Innovative Applications in Analytics Award

2017 Winner(s)

Winning material: Audience Targeting Solutions Powered by Advanced Analytics

Purpose of the Award

The purpose of the Caterpillar and INFORMS Analytics Society Innovative Applications in Analytics Award is to recognize the creative and unique application of a combination of analytical techniques in a new area. The prize promotes the awareness and value of the creative combination of analytics techniques in unusual applications to provide insights and business value.

Applicants can submit proposals that span applications of descriptive, predictive and/or prescriptive analytics, as well as data creation, collection and dissemination which support or enable original analytical methods.

Descriptive innovation could include novel measures, visualization methods, or creative approaches to the analytics process improvement, among others. Predictive innovation might be statistical applications, text analytics or simulation, among others. Prescriptive innovation might include game theory or optimization. New sources of data creation and collection, and new avenues for dissemination of analytical approaches can also help demonstrate the innovativeness of the submission. The lists above are not meant to be exhaustive, but rather illustrative examples of areas of innovation.

2017 – 2018 IAAA Results

The 2017 – 2018 IAAA award had 29 participants that applied a diverse set of analytical tools and techniques that provided significant improvements to profit and nonprofit organizations. After a rigorous and difficult process, due to the high-quality level of the applications, a judging committee chaired by Juan R. Jaramillo from Adelphi University selected six finalists. The six finalists presented their innovate applications at the 2018 2017 INFORMS Analytics Conference to the judging committee.  The finalists comprise a diverse set of industries, organizations and nationalities, showing the richness of Analytics Applications today.

The 2017-2018 first place was awarded to SAFE (Situational Awareness for Events): A Data Visualization System (Northwestern University and Bank of America Chicago Marathon) presented by Karen Smilowitz (Nortwester University) and her team. Second place was earned by MPA-IBM Project SAFER: Sense-making Analytics for Maritime Event Recognition (IBM Research, Singapur and Singapore Maritime and Port Authority, (MPA)) presented by Goh Kwong Heng and Gavin Yeo (MPA), and Laura Wynter (IBM). The third place was obtained by Chassis Leasing and Selection Policy for Port Operations (Scnhneider National Inc.) presented by Ted Gilford and Robert Gremley.

The other three finalists in alphabetical order are: Automatic Train Identification: Multidisciplinary Approach to Improve Safety and Efficiency (BNSF) presented by April Kuo and her team; Macy’s: A Model Driven Approach to Store Selling Space Optimization presented by Peri Georgiades; and Unleashing Analytics to Reduce Costs and Improve Quality in Wastewater Treatment (IBM Research, Haifa, Israel) presented by Alexander Zadorojniy.

Detailed descriptions of finalist applications will appear in a special issue of INTERFACES that will be published in 2019. For abstracts of finalist applications select here, and presentation videos from finalists are available here.

Application Process

View information about eligibility, procedures, and deadlines.
Click here for more information


Juan R. Jaramillo, PhD (Chair)
2018 -2019 IAAA Chair
Associate Professor of Analytics
Department of Decision Sciences
Robert B. Willumstad School of Business
Adelphi University

Past Awardees

2017 Winner(s)
Wes Chaar, Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. José Antonio Carbajal, Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. Peter Williams, Turner Broadcasting System, Inc.
2017 Second Place
Valentina Ferretti, London School of Economics and Political Science Alessandro Degioanni Maurizio Arnone
2016 Winner(s)
Cynthia Rudin, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Randall Davis, Massachusetts Institute of Technology William Souillard-Mandar, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Dana L. Penney, Lahey Clinic
2016 Second Place
Aly Megahed, IBM Research Hamid Reza Motahari Nezhad, IBM Research Peifeng Yin, IBM Research Taiga Nakamura, IBM Research Mark Smith, IBM Global Technology Services Douglas Smith, IBM Global Sales Management Support
2015 Winner(s)
Narges Hosseini, Mayo Clinic Rochester Kalyan Pasupathy, Mayo Clinic Rochester Thomas Rohleder, Mayo Clinic Rochester Jeanne Huddleston, Mayo Clinic Rochester Paul Huddleston, Mayo Clinic Rochester Yariv Marmor, ORT Braude College
2015 Second Place
Jose A. Ramirez-Hernandez, American Airlines Steven Oakley, American Airlines Mei Zhang, American Airlines Alejandro Scalise, American Airlines
Kris Johnson, MIT Operations Research Center Bin Hong Alex Lee, MIT Operations Research Center David Simchi-Levi, MIT Operations Research Center Murali Narayanaswamy, Rue La La Philip Roizin, Rue La La Jonathan Waggoner, Rue La La
2014 Winner(s)

Prem Melville, Vijil Chenthamarakshan, Rick Lawrence, Solomon Assefa, Machine Learning Group, IBM Research, Yorktown Heights, NY
James Powell, Sharad Sapra, UNICEF Uganda
Rajesh Anandan, US Fund for UNICEF, New York, NY

Presenting Author: Rick Lawrence

2014 Second Place
Daniel Reich, Ford Motor Company Sandra L. Winkler, Ford Motor Company Erica Klampfl, Ford Research & Advanced Engineering Natalie Olson, Ford Motor Company
2014 Third Place
Suman Kumar Singh, Fiserv Aditya Khandekar, Fiserv Tarang Goyal, Fiserv
2013 Winner(s)

Cynthia Rudin, Massachusetts Institute of Technology;
Seyda Ertekin, Massachusetts Institute of Technology;
Rebecca Passonneau, Axinia Radeva, Ashish Tomar, Boyi Xie, Columbia University;
Stanley Lewis, Mark Riddle, Debbie Pangsrivinij, John Shipman, Steve Ierome and Delfina Isaac, Con Edison Company of New York

Cynthia Rudin, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
2013 Second Place
Mark R. Grabau, IBM Elizabeth M. Riczko, Westfield Insurance
2013 Third Place

Peter Katlic, Kunter Akbay, Onur Dulgeroglu, Christopher Johnson, Bex Thomas, Angela Patterson, Dan Yang, Andrew Day, Jeff Terry, and Keith O’Reilly, GE Research

David Toledano, General Electric Global Research Marcia Peterson
2012 Winner(s)
Booz Allen Hamilton
2012 Second Place
Yixin Diao, IBM T.J. Watson Research Center Aliza Heching, IBM T.J. Watson Research Center David Northcutt, Association for Computing Machinery
2012 Third Place
Gabriel Gershenfeld, Cleveland Indians