This is my first time ever attending the INFORMS Conference on Business Analytics, and so far it has been a delightful experience: great talks, interesting ideas, and wonderful camaraderie! However, the one thing that has really stood out to me—especially as I interact and network with my fellow attendees—is the wide variety of backgrounds and skill sets that we collectively bring to this practice of analytics. We come into this career via many different paths: some from OR, some from statistics, some from business, and some from even more unorthodox disciplines (most people don’t know that my first Master’s degree is in Music Theory and Composition of all things!). Regardless of how we got here, it is somewhat awe-inspiring to consider that we are all united by the single goal of utilizing data for the purpose of improving our respective businesses as much as possible. It reminds me of the Latin phrase “E Pluribus Unum”—”out of many, one”—that appears on our currency and is symbolic of the unification of the original thirteen states into a single nation. To me, it also serves as a way to describe how the unifying practice of analytics has brought us all together for these few days in sunny Florida.
See you for day 2 of the conference!