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Conference Preview: Business Analytics Conference ready to roll in Las Vegas

The conference will bring together nearly a thousand leading analytics professionals and industry experts to share ideas, network and learn.

Business analytics, conference, Las Vegas, Edelman Awards Gala

Caesars Palace, site of the 2017 INFORMS Conference on Business Analytics & O.R., sits on the famed Las Vegas Strip.
Image © Thickstock

The 2017 INFORMS Conference on Business Analytics & Operations Research will take place in Las Vegas on April 2-4 at Caesars Palace.

Business analytics, conference, Las Vegas, Edelman Awards Gala

Caesars Palace: a classic, Roman-themed casino hotel.
Source: Caesars Palace

Analytics 2017 will bring together nearly a thousand leading analytics professionals and industry experts to share ideas, network and learn through real-life examples of data-based analytical decisions. Long-formatted talks offer an outlet to hear the complete story of successful analytical projects from inception through implementation.

The Oscar-like Edelman Awards Gala on Monday evening promises to be a conference highlight. The gala honors the world’s best applications of applied operations research and advanced analytics (see below).

This conference also offers substantial networking opportunities, making it the analytics event of the year for anyone who works in the analytics, operations research or management science fields.

Meeting of Analytics Program Directors

The inaugural Meeting of Analytics Program Directors (MAPD) will be held on April 1 at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, the day before the start of the 2017 INFORMS Conference on Business Analytics & Operations Research in the same locale.

Sponsored by INFORMS, the meeting is designed to provide program directors of college analytics programs with a forum for discussion, networking and the sharing of best practices. While master’s level programs are the majority, this first-of-its-kind meeting is open to program directors representing bachelor’s and doctoral level programs as well. The goal is to provide a platform for the types of exchanges that will raise the bar for all analytics programs and ultimately lead to better outcomes for students. Additionally, by supporting this emerging cadre of academics who lead analytics programs, INFORMS hopes that this meeting will help foster new ideas and new energy going forward.

J. David Dittman, director of Business Intelligence & Analytics Services at Procter & Gamble, will deliver the opening plenary at MAPD. The topic: “An Industry Connection: An Industry View of Essential Components of a Graduate Analytics Program.”

The all-day event is free of charge. For more information, contact Bill Griffin, manager, INFORMS Continuing Education Program (bgriffin@informs.org).

Handpicked topics and speakers. The Analytics Conference has seen huge growth and success year after year due in part to the conference program committees. They develop the topic tracks, select speakers and organize the presentations that comprise the heart of the conference. Maher Lahmar, IBM solutions executive, chairs the Analytics 2017 Committee (see page 65). The 38 members of the program committee include analysts and managers from companies such as Accenture, BNSF Railway, Chevron, Deloitte, Gartner, Google, Innovative Decisions, Intel, InterContinental Hotels Group, Kroger, Lockheed Martin, Mayo Clinic, The MITRE Corp., SAS, Schneider and Walt Disney Company, as well as leading universities and government agencies. Jim Diamond, managing director of operations research and advanced analytics at American Airlines, will be the plenary speaker. His topic: “From Flying Machines to Machine Learning: Advanced Analytics at American Airlines.”

The conference committee has designated nine topical tracks for the 2017 invited speaker program: Analytics Leadership and Soft Skills, Analytics on Unstructured Data, Decision and Risk Analysis, Emerging Analytics, Entertainment and Gaming, Internet of Things, Marketing Analytics, Revenue Management and Pricing, and Supply Chain Applications. Leading analytics professionals from companies such as American Airlines, Amazon, Boeing, Caterpillar, Disney, General Motors, Google, Netflix, UPS and many others, as well as operations researchers from top universities and government organizations have signed on to speak at the premier conference on business analytics and operations research. The program will be rounded out by six tracks of handpicked member-contributed talks, software tutorials from vendor sponsors and poster presentations.

Conference venue. The conference will be held at one of the most prestigious resorts in the world, Caesars Palace. This iconic resort is one of the largest on the Las Vegas Strip. Caesars includes five towers of rooms, a pool garden, numerous bars, restaurants and other nightlife locations, and much more. It is connected to The Forum Shops, which include approximately 160 specialty stores, fine restaurants and attractions.

The conference promises to be the best (analytics) show in Las Vegas. Image © Thickstock

The conference promises to be the best (analytics) show in Las Vegas.
Image © Thickstock

If you venture outside of the hotel, you will find yourself in the middle of a global crossroads. The Las Vegas Strip is the entertainment capital of the world, with shows and restaurants galore. The Hoover Dam is a short 30-minute ride away. If you are feeling adventurous, you can venture a bit farther and take a 2.5-hour drive to the Grand Canyon. Las Vegas really is fabulous and offers a little bit of something for everyone.

Organizations can take advantage of the $1,070 team discount rate when they send three or more attendees to the conference. A $1,070 newcomer rate is also offered. This special rate applies to any INFORMS member who is attending the conference for the first time. All meals for two days are included in all registration fees.

For more information regarding conference registration or submitting a presentation, visit: meetings.informs.org/analytics2017.

Trio of keynote speakers announced

Analytics thought leaders Bill Groves, Andrew Boyd and Jim Diamond will be the keynote speakers at the 2017 INFORMS Conference on Business Analytics and Operations Research. The conference will be held April 2-4 at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas.

Bill Groves

Bill Groves

E. Andrew Boyd

E. Andrew Boyd

Jim Diamond

Jim Diamond

Bill Groves, chief data and analytics officer, Honeywell, will discuss the ever-changing industry of analytics in his keynote: “The Changing Landscape of Analytics.”

E. Andrew Boyd, former chief scientist and senior vice president, PROS, Texas A&M University and the University of Houston, will share some analogies between analytics and games of chance to illustrate proven educational methods leading to project success in his keynote: “Analytics: A Winning Gamble.”

Jim Diamond, managing director, Operations Research and Advanced Analytics, American Airlines, will provide insights on how advanced analytics are being used to solve some of American Airlines’ most challenging and complex problems in his keynote: “From Flying Machines to Machine Learning: Advanced Analytics at American Airlines.”

 


Edelman Awards Gala

One of the highlights of the INFORMS Conference on Business Analytics & O.R. is the Edelman Awards Gala, an Oscar-like evening celebrating the world’s best examples of applied operations research and high-end analytics work. This year’s gala will be held on Monday, April 3, at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas.

The six finalists for the 46th Annual Franz Edelman Award for Achievements in Operations Research and the Management Sciences, the world’s most prestigious award for achievement in the practice of analytics and O.R., include:

The American Red Cross, in partnership with researchers from the Georgia Institute of Technology, developed a new blood collection model to reduce the expenses associated with the 44,000 blood donations needed in the United States each day.

Barco, a global technology company that manufactures products for the entertainment, healthcare and enterprise markets, partnered with researchers from the IESEG School of Management in France and KU Leuven and Vlerick Business School in Belgium to support the assessment and development of product platforms for the company’s production and development of high-tech screens used in medical devices.

BHP Billiton, one of the world’s largest producers of major commodities including iron ore, coal and other metals and minerals, partnered with AMEC Foster Wheeler to prepare the company to expand into the production of bulk fertilizer commodities. The project sought to create a model that incorporated every component of mining, hoisting and ore processing, while decreasing capital and operating expenses, and increasing production capacity.

General Electric (GE) partnered with Norfolk Southern (NS) Railroad to create and implement an algorithm to dispatch thousands of trains in real time, increase their average speed, and realize annual savings in the hundreds of millions.

Holiday Retirement, the largest private owner and operator of independent senior living communities in the United States with more than 300 facilities and $1 billion in annual revenue, partnered with Prorize LLC to revise its outdated pricing model, replacing it with a new revenue management system that would increase revenue and improve customer satisfaction.

New York City Department of Transportation, in conjunction with researchers from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute’s VREF Center of Excellence for Sustainable Urban Freight Systems, developed the Off Hours Delivery (OHD) Project. This project, which began in 2002 to transform urban freight policy by transitioning delivery times to the off-hours of 7 p.m.-6 a.m. when New York City streets are less congested, is currently in use by more than 400 establishments and is being implemented internationally.

All six finalists will present their work in a series of sessions at the conference before a panel of judges. The winner will be announced at the Awards Gala.

Along with the Edelman, the following awards and prizes will also be recognized during the Edelman Awards Gala:

  • INFORMS Prize for effectively integrating analytics into organizational decision-making.
  • UPS George D. Smith Prize aimed at strengthening ties between academia and industry by rewarding institutions of higher education for effective and innovative preparation of students to be good practitioners of operations research.
  • Daniel H. Wagner Prize for Excellence in Operations Research Practice emphasizes quality and coherence of the analysis used in practice.
  • Innovative Applications of Analytics Award recognizes the creative and unique application of a combination of analytical techniques in a new area.
  • INFORMS O.R. & Analytics Student Team Competition recognizes outstanding solutions to real-world problems developed by undergraduate and master’s student teams.
  • Syngenta Crop Challenge in Analytics offers a $5,000 prize by presenting the best solution to the following problem: How can a farmer make seed variety decisions that optimally reduce risk and increase yield?

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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

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