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Analytics Magazine

Inside Story — Analytics: The more things change …

Just when I thought that artificial intelligence and machine learning were the latest, hottest, highest-flying topics in the analytics orbit (January/February Inside Story), along comes a shooting star called “customer success management,” or simply CSM to those in the know. “The CSM field is exploding,” Vijay Mehrotra schooled me in an email. “There are headhunters dedicated to placing CSMs!”

Turns out the field not only has its own acronym (a requirement in today’s short-handed world), several professional groups have emerged to promote the CSM profession and CSM practitioners.

So what, exactly, is customer success management and what does a CSM manager do? Mehrotra passed along this definition from the Customer Success Management Association: “Customer success management is an integration of functions and activities of marketing, sales, professional services, training and support into a new profession to meet the needs of recurring revenue model companies.” OK, so what does that have to do with analytics?

For that, you’ll need to read this month’s Analyze This! column in which Mehrotra, a professor at the University of San Francisco, explains how and why he is training his MBA students to become “successful CSMs through a collection of curated courses and industry projects.” As Vijay notes in his column, it’s about the “shift in the enterprise software market toward hosted software as a service (SaaS) solutions.”

Of course, it wouldn’t be an issue of Analytics mag without a heaping helping of artificial intelligence and machine learning. In this month’s installment of “Healthcare Analytics,” Rajib Ghosh, founder and CEO of the consulting company Health Roads and another longtime Analytics columnist, serves up an insightful piece on “How A.I. and blockchain can curb rising healthcare costs” in what futurists and A.I. scientists call “The Third Wave.”

Meanwhile, Joseph Byrum, chief data scientist at Principal Financial Group, wades into the “Second Wave of A.I.,” which we’re in now, in his article, “Machines, man and intelligence.” Byrum takes a deep dive into artificial intelligence, starting with the technology’s development from its most basic building blocks. Byrum will travel further down the A.I. path in upcoming issues as he explores the intelligent enterprise of the future.

If there’s one thing we can say about the dynamic world of analytics it’s this: The more things change, the more it’s anything but the same.

– Peter Horner, editor
peter.horner@mail.informs.org

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Headlines

Using machine learning and optimization to improve refugee integration

Andrew C. Trapp, a professor at the Foisie Business School at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI), received a $320,000 National Science Foundation (NSF) grant to develop a computational tool to help humanitarian aid organizations significantly improve refugees’ chances of successfully resettling and integrating into a new country. Built upon ongoing work with an international team of computer scientists and economists, the tool integrates machine learning and optimization algorithms, along with complex computation of data, to match refugees to communities where they will find appropriate resources, including employment opportunities. Read more →

Gartner releases Healthcare Supply Chain Top 25 rankings

Gartner, Inc. has released its 10th annual Healthcare Supply Chain Top 25 ranking. The rankings recognize organizations across the healthcare value chain that demonstrate leadership in improving human life at sustainable costs. “Healthcare supply chains today face a multitude of challenges: increasing cost pressures and patient expectations, as well as the need to keep up with rapid technology advancement, to name just a few,” says Stephen Meyer, senior director at Gartner. Read more →

Meet CIMON, the first AI-powered astronaut assistant

CIMON, the world’s first artificial intelligence-enabled astronaut assistant, made its debut aboard the International Space Station. The ISS’s newest crew member, developed and built in Germany, was called into action on Nov. 15 with the command, “Wake up, CIMON!,” by German ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst, who has been living and working on the ISS since June 8. Read more →

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