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Analytics Magazine

Innovation in Analytics Award


Booz Allen Hamilton and IBM, the top two finishers in the inaugural 2011-2012 Innovation in Analytics Award sponsored by the Analytics Section of INFORMS, will give a reprise of their award-winning presentations at the 2012 INFORMS Annual Meeting in Phoenix, Ariz., this fall. The presentations will be made Oct. 16 as part of the conference’s Analytics Track. Booze Allen Hamilton will describe its award-winning application on immigrations and customs enforcement, while IBM will present its work on scheduling software maintenance teams.

During the same track, semifinalists for the 2012-2013 Innovation in Analytics Award will have an opportunity to present their work. The 2012-2013 entries represent diverse and respected organizations such as MIT, University of Chicago, Ford, General Electric, IBM and the Texas Department of Transportation. The semifinalists will be competing for three finalist positions at next spring’s INFORMS Analytics Conference in San Antonio, Texas.

Booz Allen Hamilton: “Managing Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Program Operations with Innovative Analytics”

Since 2009, Booz Allen has supported Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Law Enforcement Systems and Analysis (LESA) unit’s effort to increase criminal alien removals with descriptive, predictive, and prescriptive analytics. These analytics are used to quantify resource needs; assess performance against objectives; and determine strategic direction. Five models – The Strategic Decision Model (SDM), Operational Workforce Analysis, Criminal Alien Population Model, Deployment Optimization Model and the Network Optimization Mode – were used for this innovative analytics support.

The innovation is in the integration of models, the outcome-centered approach and how these models deliver traditional industrial engineering solutions to creatively solve a public sector challenge of immigration enforcement. Over the last three years, Booz Allen has changed the way that ICE talks about, and thinks about, performance. Booz Allen has shaped the thinking of ICE’s senior leadership and supported the development of an agency-wide, quantitatively driven strategy to identify and remove criminal aliens from the U.S. effectively and efficiently. The agency looks for opportunities to “optimize” rather than just seek incremental improvements. The evolution in mindset is one strong impact of the analytics support at ICE.

IBM: “Service Delivery Modeling and Optimization”

The IBM project addresses the problem of identifying optimal staffing (staffing levels, shifts and skills) for IBM’s globally located IT service delivery teams. Over the past three years, the project team has defined, developed and deployed complex simulation models across multiple service line disciplines. These models have been deployed on a massive scale across the global scope of the IBM delivery organization. This has resulted in improved resource usage, delivery efficiency, and service quality over a large number of service delivery teams.

The 2012-2013 Innovation in Analytics Award semifinalists and presentations include:

  • • Mental Health Center of Denver and the University of Alberta School of Business, “Data-Driven Appointment Scheduling in the Presence of No-Shows”
  • Ford Motor Company and MIT, “Robust Routing for Battery Electric Vehicles”
  • Con Edison, Columbia University and MIT, “Machine Learning for Power Grid Reliability: Predicting Manhole Events in New York”
  • GfK Custom Research, LLC, “Using Shapley Value Analytics to Set Customer Satisfaction Priorities Base of Kano Theory”
  • University of Chicago, “Fully Adaptive Designs for Clinical Trials: Simultaneous Learning from Multiple Patients”
  • GE Global Research Center, “Whole-hospital Operational Forecasting System”
  • University of Illinois, Central Illinois Technology and Educational Research Institute and University of Buffalo, “BracketOdds: Examining the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament with Advanced Analytics”
  • Westfield Insurance and IBM, “Insurance Agency Productivity, Efficiency and Prospecting”
  • Texas DOT, Texas Transportation Institute, Texas A&M University and University of Texas at El Paso, “A System for Optimizing Advance Acquisition of Right-of-Way for Highways at TxDOT”
  • SARK7 and Nyenrode Business University, “Sustainable Investment Decision Analysis: Integrated Techno-Economic Analysis for a Biofuel Initiative”

For more about the semifinalists, click here, here and here.


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.


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