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Method to March Madness

If it’s March, it must be time for March Madness, the annual college basketball lollapalooza that compels untold millions of people across the country to try and predict the outcome of a 64-team tournament (not including play-in games) in hopes of winning the office or online pool and all the glory and money that goes with it. The beauty (and perhaps irony) of March Madness is that no one – not the college basketball junkie, not the office nerd, not even the analytics guru well-versed in predictive analytics who studies “bracketology” (all three may be the same person) – knows the outcome in advance, so anyone has an equal chance of winning . . . or do they?

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Barkley’s analytics bark: bigger than his bite?

As the editor of Analytics magazine (as well as OR/MS Today, the membership magazine of INFORMS), we naturally sing the praises of the analytics profession, and tend to take it for granted that the world understands and appreciates all that analytics offers. And then along comes Charles Barkley, a basketball Hall of Famer now doing commentary for TBS in conjunction with telecasts of NBA games, to shake us out of our complacency.

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Are analysts primitive Homo Analyticus?

I enjoy maturity and evolution models of all kinds, especially for business. As the name implies, maturity models for information technologies or management accounting practices, for example, have stages of development that provide confidence that regardless of the model’s current stage – low or high – there is always a next step up that can be attained in an evolutionary way.

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Smart people, stupid choices

    Smart people, stupid choices

The final leg of horse racing’s prestigious Triple Crown race, the Belmont Stakes, was held this past Saturday. The favored horse, I’ll Have Another, was scratched due to a leg injury. For gamblers who would likely to have bet on I’ll Have Another for the Belmont, maybe this saved them some money. Why? I will get to that in a moment.

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What is analytics and how does it relate to Operations Research?

    What is analytics and how does it relate to Operations Research?

I was just reading an article on the INFORMS Analytics section, intriguingly titled Analytics, OR and INFORMS – Where the three meet. I am responsible for the Analytics department of a growing digital marketing agency and I have a long career in Operations Research behind me, so the question “What is analytics and how does it relate to Operations Research?“ I wrestle with.

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The Analytics of Paid Search

    The Analytics of Paid Search

Because of its direct response and data rich nature, paid search is arguably the most analytic of digital marketing activities. If you go to Google, Bing, or other search engine and type in a search query your browser will return a new page: the SERP (Search Engine Results Page).  Generally on the left hand side you will see the results that the engine (that’s how the Technorati refer to Search Engines) regards as the most relevant.

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Introduction to Digital Marketing for Analytics Professionals

    Introduction to Digital Marketing for Analytics Professionals

Every day I come to work in digital marketing I find everything has been overturned and needs to be radically rethought. It’s a blast. I made the jump from offline in 2000. I already had a 15-year analytics career behind me but there was very little tolerance for my ignorance.

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When push comes to shove

In a recent posting on The New Yorker website, author John Seabrook comments on crowd disasters, noting a difference between such disasters in the developed and developing worlds. In the developed world, they usually occur at big sales events (such as the 2008 Black Friday incident at a Long Island, N.Y., Wal-Mart where an employee was trampled to death), rock concerts, nightclubs and sporting events (i.e., commercial events).

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Health care debate needs dose of analytics

Led by House Speaker John Boehner, many Republicans and other critics of last year’s health care reform legislation describe it as a “job-killer bill” that will eliminate between 650,000 and 1.6 million jobs and waste multi-millions of dollars of taxpayer money.

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Getting ready for Chicago conference

Today I made my airline and hotel reservations to attend the INFORMS Conference on Business Analytics and Operations Research in Chicago April 10-12.

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Analytics Blog

Electoral College put to the math test


With the campaign two months behind us and the inauguration of Donald Trump two days away, isn’t it time to put the 2016 U.S. presidential election to bed and focus on issues that have yet to be decided? Of course not.


Headlines

Gaining distribution in small retail formats brings big payoffs

Small retail formats with limited assortments such as Save-A-Lot and Aldi and neighborhood stores like Target Express have been growing in popularity in the United States and around the world. For brands, the limited assortments mean greater competition for shelf-space, raising the question of whether it is worth expending marketing effort and slotting allowances to get on to their shelves. According to a forthcoming study in a leading INFORMS scholarly marketing journal, Marketing Science, the answer is “yes.” Read more →

Cognitive computing a disruptive force, but are CMOs ready?

While marketing and sales professionals increasingly find themselves drowning in data, a new IBM study finds that 64 percent of surveyed CMOs and sales leaders believe their industries will be ready to adopt cognitive technologies in the next three years. However, despite this stated readiness, the study finds that only 24 percent of those surveyed believe they have strategy in place to implement these technologies today. Read more →

How weather can impact consumer purchase response to mobile ads

Among the many factors that impact digital marketing and online advertising strategy, a new study in the INFORMS journal Marketing Science provides insight to a growing trend among firms and big brands: weather-based advertising. According to the study, certain weather conditions are more amenable for consumer responses to mobile marketing efforts, while the tone of the ad content can either help or hurt such response depending on the current local weather. Read more →

UPCOMING ANALYTICS EVENTS

INFORMS-SPONSORED EVENTS

Essential Practice Skills for High-Impact Analytics Projects
Sept. 26-27, Executive Conference Center, Arlington, Va.

Foundations of Modern Predictive Analytics
Oct. 2-3, VT Executive Briefing Center, Arlington, Va.

2017 INFORMS Annual Meeting
October 22-25, 2017, Houston

2017 Winter Simulation Conference (WSC 2017)
Dec. 3-6, 2017, Las Vegas

CAP® EXAM SCHEDULE

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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