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Analytics Magazine

Practice Preview: World-class Analytics Conference

March/April 2010


‘Applying Science to the Art of Business’ event set for April 18-20 in Orlando

‘Game-changing Analytics: A Disney Perspective’ Plenary Kicks Off More Than 80 Presentations.

By Teresa V. Cryan

Where do world-class organizations go to showcase the strategic use of operations research and analytics? For the past 10 years, the venue of choice has been the INFORMS (Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences) conference on O.R. practice, “Applying Science to the Art of Business.” This year’s conference, scheduled for April 18-20 at the new Hilton Bonnet Creek Resort in Orlando, Fla., will once again demonstrate the competitive advantage of analytics.

Real-World Commentary from Today’s Business Leaders
Analytics Magazine (Preliminary speaker list)
• Disney Parks and Resorts – Mark W. Shafer, senior vice president of revenue management and analytics, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts
• Federal Energy Regulatory Commission – Richard O’Neill, Chief Economic Advisor
• The Kroger Co. – John Osborne II, General Manager, IS Research and Development
• MIT Sloan School of Management Center for Digital Business – Michael Schrage, Research Fellow
• IBM Research – Arun Hampapur, Director, Business Analytics & Mathematical Sciences
• Genentech- Darren Johnson, Senior Supply Chain Strategic Planner
• Aveva T&D – Avnaesh Jayantilal, Director, Product Management
• Bucks New University UK – John Boylan, Professor, Head of Research-Faculty of Enterprise and Innovation
• Integral Analytics, Inc. – Michael Ozog, Vice President & COO -Smart Grid Products
• HP – Sanjay Singh, Vice President, Business Analytic Services
• University of Cincinnati – Jeffrey Camm, Professor, Chair of Quantitative Analysis & Operations Management
• Kromite, Inc. – Homie Razavi, Founder and Senior Consultant
• CDC – Leslie Lennert, MD, Healthcare Informatics Consultant and former Director, National Center for Public Health Informatics, CDC
• Intel Corp – Erik Hertzler, Capital Supply Chain Staff Engineer
• Chevron Corp. – Frank Koch, Decision Analysis Practice Leader
• Veritec Solutions – Warren Lieberman, President
• Georgia Institute of Technology – Ellis Johnson, Coca-Cola Chaired Professor, ISYE
• Business Forecast Systems – Eric A. Stellwagen, Vice President
• Forio Business Simulations – Michael Bean, Senior Consultant
• SAS Institute – Michael Gilliland, Product Marketing Manager, Forecasting
• Ford Research and Advanced Engineering – Erica Klampfl, Technical Leader
• Decision Strategies, Inc. – Patrick Leach, Principal
• Princeton – Hugo Simao, Senior O.R. Engineer & Professor
• Schneider National – Ted Gifford, Distinguished Member of Technical Staff
• Innovative Decisions, Inc. – Donald Buckshaw, Senior Principal Analyst
• Cypress Venture Group – Bryan Guy, Managing Director
(Plus more than 40 other speakers)
Analytics Magazine Analytics Magazine

Executives and analysts from companies such as Disney, HP, Chevron, Intel and Ford will share best practices in applying analytics to solve business problems. Academic speakers from schools such as MIT, Princeton and Stanford will provide training on strategy and O.R. methodologies. Overall, the program will offer high-quality, in-depth presentations by more than 80 speakers.

Mark W. Shafer, senior vice president of revenue management and analytics, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, will open the conference with a plenary talk on “Game-Changing Analytics: A Disney Perspective,” exploring how one of the most creative companies in the world integrates analytical innovation and decision-making into its business. Richard O’Neill, chief economic advisor for the Federal Regulatory Commission, will deliver another plenary on “Better, Smarter Electricity Markets: How Optimization Software Can Save Billions.”

Super Bowl Of Applied O.R.

The Edelman Competition, known as the “Super Bowl” of applied O.R., is always a highlight of the conference. This year, six finalists will showcase their high-impact analytics projects during the day on Monday (see sidebar), with the 2010 winner announced at a gala awards ceremony and banquet that evening. (Admission to the banquet is included in the conference registration fee.) The winner will then repeat their presentation in a plenary session on Tuesday.

Two other high-profile awards will be announced during the gala: the INFORMS Prize and the Daniel H. Wagner Prize. The INFORMS Prize honors a company that effectively integrates analytics into organizational decision-making and has repeatedly applied O.R. principles in novel and lasting ways. The Wagner Prize recognizes projects in which strong mathematics has been applied to practical problems, emphasizing clear writing and verifiable practice success.

Supply Chain And Executive Forum

Several new programs will be introduced this year. A high-level panel discussion, organized jointly by INFORMS and the Industry Studies Association with funding from The Sloan Foundation, is aimed at bringing cutting-edge research and thinking on specific analytics topics to practitioners. Chip White, professor and chair  of Transportation and Logistics at Georgia Tech, has put together a panel of prominent executives to discuss trends and challenges in supply chain management, transportation and logistics, including Chuck Holland, vice president of Process Management at UPS; Judy Lemke, CIO at Schneider National; and Stephen Lilly, executive director of Distribution and Logistics at Merck. They will be joined by several academics known for their research in supply chain management.

The new Hilton Bonnet Creek Resort will host IN FOR MS conference aimed at practitioners

The new Hilton Bonnet Creek Resort will host IN FOR MS conference aimed at practitioners

A new Executive Forum will reach out to mid- and senior-level executives who want an introduction to how O.R. can provide a competitive advantage for their companies. Networking opportunities, a “concierge” service to identify talks on the program of particular relevance and other high-level takeaways will be offered.

EIghty Sessions

The conference program, incorporating 80+ sessions, has been designed by a 19-member council of practitioners and academics, chaired by William Klimack, senior consultant at Kromite, Inc. Most of the talks will be delivered by invited speakers, who were selected to address specific topics by the council (see preliminary speaker list sidebar). The invited program will be organized along these tracks: sustainability, service science and healthcare, decision analysis, managing uncertainty and risk, methodology tutorials, supply chain management and logistics, and software tutorials. Additional “Select Presentations” were identified through a rigorous review process in which space constraints meant that less than half the abstracts submitted could be selected.

For the first time, the conference will also feature a poster session. This brief presentation format has attracted more than 45 submissions, including descriptions of work that is still in progress or can only be presented at a high level. The poster option lends itself to presentations on projects that may not be extensive enough for a 50-minute presentation but that offer useful learning points for other O.R. practitioners.

High-Level Panel on Supply Chain and Logistics
Top executives will bring their perspectives and advice on trends and challenges in this exciting arena. They will be joined by leading academics known for their work in supply chain management.Moderator: Chip White, Professor & Chair of Transportation & Logistics, Georgia Institute of Technology

Panelists: Chuck Holland, Vice President of Process Management, UPS ; Judy Lemke, Executive Vice President and CIO , Schneider National; Stephen Lilly, Executive Director, Distribution and Logistics, Merck

Career-building Programs

Two special programs within the conference are designed for future analytics leaders. The Young Researcher Connection, for junior faculty and young industry researchers, provides participants with insights into the critical problems facing business, helping them to broaden their research agendas and providing important networking contacts.

The INFORMS Professional Colloquium offersafull-day,interactiveworkshoponreal-world career guidance for master’s and Ph.D. students who are interested in practice careers. The colloquium will be held April 18, and students can stay for the remainder of the conference.

Participants in both programs can register for the full conference at a steep discounted rate of $355; they must be nominated and selected to attend. Limited financial aid is available for the colloquium. The nomination deadline is March 30.

Edelman Competition:
The Best in Applied Analytics
Six finalists will compete for the most prestigious prize in applied O.R., the Franz Edelman Award. The competition will take place April 19 and is open to all conference registrants. That evening, the six finalists will be honored and the 2010 winner announced at a gala ceremony and banquet. The winners of two other important practice prizes – the INFORMS Prize and the Daniel H. Wagner Prize – will also be announced.Edelman finalists include: Delaware River Basin Commission (U.S.), Deutsche Post DHL (Germany), INDEVAL (Mexico), New Brunswick Dept. of Transportation (Canada), Procter & Gamble (U.S.) and Sasol (South Africa).

Technology Workshops And Soft Skills Program

While the conference formally kicks off with a Newcomers Orientation and Welcome Reception on April 18, the entire “pre-conference” day is packed with valuable learning opportunities. Attendees can take advantage of in-depth technology workshops presented by software solutions companies, as well as a special workshop on soft skills.

Analytics Magazine Thought-Provoking Keynote Presentations
Analytics Magazine Mark W. ShaferMark W. Shafer, senior vice president of revenue management and analytics, Walt Disney Parks and ResortsPresentation: “Game-Changing Analytics: A Disney Perspective”

Richard O’NeillRichard O’Neill, Chief Economic Advisor, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

Presentation: “Better, Smarter Electricity Markets: How Better Optimization Software Can Save Billions”

Analytics Magazine Analytics Magazine

The Soft Skills Workshop provides a half-day or full-day training in working successfully with business decision-makers and the people who implement decision analysis and O.R. solutions. The morning session focuses on working with individuals and the afternoon session focuses on groups. The sessions are designed to complement one another, so attending the full day will provide a comprehensive review.

Early Registration Rate

Early registration rates of $870 for INFORMS members and $970 for nonmembers are available until April 1. Organizations can take advantage of a team discount rate of $715 (by April 1) when they send three or more attendees. All meal functions (breakfasts, lunches, breaks, the Sunday reception and the Monday Edelman banquet) are included in all registration fees.

The conference venue, the Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek Resort, is an upscale complex locatedinaprivatenaturalsettingon482acresand surrounded on three sides by Walt Disney World Resort. The reservation cut-off date is March 12.

For continuing updates, information on hotel reservations and to register, go to http://, phone 800-343-0062 or 401-722-2595 or visit



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