Beginning, Middle, and End – Part II

Following the pattern I identified before, day two of my INFORMS Analytics conference seems to be the middle–that stage between the beginning and end where growth and development happens.

Monday: First things first. Congratulations to the UPS Operations Research team for winning the Franz Edelman this year at the INFORMS Analytics Conference in Orlando, FL. More on that in a bit.

If day one was devoted to beginnings, specifically helping practitioners get started at the beginning of their careers, day two is a day for personal growth and development. Each year, I look forward to attending this conference to see first-hand some of the world-class implementations of data science, advanced analytics, and operations research. This year’s conference did not disappoint. Among other things, I chose to attend two Edelman finalist presentations: the New York City Police Department (NYPD) for Domain Awareness System (DAS) and UPS for UPS On Road Integrated Optimization and Navigation (Orion) Project. These two projects are very interesting to me for different reasons. In the former, I have recently been very interested in the interface between behavioral science and data science. The NYPD’s advanced analytic tool set is “a unique combination of analytics and information technology, including pattern recognition, machine learning, and data visualization” designed to “to combat terrorism and improve crime-fighting effectiveness.” They’re approach is innovative, and their impact is dramatic. In the latter, I started my career in management at UPS (and they helped pay for grad school!), ultimately working nights as a delivery route planner while I finished my master’s at NC State. I’ve followed the ORION project since my very first introduction to the UPS Operations Research team, and I’ve been a real fan of the work they have accomplished.

Both organizations (and the other finalists as well), have made profound impacts in the world and it’s exciting to see them recognized among their peers for their amazing contributions. I can honestly say I do not envy the position the judges must have faced, having to choose from some really strong competition. I’m excited to take the lessons that were shared and find ways to apply them in my own career and practice of advanced analytics. Seeing and learning from these highly regarded teams was a real investment in myself.