are being helped throughout the world through better use of resources, more effective distribution of medicine and food, and overall better decision-making.

We hope to see you in Baltimore. Learn. Connect. Enjoy!

For more details and information or to register for the conference, visit the conference website:

Jack Kloeber, principal, Kromite, LLC, is general chair of the 2018 INFORMS Conference on Analytics & Operations Research.