June 23-26, 2013
INFORMS Healthcare 2013
October 6–9, 2013
2013 INFORMS Annual Meeting
June 10-14, 2013
Predictive Analytics World
September 8-14, 2013
2013 ASE/IEEE International Conference on Big Data
“Data science begins with data. Nothing gets built without data. Data science continues with science. Accurate, persuasive and effective prediction requires patterns. The process of discovering that pattern is science. Any product worth building requires a reliable pattern to exist in the data.”
– Christopher Berry, co-founder and chief science officer of Authintic, in his article on recommendation engines in the current issue of Analytics.
Analytics Section of INFORMS NewsInnovative Applications in Analytics Award
The Innovative Applications in Analytics Award, sponsored by the INFORMS Section on Analytics, recognizes creative and unique developments, applications or combinations of analytical techniques used in practice. The prize promotes the awareness of the value of analytics techniques in unusual applications or in creative combination to provide unique insights and/or business value.Read More
Special ArticlesBig data paying off for big companies
A new research report, “Big Data in Big Companies,” describes how 20 large firms benefit from big data projects. Report co-authors Tom Davenport of the International Institute for Analytics (IIA) and Jill Dyché of SAS, the leader in business analytics, explore how these companies have deployed analytics to generate value from their big data assets.Read More
Special ArticlesContinuing education courses for analytics professionals
The Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences’ (INFORMS) Continuing Education program will offer its first two courses this fall. These intensive, two-day, in-person courses will provide analytical professionals with key skills, tools and methods that can be implemented immediately in a work environment.Read More
Making a decision is easy; the ability to consistently make the right decision when the stakes are high and the insight is low is a rare trait and helps explain why C-level execs have historically been paid the big bucks. Of course, the history books – and newspapers, business magazines, blogs and bar backrooms – are also full of stories of well-paid CEOs and other execs who made at least one terrible decision that brought down a multi-million-dollar business, but those are stories for another day. (By the way, if you have an analytical failure story and want to share it with our readers, perhaps as a cautionary tale or a lesson learned, please send it my way. You’ll go to the front of the line.)
Getting back to the issue at hand, organizational decision-making is tricky business because the decision-maker is often faced with seemingly equal options. In a tough economic environment when you can’t have it both ways, which way do you go? Or maybe you can’t have it all but you can have some of both, so how far do you go in each direction, knowing that the rope (i.e., the budget) that binds the two will only stretch so far? As our cover points out, corporate decision-making can thus be seen as an artful, high-wire balancing act over tradeoffs.
For example, Mu Zhu takes the balancing act to new heights in “Predictive analytics: Managing fundamental tradeoffs” (page 18). When using predictive analytics, Chu stresses the importance of understanding and controlling three tradeoffs: “bias” vs. “variance,” “strength” vs. “diversity” and “where” vs. “how.”
In “Total cost of ownership” (page 22), an article on enterprise risk management, Lutz Schiermeyer again mentions tradeoffs when comparing the “cost and risk of migration toward an ERM landscape on one side with the ongoing operational costs and lack of flexibility to operate the current, disparate risk management systems on the other side.”
Besides complexity and tradeoffs, these and other decision problems presented in this issue all have one other thing in common: the ability and opportunity for analytics to solve them.