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Analytics Magazine

Innovative and Pro Bono Analytics: a winning combination

When Wes Chaar, José Antonio Carabajal, CAP, and Peter Williams from Turner Broadcasting won the 2017 Caterpillar and INFORMS Analytics Society Innovative Applications in Analytics Award (IAAA) for their application entitled “Audience Targeting Solutions Powered by Advanced Analytics,” they knew that they wanted to do some good with their $2,000 in prize money. Fortunately, they did not have to look far; they decided to team up with the INFORMS Pro Bono Analytics (PBA) program to support two important initiatives. Half of the prize money will further PBA’s commitment to Star of Hope Mission, which serves the homeless population in Houston. PBA sponsored a micro-volunteer opportunity with Star of Hope for attendees of the 2017 INFORMS Annual Meeting in Houston. The other half of the prize money will be used as seed money to support a similar micro-volunteer event at the upcoming fall 2018 INFORMS Annual Meeting in Phoenix. “We greatly appreciate the generosity of the Turner Broadcasting team,” says PBA Committee Chair Dave Hunt. “One of PBA’s activities is to give back to the host city for the INFORMS fall conference, and the donation from Turner is being used to support nonprofit organizations working with disadvantaged residents of Houston and Phoenix.”

Pro Bono Analytics links operations research and analytics professionals who are willing to volunteer their analytical skills with nonprofit organizations working in underserved areas or with underserved populations that could benefit from analytics. To sign up as a Pro Bono Analytics volunteer or to learn more about the program, visit www.probonoanalytics.org.

Turner’s award-winning, innovative analytics application dramatically improves the granularity with which it can target audiences, benefitting advertisers, audiences and Turner alike. As it turns out, through PBA, the application also benefits the homeless and others in need, and that’s truly a winning combination.

This year’s finalist for the Innovative Applications in Analytics Awards will make presentations on April 16 during the INFORMS Prize Track at the INFORMS Conference on Business Analytics and Operations Research in Baltimore.

– Erick Wikum and Dave Hunt

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