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Analytics Sept/Oct 2016

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September/October 2016

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Paul Roma Analytics cognitive computing“Whatever we’ve done in cognitive computing today will soon be considered quaint early indicators of the seismic changes that follow. We are heading down an exponential change curve.”

– Paul Roma, chief analytics officer at U.S. Deloitte, in his “Executive Edge” column in the September/October issue of Analytics magazine.

Recent News

analytics salary survey

Salary survey: predictive analytics professionals

The gender pay gap among predictive analytics professionals is practically nonexistent, and the percentage of U.S. citizens in the profession at the junior level is increasing while the percentage of foreign-born professionals at the same level is decreasing as more U.S. students are entering the market. Those are two of the more notable trends in a new Burtch Works salary survey of predictive analytics professionals (PAPs). Read more →

sports analytics

‘Sport Business Analytics’ aims to help organizations optimize revenue

More than 10 industry thought leaders contributed a chapter to the new book, “Sport Business Analytics: Using Data to Increase Revenue and Improve Operational Efficiency,” co-edited by C. Keith Harrison and Scott Bukstein. “Sport Business Analytics” aims to provide students and industry leaders with innovative strategies to collect data and convert it into meaningful, value-added information and actionable insights. Read more →

analytics education

Survey: Master’s degrees in O.R. pay off

Individuals with a master’s degree in operations research rank third highest in terms of mid-career salaries, according to a recent survey by Forbes. The findings, part of Forbes’ 2016-2017 College Salary Report, combed data for nearly 200 graduate-level degrees and ranked them according to the mid-career salaries of full-time U.S. employees who hold specific degrees. Read more →

big data

Gartner: Future investment in big data expected to fall

Big data investments continue to rise but are showing signs of contracting, according to a recent survey by Gartner, Inc. The survey revealed that 48 percent of companies have invested in big data in 2016, up 3 percent from 2015. However, those who plan to invest in big data within the next two years fell from 31 percent to 25 percent in 2016. Read more →

consumer search behavior

Online marketing: Removing unintended barriers key to higher sales

New research from Accenture Interactive indicates that offering personalized experiences will translate to higher sales if businesses remove unintended barriers consumers report. While most consumers welcome personalized offerings, many complain of having received irrelevant recommendations and experienced an overwhelming choice of options when visiting brands and retailers’ websites. Read more →

Analytics Society of INFORMS

2017 Syngenta Crop Challenge in Analytics offers $5,000 prize

Analytics at the 2016 INFORMS Annual Meeting

It’s an exciting time to be in INFORMS, and Nashville, Tenn., site of the 2016 INFORMS Annual Meeting on Nov. 13-16, is going to be a great time to learn about the state of the art in our rapidly changing profession, connect with colleagues and meet new ones. If you search under “Analytics” in the conference program, you will find more than 200 individual presentations. Read more →

INFORMS Initiatives

Jim Williams

Williams, Burciaga to lead 2017 Analytics Certification Board

Jim Williams, CAP, of FICO and Aaron Burciaga, CAP, of Accenture Digital have been elected chair and vice chair, respectively, of the 2017 Analytics Certification Board (ACB). The ACB, whose members are elected by INFORMS and CAP® designees, meets on a quarterly basis to provide oversight and guidance to the Certified Analytics Professional (CAP) and the Associate Certified Analytics Professional (aCAP) programs. Read more →

Progress report: ‘Guide to the Analytics Body of Knowledge’

The “Guide to the Analytics Body of Knowledge” (ABOK) is nearing a first draft. Along with a study guide for those seeking Certified Analytics Professional (CAP®) status, ABOK can also be used by instructors to help with curriculum development, by HR managers to determine what the employees need to know, by regulators to understand the state of analytics practice, by employers to provide a career path for employees and by new-comers to analytics to understand more about the field Read more →

Student Team Competition for tomorrow’s leaders in O.R. & analytics

A brand new INFORMS competition provides real-world workplace experience for undergraduate and master’s level students. Student teams will be given the same business problem, data sets and access to software to solve a challenging problem using an O.R./analytics approach. A panel of industry and academic experts will judge written submissions based on teams’ use of the full analytics process, from framing the problem to methodology selection, data use, model building, and innovation. Demonstrated “soft skills” in teamwork, communication and presentation will also be considered in judging. Read more →

Patrick Noonan

Continuing Ed: Essential practice skills for analytics projects

Immediately following the upcoming 2016 Annual Meeting in Nashville, Tenn., INFORMS will host a unique continuing education opportunity. Patrick S. Noonan, a professor at Emory University’s Goizueta Business School and whose experience with the management consulting profession spans 30 years, will teach an intensive, hands-on, two-day course titled “Essential practice skills for high-impact analytics projects” on Nov. 17-18 in Nashville. Read more →

INFORMS’ Certified Analytics Professional (CAP®)

Associate CAP helps young analytics professionals stand out

The INFORMS Associate Certified Analytics Professional (aCAP™) program enables emerging analytics professionals to obtain a competitive advantage over their peers with the distinction of a certification, while affording them the opportunity to build the experience and soft skills necessary for a full CAP certification. Read more →

Industry News

Frontline Systems launches

Frontline Systems, developer of the Solver in desktop Microsoft Excel, has released, a SaaS (software as a service) Azure-based platform that offers business analysts point-and-click tools to create predictive and prescriptive analytics models themselves, without needing expert data scientists or programmers – yet taking advantage of the full spectrum of analytic methods, from forecasting and data mining to simulation and optimization. Read more →

AIMMS releases AIMMS 4.21 with new functionality

AIMMS recently released AIMMS 4.21 that includes vertical drag and drop functionality for the Gantt Chart widget in the WebUI. It also offers “time window” functionality for this widget, which allows users to zoom in better on the specific part of the whole Gantt Chart that you are interested in. Read more →

Recent Features

Unstructured data processing usage

There’s no such thing as unstructured data

It’s long been popular to talk about customer interaction data such as clickstream, social activity, inbound email and call center verbatims as “unstructured data.” Wikipedia says of the term that it “…refers to information that either does not have a pre-defined data model or is not organized in a pre-defined manner” [1]. Thus, unstructured data is a term used to describe data that does not conform to a typical relational database structure. There’s valuable customer knowledge in this so-called unstructured data. But if it’s unstructured, how should consumer-facing organizations handle this flow of large amounts of data? Read more →

Figure 1: Situational intelligence brings together the domain’s business, operational and location intelligence to provide a 360-degree operational view.

Making effective decisions in real time

Decision-making based on data has historically been slow and cumbersome due to the time and effort required to store and prepare it prior to personnel analyzing it. It is no longer viable for people to analyze data themselves due to the volume, velocity and variety of data from business systems and from operational systems and the Internet of Things (IoT) that stream data in real time. In addition, to fully leverage the value in data, organizations can no longer afford to wait hours, let alone days or weeks, for details and/or requisite information that supports decisions. Read more →

Risk is almost always understated, effort is misapplied and unrealistic models will remain undiscovered.

Reducing cybersecurity risk

Hillary Clinton’s emails, Wikileaks and Edward Snowden, among others, have directed much attention to cybersecurity. New work indicates that the most serious component of cybersecurity risk is probably the use of inferior methods to assess that risk. Read more →
















Forbes names Dietrich a leader of the data analytics pack

INFORMS member Brenda L. Dietrich, an IBM Fellow, vice president and leader of IBM’s data science group, was recently profiled by Forbes in an article headlined, “Meet 9 Women Leading The Pack In Data Analytics.” Dietrich is also an INFORMS Fellow and a member of the National Academy of Engineering. She served as president of INFORMS in 2007. Read more →

Female board members more likely to have tech experience

Female members of corporate boards of directors are nearly twice as likely as their male counterparts to have professional technology experience, according to new research from Accenture. To understand the gender composition of corporate boards and the role technology plays in the careers of female board members, Accenture examined women’s representation on the boards of more than 500 Forbes Global 2000 companies in 39 countries across Europe, Asia, North America, South America and Australia. Read more →

Study: Consumers buy close to what they first searched online

Given the ease of online search, consumers can explore and discover hundreds of available items in any category. Retailers and advertisers are keen to influence the search and final purchase through better product recommendations and targeted advertising. A forthcoming article in the INFORMS journal Marketing Science studies online search and purchase behavior of consumers in the digital camera category and finds that even though consumers may search for extended periods of time, what they purchase tends to be remarkably close to items they searched and found in their very first search. Read more →



INFORMS Annual Meeting
Nov. 13-16, 2016, Nashville, Tenn.


Foundations of Modern Predictive Analytics
Nov. 17-18, 2016, Nashville, Tenn. 


The Arithmetic of Uncertainty: A Cure for the Flaw of Averages
A one-day (9 a.m.-5 p.m.) workshop with optional hands-on computer lab
Sept. 14: Washington, D.C. (Crystal City)
Sept. 20: Houston
Sept. 21: Dallas
For more information and to register, click here.


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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