Share with your friends


Analytics Magazine

Current Issue


Many optimization models fail because they do not sufficiently account for real-world randomness or suboptimal decisions by employees or vendors.

Supply Chain and Manufacturing: Why optimization models fail

Many optimization models fail because they do not sufficiently account for real-world randomness or suboptimal decisions by employees or vendors, or their solutions are not robust enough to handle the disruptions that occur throughout the day. In one representative example, a transportation company implemented an optimization model for a real-time work assignment system at a large facility without adequately testing the model in a realistic environment. When the model went live, it caused chaos in the field. Management realized the interdependencies between different tasks were not properly accounted for, so the model was promptly turned off. Read more →

AI has developed over several decades as a means of augmenting human abilities.

AI: The path to the intelligent enterprise

The First Wave of AI from 1975 to 1990 never quite lived up to expectations because of the inherent limitations of systems based on deductive logic algorithms. The succeeding Second Wave, which we’re still in, took advantage of massive leaps in sensor and processing capabilities that enabled a transition to more powerful, more flexible learning algorithms, giving us a glimpse of AI’s true potential. DARPA’s Pilot’s Associate is one of the earliest examples of a real-time cognitive engine that matched what’s best about a machine with what’s best about a human. The system relieved combat pilots of the burden of ancillary tasks so that the human could remain laser-focused on making the decisions that count with greater clarity. Read more →

Listening to the customer

Most consumer lending organizations pride themselves on “listening to the customer,” but for many, “listening” is actually more instinctual, with courses of action determined by previous experience or by examining past patterns of customer behavior. Very few actually make a concerted effort to truly listen to current and prospective customers via cognitive interviews and surveys. Tools available for data analysis allow true customer focus, where product offerings can be shaped based on a statistical understanding of the drivers that bring specific types of customers to the organization to address their specific short- and long-term goals. Read more →

Personalization: How to close the deal

Marketers today know the importance of marketing personalization. According to Marketo’s “State of Engagement” report, 98 percent of marketers understand the need for personalized customer experiences and have implemented strategies aimed at achieving that. The Internet is awash with industry studies demonstrating how personalized content increases engagement. We don’t even need statistics to tell us this. We all know instinctively from our experiences as consumers that personalized content works far better than generic material. We’ve come to expect it, and that expectation has filtered into the B2B market as well. Read more →

The integration of skill sets enables engineers to establish more effective data analysis strategies.

Bridging the data science gap

Data science is one of the most in-demand fields today, and there is no shortage of opportunity for those with the requisite computer science and statistics skills. Since 2012, demand for data scientists has risen 650 percent, yet there are still only 35,000 qualified data scientists working in the United States today according to data from LinkedIn. Because many companies do not have the time or resources to properly onboard and train new data scientists, some businesses are getting creative by leveraging the value that their incumbent engineers can offer by tapping their domain expertise. Read more →

The future looks bright for companies that complete the analytics journey.

The amazing analytics journey

The evolution of analytics integration in day-to-day business is widely considered a three-stage process, from descriptive analytics to predictive analytics to prescriptive analytics/pre-emptive analytics. Let’s review each stage. Descriptive analytics is the science and art of summarizing data that is logically grouped and structured in layers to create a seamless flow of insights that can be drilled down into, as well as be presented in a visually appealing way. It involves creating aggregates by establishing data linkages that provide a visual presentation to make it intuitive and easy to understand and use. Read more →

Software Survey: Forecasting 2018

Forecasting software has long been an essential part of high-end analytics and is now making a major contribution to the fast-developing area of business analytics. Forecasts are a necessary input into almost all planning decisions, be they long- or short-term, but they are also needed in performance analysis and revenue optimization. Forecasting methods should, therefore, form an important part of all university or practitioner courses in analytics. Suitable software is at the heart of the forecasting activity, whether the practitioner works in demand forecasting in the supply chain or as a business or government analyst. Read more →


Inside Story: Hot, sexy and in demand

More than seven years ago, McKinsey & Company famously predicted that by 2018 there would be a shortage of 140,000-190,000 people with “deep analytical skills” (i.e., data scientists) in the United States. A year later, a 2012 article in the Harvard Business Review just as famously labeled data science “the sexiest job of the 21st century.” Read more →

Executive Edge: Command center analytics revolutionize healthcare

A program of work at Humber River Hospital in Toronto recently delivered startling results: 52 percent reduction in acute conservable bed days (defined as patients staying longer than the evidence supports), 38 percent reduction in ultrasound turn-around time and 23 percent reduction in emergency department (ED) patient waiting. All of these improvements came during the hospital’s busiest winter season on record, when daily ED visits increased by 8 percent [Source: Humber River Hospital Command Centre Scorecard]. Read more →

Analyze This!: Fail fast and forward

I am excited to be returning to Burning Man this August. For those not familiar with Burning Man, think of it as a cross between an extreme camping trip, an avant-garde art festival, a massive 24-hour-a-day costume party, and a rapidly constructed temporary city in the middle of the Nevada desert that is home to about 70,000 people for one week each year and then immediately disappears afterward. Read more →

Healthcare Analytics: AI, blockchain expected to fuel industry’s growth

During the first week of June the U.S. Justice Department decided not to defend the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) if it is challenged in court. Historically, a sitting government deciding not to support an existing law passed by the Congress is a deviation from the norm. Insurance companies would be free to charge more (or even deny coverage) to consumers with pre-existing conditions, and millions of consumers with pre-existing conditions could effectively find themselves back to square one. Read more →

INFORMS Initiatives: INFORMS launches Recognition and Development Department

INFORMS recently launched the Recognition and Development Department to promote charitable giving opportunities to support the profession, INFORMS programs, the robust INFORMS awards program, as well as a new focus on scholarship opportunities. This new initiative invites INFORMS members to designate donations to support existing INFORMS awards and programs, as well as identify and cultivate new award and scholarship opportunities. Read more →

Conference Preview: Phoenix to host 2018 INFORMS Annual Meeting Nov. 4-7

The 2018 INFORMS Annual Meeting will be held Nov. 4-7 at the Phoenix Convention Center and Hyatt Regency Phoenix in the heart of downtown Phoenix. The Hyatt is just across the street from the Convention Center and both venues are within walking distance to many popular attractions. Four other area hotels are offering an INFORMS group rate, all within a five-minute walk of the conference venues. Sky Harbor International Airport is just 3.5 miles away from the heart of downtown Phoenix, making travel to and from the airport a breeze. Read more →

WSC 2018 set for Sweden on Dec. 9-12

The 2018 Winter Simulation Conference (WSC 2018) will be held Dec. 9-12 at The Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre in Gothenburg, Sweden. The 2018 conference seeks to highlight applications of simulation for noble causes in addition to continuing to report leading developments and applications in other fields. Read more →

Five-Minute Analyst: Public television’s deadliest cities

My daughter plans to study history in college, which is a course of study I fully support. That being said, I expressly forbid her from studying at Oxford for one simple reason – the crime rate is astonishingly high. That’s according to the PBS murder mystery series in which Inspector Morse, and then Inspector Lewis, are confronted with a fresh double- or triple-homicide every week! Read more →











Does negative political advertising actually work?

While many potential voters dread campaign season because of pervasive negative political advertising, a new study has found that negative political advertising actually works, but perhaps not in the way that many may assume. The study “A Border Strategy Analysis of Ad Source and Message Tone in Senatorial Campaigns,” which will be published in the June edition of INFORMS’ journal Marketing Science, is co-authored by Yanwen Wang of the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Michael Lewis of Emory University in Atlanta and David A. Schweidel of Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. Read more →

Meet Summit, world’s most powerful, smartest scientific supercomputer

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory on June 8 unveiled Summit as the world’s most powerful and smartest scientific supercomputer. With a peak performance of 200,000 trillion calculations per second – or 200 petaflops – Summit will be eight times more powerful than ORNL’s previous top-ranked system, Titan. For certain scientific applications, Summit will also be capable of more than three billion billion mixed precision calculations per second, or 3.3 exaops. Read more →

Employee engagement a top concern affecting customer experience

Employee engagement has surfaced as a major concern in delivering improvements in customer experience (CX), with 86 percent of CX executives in a Gartner, Inc. survey ranking it as having an equal or greater impact than other factors such as project management and data skills. “CX is a people issue,” says Olive Huang, research vice president at Gartner. “In some instances, the best technology investments have been derailed by employee factors, such as a lack of training or incentives, low morale or commitment, and poor communication of goals." Read more →



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


Making Data Science Pay
July 30-31, 12:30 p.m.-5 p.m.

Predictive Analytics: Failure to Launch Webinar
Aug. 18, 11 a.m.

Applied AI & Machine Learning | Comprehensive
Sept. 10-13, 17-20 and 24-25

Advancing the Analytics-Driven Organization
Sept. 17-20, 12-5 p.m. LIVE Online

The Analytics Clinic: Ensemble Models: Worth the Gains?
Sept. 20, 11 a.m. -12:30 p.m.


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

For more information, go to