Share with your friends


Analytics Magazine


March/April 2010


Humanitarian Research Group Reacts To Haiti

Luk van WassenhoveIn the aftermath of the devastating earthquake in Haiti, one of the aftershocks facing the country is not seismic in nature, but concerns the struggle to coordinate relief efforts in order to reach those in need most effectively. INSEAD’s Humanitarian Research Group (HRG), part of the INSEAD Social Innovation Centre, has worked closely with many humanitarian organizations such as the International Federation of the Red Cross/ Red Crescent, World Food Programme, World Vision International and Médecins San Frontières. By listening to the needs and experiences of these partner organizations, INSEAD HRG has obtained first-hand knowledge of the issues affecting humanitarian logistics in responding to disasters. HRG has developed a rigorous methodology to analyze these issues, develop solutions and disseminate knowledge to those working in and with the humanitarian sector.

“We are closely monitoring events in Haiti and have been in contact with many of our partners who are working there,” says Professor Luk van Wassenhove (photo), director of the Social Innovation Centre and founder of INSEAD HRG. “It is already a country with a lot of poverty and weak infrastructure, so the logistical challenges faced by humanitarian organizations on the ground will be great.”

The tragedy in Haiti has prompted a rapid international reaction and outpouring of aid. The magnitude of the disaster combined with severe infrastructure, security and communication problems illustrates the crucial need to continue working on this topic.

For more on the INSEAD Social Innovation Centre, its reaction to the Haiti Earthquake and a video interview with Luk Van Wassenhove and Rolando Tomasini, manager of INSEAD HRG, click here:

Rapid Delivery Of Vaccines, Antidotes

Eva Lee

The ongoing threat of the H1N1 flu, future pandemics and biowarfare have given new urgency to pioneering research done by Professor Eva Lee (photo) of Georgia Tech on the rapid design and deployment of logistical strategies to deliver both vaccines and antidotes during medical crises. Lee, in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control, is the creator of RealOpt©, a decision support system enabling real-time strategic and operational planning for large-scale systems modeling and optimization for public health.

RealOpt is designed to take the guesswork out of mass dispensing of medical countermeasures by providing good estimates of resource needs and operational performance. In numerous anthrax exercises and flu vaccination events conducted in the United States, emergency planners were able to determine best facility layout, optimal staffing and throughput, cost-effective operations, and perform strategic and operational planning. The system provides rapid scenario analysis and makes dynamic decision analysis instant and scalable.

A more mature system since first deployed in 2003, RealOpt is used not only by public health directors and coordinators (more than 1,600), but also by some fire departments, school districts and the U.S. military for the purpose of setting up vaccine dispensing sites. It has been used for efficient clinic layout design, optimal resource allocation and disease propagation analysis. Planning has been carried out for anthrax response exercises, actual flu vaccination clinic operations and for hepatitis vaccination.

Lee’s work has become an integral part of White House and DHS planning and discussions for preventing and preempting health care threats. Last year, the Department of Health and Human Services invited Lee to the White House for a public meeting to discuss H1N1 vaccine distribution issues and to share her knowledge on vaccination distribution, dispensing and tracking strategies with state, local and tribal public health directors.

Professor Lee also works with White House Biodefense Policy and Medical Preparedness Policy Directors on matters related to emergency response, mass casualty mitigation and medical preparedness and policy.

RealOpt-regional is an interactive online software enterprise that features visualization tools and large-scale optimization. The system equips users with spatial understanding of important landmarks in the region, assesses the population densities and demographic makeup of the region, and identifies the most cost-efficient network of dispensing sites and modalities for effective population protection.

Besides specifying the number of necessary healthcare workers, security personnel and operations personnel, the system displays the demographic mixture of the region to help emergency planners identify appropriate personnel for special needs (e.g.,pediatric assistants, translators). Economic analysis can be performed to identify combinations of dispensing modalities (walkthrough, drive-through, public, private, mobile, or postal) to accommodate the affected population in a timely and effective manner.

Lee’s effort aligns particularly well with the recent news that the Department of Health and Human Services will review in first-quarter 2010 how the nation can more quickly develop and produce medical countermeasures for public health emergencies.

Analytics Magazine Tom Davenport
Analytics Magazine Analytics MagazineJeanne Harris

‘Analytics’ Makes HBR’s List Of Top Ideas

“Competing on Analytics” wasn’t just a best-selling book by co-authors Tom Davenport (photo) and Jeanne Harris (photo), it was also one of 12 most influential management ideas of the millennium (so far) according to a handful of editors at the Harvard Business Review. “Decades of investment in systems capturing transactions and feedback finally yielded a toolkit for turning all that data into intelligence,” wrote the editors. “Operations research types, long consigned to engineering realms like manufacturing scheduling, got involved in marketing decisions. Managers started learning from experiments that were worthy of the name.”

Davenport and Harris both recently contributed articles to Analytics magazine. Davenport wrote “The Rise of Strategic Analytics” for the Executive Edge column in the Fall 2009 issue ( 63#/2d674a63/5), while Harris was co-author of a feature article, “How to Organize Your Analytical Talent,” that appeared in the January/February 2010 issue (http://viewer.zmags. com/publication/ed2f8ceb#/ed2f8ceb/16).

Along with “Competing on Analytics,” HBR’s list of most influential ideas included: “Shareholder Value as a Strategy,” “IT as a Utility,” “The Customer Chorus,” “Enterprise Risk Management,” “The Creative Organization,” “Open Source,” “Going Private,” “Behavioral Economics,” “High Potentials,” “Reverse Innovation” and “Sustainability.”

For the complete story, click here ( decade_in_management_ideas.html).


Analytics Blog

Electoral College put to the math test

With the campaign two months behind us and the inauguration of Donald Trump two days away, isn’t it time to put the 2016 U.S. presidential election to bed and focus on issues that have yet to be decided? Of course not.


Accenture security report identifies top cyber threats

With recent large-scale cyberattacks signaling a growing front in destructive threats and business impact, a new midyear report from iDefense, part of Accenture Security, reveals how threat actors are continuing to evolve their ability to avoid detection. Based on in-depth analysis, the report anticipates a growth in the number of threat actors who are rapidly expanding their capabilities due to factors such as the proliferation of affordable, customizable and accessible tools and exploits. Read more →

Job searchers: It’s not just who you know, but how well you know them

While online networking sites enable individuals to increase their professional connections, to what extent do these ties actually lead to job opportunities? A new study in the INFORMS journal Management Science finds that, despite the ability to significantly increase the number of professional connections and identify more job leads with limited effort on these sites, unless the connection is a strong one, they typically will not lead to job offers.  Read more →



Essential Practice Skills for High-Impact Analytics Projects
Sept. 26-27, Executive Conference Center, Arlington, Va.

Foundations of Modern Predictive Analytics
Oct. 2-3, VT Executive Briefing Center, Arlington, Va.

2017 INFORMS Annual Meeting
October 22-25, 2017, Houston

2017 Winter Simulation Conference (WSC 2017)
Dec. 3-6, 2017, Las Vegas


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