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Analytics Magazine

Society sets sail for Seattle

By Erick Wikum

This much is clear: Eleven months from now, members of the Analytics Society will gather in Seattle to take part in the 2019 INFORMS Annual Meeting. There, the society will conduct its business meeting, during which activities and accomplishments for the past year will be recounted and a new leadership team, led by current Vice President Alan Briggs, will take the reins. In the meantime, what path will the society take in its journey to Seattle?

On Dec. 14, just prior to press time for this newsletter, the society leaders conducted a strategic planning session to answer just that question. As input, the leadership sought the advice of the seven past-presidents of the society. Among the specific questions to be addressed are the following:

1. What is our mission? Our website suggests that we will help organizations to engage in the effective use of analytics and to advance along the analytics maturity path. During our business meeting at the recent 2018 INFORMS Annual Meeting in Phoenix, former society president Don Kleinmuntz explained that in forming the Analytics [then] Section, INFORMS sought to provide for the professional development of individuals.

2. How specifically will the society engage and serve the needs of its members, including nearly 900 regular and retired members and more than 1,600 student members?

3. Which of the society’s current initiatives – awards, recognition, regional meetings, national meetings, etc. – should be stopped, started or continued?

4. What resources (volunteers, funds, etc.) are needed to support the society’s agenda?

According to Google maps, the trip from Phoenix to Seattle is 1,431 miles by car. This journey of 1,431 miles begins with a single step. In the coming months, I will be sharing with you the steps that the society is taking so that, when we arrive in Seattle, we can share a compelling story of what we have accomplished in 2019. Feel free to share your perspective on the society’s direction with me anytime (

Erick Wikum is president of the Analytics Society of INFORMS.

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INFORMS Computing Society Conference
Jan. 6-8, 2019; Knoxville, Tenn.

INFORMS Conference on Business Analytics & Operations Research
April 14-16, 2019; Austin, Texas

INFORMS International Conference
June 9-12, 2019; Cancun, Mexico

INFORMS Marketing Science Conference
June 20-22; Rome, Italy

INFORMS Applied Probability Conference
July 2-4, 2019; Brisbane, Australia

INFORMS Healthcare Conference
July 27-29, 2019; Boston, Mass.

2019 INFORMS Annual Meeting
Oct. 20-23, 2019; Seattle, Wash.

Winter Simulation Conference
Dec. 8-11, 2019: National Harbor, Md.


Advancing the Analytics-Driven Organization
Jan. 28–31, 2019, 1 p.m.– 5 p.m. (live online)


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