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November/December 2018
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Nick Pylypiw“As a way to cope with the difficulty and expense (and culture shift) associated with standing up a data science team, some companies choose to cut corners by rebranding their best business analysts and IT professionals as data scientists. Without the proper training and guidance, these makeshift brain trusts quickly find themselves out of their depth, resulting in missed deliverables, unanswered business questions and, ultimately, the loss of critical support from stakeholders.”

Nick Pylypiw, a manager on the data science team at Elicit, in his article “Will the real data scientist please stand up?” in the November/December issue of Analytics magazine.

Recent News

Edward Kaplan

Yale research on immigration, aging runners makes news

A recent study by Yale University professor and former INFORMS President Edward H. Kaplan (photo) and Yale colleague Jonathan Feinstein and Mohammad M. Fazel-Zarandi of MIT suggests that the number of undocumented immigrants in the United States is nearly twice as many as experts previously thought. Since its publication last month, the study, which estimates the number of such immigrants at 22.1 million instead of 11.3 million, has garnered worldwide attention from major media outlets including the Los Angeles Times, the Boston Globe, Fox News, Bloomberg News and the Daily Mail. Read more →

New salary survey paints optimistic picture for analytics professionals

New salary survey paints optimistic picture for analytics professionals

Harnham, a global leader in data and analytics recruitment, recently released the 2018 editions of its salary guides for the United Kingdom, the United States and Europe. Having heard from thousands of data and analytics professionals across the globe, Harnham has gained an invaluable insight into key industry salaries and trends across a wide variety of analytics specialties and sectors. Read more →

Report: One in five cloud-based user accounts may be fake

According to the Q2 2018 DataVisor Fraud Index Report, more than one in five user accounts set up through cloud service providers may be fraudulent. The report, based on information gathered between April and June, analyzes 1.1 billion active user accounts, 1.5 million email domains, 231,000 device types and 562 cloud hosting providers and data centers, among other indicators. Read more →

When managers respond to online critics, more negative reviews ensue

A new study in the INFORMS journal Marketing Science found that when managers respond to online reviews it’s possible that those responses could actually stimulate additional reviewing activity and an increased number of negative reviews. The study, “Channels of Impact: User Reviews When Quality is Dynamic and Managers Respond,” is authored by Judith Chevalier of the Yale School of Management and NBER, Yaniv Dover of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Dina Mayzlin of the Marshal School of Business at the University of Southern California. Read more →

IE student designs software to optimize snow removal at Penn State

IE student designs software to optimize snow removal at Penn State

It is well known among the State College and Penn State communities that it takes a lot for university officials to shut the campus down after a major snowfall. In fact, since 2010, the University Park campus has been shut down just three full days due to snowfall. Much to the chagrin of students – and faculty and staff – the snow day at Penn State may just have become even more elusive, thanks to software developed by recent industrial engineering graduate Achal Goel. Read more →

Analytics Society of INFORMS

Jack Levis

Looking forward to the INFORMS Annual Meeting in Phoenix

I am looking forward to seeing our Society members at the 2018 INFORMS Annual Meeting in Phoenix next month, Nov. 4-7. It is hard to believe a year has passed since our last time together. Our awards program remains strong, and the volunteer members who oversee the awards have made sure the program is managed with integrity and that it exudes quality. Read more →

Erick Wikum

In order to attract conference attendees, get creative

With the 2018 INFORMS Annual Meeting in Phoenix fast approaching, here is a question to consider. Which of the following talks would you rather attend? “An Inventory Model with Highly Variable Lead Times” “YAIM featuring Delivery by Tortoise and Hare” These fictitious titles are intended to refer to the same presentation. The first is what we would expect from a technical writer. The second is rather curious. What does YAIM mean and how does one of Aesop’s Fables enter in? Read more →

Syngenta Crop Challenge to test and award analytical skills

Syngenta Crop Challenge to test and award analytical skills

The 2019 Syngenta Crop Challenge in Analytics, brought to you by the Analytics Society of INFORMS, is now open. By accepting the crop challenge, you and your team will demonstrate how data can be used to feed the future world for a chance to share in prize money of $5,000 for first place, $2,500 for second place and $1,000 for third place. This year’s problem addresses the tolerance of various corn hybrids to stresses that might be encountered during the growing season. Read more →

Industry News

Frontline launches Solver.Academy, surpasses analytics tool milestone

Frontline Systems, developer of the Solver in Microsoft Excel, has launched Solver.Academy, its online learning platform for predictive and prescriptive analytics. Frontline also announced that it has surpassed 500,000 users of its cloud-based advanced analytics tools, aimed at spreadsheet-literate business analysts who aren’t expert data scientists. Read more →

AIMMS announces release of new R-link

AIMMS recently announced the release of a new R-link feature that allows app developers to leverage the power of R, including R libraries, to add statistical and other specialized number-crunching features to their AIMMS apps. Read more →

INFORMS Initiatives

Georgia Tech’s Keskinocak elected president-elect of INFORMS

Pinar Keskinocak (photo), the William W. George Chair and Professor in the Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering at Georgia Institute of Technology, and an INFORMS Fellow, was elected president-elect of INFORMS following a vote of the Institute’s membership. After a year on the INFORMS Board as president-elect, Dr. Keskinocak will assume the presidency in 2020. Read more →

INFORMS 2018 Annual Meeting set for Nov. 4-7 in Phoenix

The 2018 INFORMS Annual Meeting will be held Nov. 4-7 at the Phoenix Convention Center and Hyatt Regency Phoenix, which are in the heart of Downtown Phoenix. The Hyatt is just across the street from the Convention Center and both venues are surrounded by an entertainment district replete with music and drama theaters, sports arenas, restaurants and museums. Read more →

Speakers Program is alive and getting better

Mark Twain is purported to have said, “The report of my death was exaggerated.” This quip applies to the INFORMS Speakers Program. Originally launched by ORSA (a forerunner of INFORMS) more than 35 years ago, the program was designed to allow INFORMS chapters and student chapters to invite INFORMS members as speakers to their meetings. The program assembled a star-studded collection of potential speakers (all of them INFORMS members), covering topics as varied as the areas in which operations research and analytics can be applied. Read more →

New look for PubsOnLine, same great content

INFORMS has updated its PubsOnLine platform and design to better align with INFORMS’ storytelling mission – to lead with our content and the work being done by our members in operations research and analytics. The update takes advantage of new advances in UX design – as did the overhaul of (IOL) in April 2017 – to include more intuitive navigation, bold graphics and an overall more enjoyable reader experience in a completely mobile responsive environment. Read more →

New member of Education & Industry Outreach Department

INFORMS recently welcomed Heather Trusty (photo) to the Education & Industry Outreach team as the new CAP certification manager. Trusty comes from the Association of Clinical Research Professionals where she was the director of certification responsible for four global certification programs including the new Certified Professional program that she developed to meet the needs of the clinical research professional industry. Read more →

Proposals sought for inaugural INFORMS Security Conference

INFORMS is requesting proposals to organize the initial INFORMS Security Conference. In a continuing effort to promote the development and use of operations research and analytics in the government sector, INFORMS aims to have the conference bring together researchers and practitioners to ensure security in not only government, but industrial and personal activities as well. Read more →

Recent Features

Nerds, Suits & Geeks: Will the real data scientist please stand up?

Data science has seen a dramatic rise in the last decade. The LinkedIn 2017 U.S. Emerging Jobs Report revealed the two fastest growing jobs as “machine learning engineer” and “data scientist.” Universities are struggling to keep up with this trend, assembling new programs to address the growing need for data science professionals. Many schools are even offering accelerated, online programs to make the investment more manageable and appealing for potential candidates. Read more →

Data scientists, change leaders and clinicians are getting down to the difficult work of solving problems with real-time data. Source: ThinkStock

Halting the Hype: Humility and other trends in health analytics

Our team at GE Healthcare uses analytics to help caregivers improve outcomes and efficiency. Our work includes retrospective analytics to assess performance and monitor KPIs, simulation analytics to align leaders with a strategy by testing alternative futures, and actionable analytics to support real-time decisions with predictive and prescriptive information. Here are some recent trends we observe in health analytics:... Read more →





















Fighting terrorists online: Identifying extremists before they post content

New research has found a way to identify extremists, such as those associated with the terrorist group ISIS, by monitoring their social media accounts, and can identify them even before they post threatening content. The research, “Finding Extremists in Online Social Networks,” which was recently published in the INFORMS journal Operations Research, was conducted by Tauhid Zaman of the MIT, Lt. Col. Christopher E. Marks of the U.S. Army and Jytte Klausen of Brandeis University. Read more →

Syrian conflict yields model for attrition dynamics in multilateral war

Based on their study of the Syrian Civil War that’s been raging since 2011, three researchers created a predictive model for multilateral war called the Lanchester multiduel. Unless there is a player so strong it can guarantee a win regardless of what others do, the likely outcome of multilateral war is a gradual stalemate that culminates in the mutual annihilation of all players, according to the model. Read more →

SAS, Samford University team up to generate sports analytics talent

Sports teams try to squeeze out every last bit of talent to gain a competitive advantage on the field. That’s also true in college athletic departments and professional team offices, where entire departments devoted to analyzing data hunt for sports analytics experts that can give them an edge in a game, in the stands and beyond. To create this talent, analytics company SAS will collaborate with the Samford University Center for Sports Analytics to support teaching, learning and research in all areas where analytics affects sports, including fan engagement, sponsorship, player tracking, sports medicine, sports media and operations. Read more →



INFORMS Annual Meeting
Nov. 4-7, 2018, Phoenix

Winter Simulation Conference
Dec. 9-12, 2018, Gothenburg, Sweden


Applied AI & Machine Learning | Comprehensive
Starts Oct. 29, 2018 (live online)

The Analytics Clinic
Citizen Data Scientists | Why Not DIY AI?
Nov. 8, 2018, 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Advancing the Analytics-Driven Organization
Jan. 28–31, 2019, 1 p.m.– 5 p.m. (live online)


CAP® Exam computer-based testing sites are available in 700 locations worldwide. Take the exam close to home and on your schedule:

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