Today is the second day of the conference and is expected to be the busiest day of the conference. At the breakfast just prior to the opening plenary talk, I pulled out my badge schedule and began circling all of the sessions that I wanted to attend. After a few moments, I stopped circling and took a look at the paper to see that it was impossible to attend everything that I wanted to! I decided to begin by focusing in a single track – T7 Analytics Process – and then get some diversity later in the day. I must also mention that tonight is the Edelman Gala, which I am very excited about.
The day began with Jim Diamond’s Plenary Talk describing the complex problems facing the airline industry and the impact analytics (OR & ML) can have. Overall, Mr. Diamond is very open about his uncertainty on whether analytics can bring a competitive advantage to airlines. However, he feels strongly that we must continue to try. He used an example flight from Las Vegas (LAS) to Miami (MIA) to walk us through several of those problems and the ensuing solutions that they have created to address them. Problems begin with flight assignments and tends to drive most of the other problems in operations, customer service, pricing, and technical operations. He described an Operation Control Center that they recently built to centralize the creation and ownership of decision support tools and data analysis operations. One interesting tool he described was an automated re-booking tool that can handle rerouting 40 planes of customers in about 8 minutes.
I will address the T7 Analytics Process sessions in upcoming posts. Cheers! Dave