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AI anxiety

Forum: Anxiety over artificial intelligence

Operations research (O.R.) has had it easy. From its earliest days, the discipline harnessed the incredible power of mathematical algorithms to drive efficiency without drawing undue public attention. Militaries have relied on O.R. ever since World War I to better move around supplies or to ensure strike missions reach their target. In business, just the Franz Edelman Award finalist projects alone have brought home the tidy sum of $250 billion in cost savings. Read more →

Effectively integrating disparate data from different systems and devices requires a complete understanding of the organization’s “data map.”

The rise of self-service analytics

With the rise of big data – and the processes and tools related to utilizing and managing large data sets – organizations are recognizing the value of data as a critical business asset to identify trends, patterns and preferences to drive improved customer experiences and competitive advantage. The problem is, users too often can’t find the data they need to perform desired analytics. Data tends to be buried in different systems or siloed in departments across the organization. Read more →

Corporate Profile: Advanced analytics at Kroger

Back in 1883 when Barney Kroger invested his life savings of $372 to start his first store, the second purchase he made was a horse and carriage so he could deliver goods to his customers. One could make the argument that Barney knew the importance of delivery before Domino’s, Amazon or Blue Apron ever existed. Innovation has long been a tradition at Kroger. In the early part of the 20th century, Kroger was the first grocery store to include a bakery so customers didn’t have to travel to two stores, the first to introduce self-shopping and the first to surround its stores with parking lots. As technology evolved, it became the first company to test electronic scanners in the 1970s and one of the first to formalize consumer research. In the 1990s, it was one of the first stores to test self-checkouts, and by the start of the 21st century, it had spawned an industry-leading loyalty program. Read more →

Edge Computing: A deep dive into Edge IoT Analytics

Innovations in embedded systems-on-a-chip (SoCs) have opened doors to several commercial devices that are strong enough to run fully fledged complex algorithms and operating systems. The devices include a rich set of various sensors (for example, GPS, microphone or cameras), integrating more than one option for connectivity. One such example is the Raspberry Pi, but more alternatives are arriving in the market with various costs, computing capacities, power footprints and form factors. Read more →

Leveraging Data: Know your data …

How many times have you heard that before? Surveys in the Harvard Business Review and from Deloitte found that 80 percent of new products find a place on store shelves for less than 12 months, and about 96 percent of innovations fail to return their capital investments, respectively. Clearly, newly developed products and new entrants do not find the marketplace welcoming. The numbers back up the opening quote, and regardless of the massive amount of data available, companies fail to make the most of their data, perhaps because they just don’t know how to leverage it. Read more →


Inside story — Hot topics: AI & ML

Are there any hotter topics in the analytics community today than artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML)? If so, please let me know. Ironically, in 1991, when I began editing OR/MS Today (the membership magazine of INFORMS), AI and ML were also hot topics. At the time, Lionheart Publishing, which has produced OR/MS Today for the past 30 years, also published a newsletter all about AI. Unfortunately, the hype about AI and ML soon waned, and the newsletter disappeared. Read more →

ANALYZE THIS!: Getting out of my comfort zone

In my recent MBA elective on data mining, I assigned my students a term paper. The assignment required students to clearly describe a problem that they thought would be amenable to machine learning methods and then discuss how this problem might be solved (what techniques they would suggest using, what data would be required and how that data might be captured, what types of benefits would accrue and to who, what barriers to implementation they might encounter, etc.). Read more →

Healthcare Analytics — 2017: The year of ambiguities, AI and blockchain

In my first column of the new year I usually summarize what happened during the previous year in terms of healthcare technology and analytics. 2017 was a very interesting year for healthcare. On the political front, we saw continued assault on the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, the signature legislative accomplishment of the 44th president. Interestingly, the premise for the “overhaul” is to make healthcare more affordable for the country’s rank and file. The average premiums of health insurance plans in exchanges are due to increase by about 27 percent in 2018. However, the annual tax subsidy for qualifying individuals will also increase to help defray the cost. Read more →

INFORMS Initiatives: Essential skills, football, CAP & ‘tortured artists’

Patrick Noonan, a former management consultant, business owner and college professor, will teach a series of two-day workshops in 2018 at three cities around the country as part of INFORMS’ Professional Development and Continuing Education program. The workshops, entitled, “Essential Practice Skills for High-Impact Analytics Projects,” will be held Feb. 21-22 at Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, June 20-21 at the University of Denver in Denver and Sept. 19-20 at the AMA Washington D.C. Area Executive Conference Center in Arlington, Va. Read more →

News & Trends: Consultancy reports on AI, tech spend & digital fragmentation

2020 will be a pivotal year in AI-related employment dynamics, according to Gartner, as artificial intelligence (AI) will become a positive job motivator. The number of jobs affected by AI will vary by industry; through 2019, healthcare, the public sector and education will see continuously growing job demand while manufacturing will be hit the hardest. Starting in 2020, AI-related job creation will cross into positive territory, reaching two million net-new jobs in 2025. Read more →

Conference Preview: 2018 Business Analytics & O.R. Conference set for Baltimore

The 2018 INFORMS Conference on Business Analytics and Operations Research will take place in Baltimore, Md., on April 15-17 at the Baltimore Marriott Waterfront. Since 1729, Baltimore has served as a vital hub of discovery and growth in Maryland. Located within an easy distance of both Philadelphia and Washington, D.C., Baltimore – birthplace of the U.S. National Anthem – is among those cities that played a defining role in the founding of the United States. Since then “Charm City,” as Baltimore is appropriately nicknamed, has grown from a bustling port city, to an industrial center to a community focused on service, and it is the current home of INFORMS. Read more →











Artificial intelligence a game changer for personal devices

Emotion artificial intelligence (AI) systems are becoming so sophisticated that Gartner, Inc. predicts that by 2022, personal devices will know more about an individual’s emotional state than his or her own family. AI is generating multiple disruptive forces that are reshaping the way we interact with personal technologies. Read more →

FICO predicts AI and blockchain will meet in 2018

Scott Zoldi, chief analytics officer at FICO, in his AI predictions for 2018, predicts the rise of “defensive AI” and manipulative chatbots. Blockchain will use AI to search through relationship data, Zoldi says, and defensive AI will be used to protect systems from malicious AI and machine learning. Adds Zoldi: Chatbots will get so good at understanding us they will learn how to manipulate us. Read more →



2018 INFORMS Conference on Business Analytics and Operations Research
April 15-17, 2018, Baltimore


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