INFORMS Initiatives

Dating analytics, CAP goes digital and more

The analytics behind finding true love online via dating services

Looking for love online? You are not alone. Nearly 50 percent of the American public knows someone who has used an online dating site and 5 percent of Americans who are married or in committed relationships today met their significant other online. But with so many different online dating platforms, how can users know which one will best meet their needs? According to a new study in the INFORMS journal Management Science, it all depends on if you are comfortable with rejection. If not, be prepared to pay more.

The study, “Competing by Restricting Choice: The Case of Search Platforms,” explains that most sites, such as Match.com, compete by building the largest user base possible, and provide users with access to unlimited profiles on the platform. Others, such as eHarmony.com, pursue user growth with the same intensity, but allow users to only view and contact a limited number of others on the platform. However, despite the limited choice, eHarmony’s customers are willing to pay an average of 25 percent more than Match’s customers.

The study authors, Hanna Halaburda of the Bank of Canada and New York University, Mikolaj Piskorksi of IMD Business School and Pinar Yildirim of the University of Pennsylvania, created a stylized model of online, heterosexual dating which found that increasing the number of potential matches has a positive effect due to larger choice, but also a negative effect due to competition between users of the same sex.

Therefore, by offering its members access to a large number of profiles, Match’s users are also more likely to experience rejection, as each of their potential matches will have access to a larger number of options, increasing the competition among members. With access to only a limited number of profiles, eHarmony users are more likely to successfully and more rapidly identify a match with another user, who because of limited choice, is less likely to reject them.

Ultimately, for online dating users who can tolerate rejection and aren’t bothered by a potentially longer timeframe to identify a match, Match.com provides much greater choice of options. However, for users who are looking to more quickly identify a potential mutual match, eHarmony limits competition that may result in rejection.

CAP certification goes digital
By Jan paul Miller

In previous articles, we noted the benefits of CAP® certification, including market differentiation and networking. Now INFORMS has announced yet another benefit: The CAP program will be converting to digital certificates as of Oct. 1.

Digital certificates? Yes. INFORMS has contracted with Accredible to host its digital certificate platform. Accredible will help our program issue, manage, track and verify digital certificates and badges.

What does this mean for you? Each certificant will have a unique URL landing page. On this site will reside a facsimile of each certificant’s credential. The site can also hold other certificates issued by INFORMS’s continuing education program.

Is it safe? The site offers bank-level encryption and blockchain verification, meaning it’s impossible for people to fake certificates or badges.

Can the information be shared? Yes, certificate recipients can share their page on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. Your LinkedIn profile will stand out with the CAP logo and a link to your unique URL.

Will the site replace the CAP online registry? Yes, the site will verify the authenticity of a CAP’s credentials with a white-labeled directory on the CAP website. Data is displayed and guaranteed that it is always accurate and up-to-date.

Will certificates have the ability to be printed? Yes, you can download high-resolution PDFs for printing.

Re-certificants will also be able to have automatic renewal contingent on their fulfillment of their recertification requirements.

The move to digital badging is one small step to help our credentialed cohort get the good news out about their achievements.

Jan paul Miller (jpmiller@informs.org) is the certification manager at INFORMS.

Latest Editor’s Cut: ‘feeding the world through analytics’

As the world’s population continues to grow, the role of analytics and O.R. in developing effective new approaches to food production is becoming increasingly important. From more efficient distribution of water resources, to better management of meat and dairy production, to smarter crop cultivation, analytics is having a significant impact in the fight against global hunger.

The latest installment in the INFORMS Editor’s Cut series, Feeding the World through Analytics, highlights a wide range of content cultivated from INFORMS resources, from our journals and member magazines, to videos of INFORMS award winners. This content serves as an excellent resource for researchers, students and industry.

Robin Lougee, Global Research Industry Lead of Consumer Products & Agriculture with the IBM TJ. Watson Research Center, and Saurabh Bansal, Assistant Professor of Supply Chain Management with the Smeal College of Business at The Pennsylvania State University, serve as the volume editors for INFORMS Editor’s Cut: Feeding the World through Analytics, which is available at http://pubsonline.informs.org/editorscut/agribusiness.

INFORMS new website awarded for outstanding achievement

The INFORMS newly redesigned website has been recognized by the Web Marketing Association with the Associations Standard of Excellence Award, a 2017 Web Award for Outstanding Achievement. Launched earlier this year, the new www.informs.org tells the story of analytics and O.R. to the world while delivering a rich experience to INFORMS members.