Analytics Process


Greg H. Parlier

Institute for Defense Analyses

The State Of Operations Research In The United States Army: A 75th Anniversary Perspective

Seventy-five years ago, on the eve of the Battle of Britain, scientists working with Royal Air Force Fighter Command coined the term “operational research” for the first time. Now, on this diamond anniversary of the marriage between the art of warfare and the application of the scientific method, the US Army is experiencing another post-war drawdown at the conclusion of more than a decade of conflict. At a time when OR – both the practice and professional community – appears to be at a crossroads, the current trajectory of this unique professional discipline must be properly aligned to confront existing and emerging challenges. Indeed, several ongoing and emerging conditions now warrant a comprehensive evaluation of the current state of OR within the US Army. This presentation offers a framework for such a review and also addresses past, present, and future practice:
– Enduring principles are derived and applied to recent combat experience
– Opportunities for applying strategic analytics to present challenges are described
– Future directions are suggested to guide transformational endeavors during a period of inevitably disruptive change
– Organization, doctrine, education and professional development are addressed
– Recommendations are offered to resurrect, restore, renew, and transform Operations Research for the US Army


Greg is a retired US Army Colonel with service in over 20 foreign countries. He was a combat commander, served 8 years in the 82nd Airborne Division, and completed five operational deployments. With over 40 years experience in leadership and management, strategic planning and organizational innovation, his unique qualifications and expertise include building, developing, and leading multi-disciplinary teams confronting increasingly more demanding transformational challenges in large commands and complex organizations. Since retiring, he has been an advisor to foreign governments and consultant to US government organizations, commercial firms, and not-for-profit research agencies. His significant OR contributions include teaching, research, publications, and professional service as an academy professor, university research scientist, and professional society leader at local, state, regional, national, and international levels. Greg is an Edelman Laureate, Koopman Prize recipient, Inter-University Seminar on Armed Forces and Society Fellow, and Past President of the Military Applications Society of INFORMS.


Tom Rust

Systems Scientist
Veterans Affairs

Dynamic Simulation To Improve Population Health: The V. A. And Hepatitis C

As health technology progresses, new treatment options become available faster than the experience needed to effectively manage them. Healthcare organizations are often “flying blind,” with the desire to achieve lofty goals, but without applicable management experience, evidence-based best practices, or national standards to guide them toward effective implementation.
In this talk, you’ll learn how the Veteran’s Health Administration (VHA) used dynamic simulation to improve resourcing and operations necessary to meeting one such stretch goal: Achieving “100%” in treating Hepatitis C infected veterans through using newly available, much more effective, and much more costly, medications.
Rust will describe how simulation was able to assist decision-makers at multiple levels in the organization. Simulation specifically added value in three areas:
• Understanding the impacts of alternative enterprise-wide performance measures
• Validating heuristics for patient treatment prioritization
• Right-sizing resources at individual facilities
Patients with Hepatitis C couldn’t wait for the VHA to learn from experience, they needed VHA to make the right decisions today. Simulation compressed years of costly learning into months, revealed unintended consequences of current management guidelines, and built leaders’ confidence that new national resourcing policy, clinical treatment guidelines, and performance measures would put VHA on the path to “achieve 100%.”


Tom Rust believes that all healthcare professionals should be able to provide the best possible patient care, but their training, drive, and purpose are often constrained by the complex systems they work in. He believes that our failure to engage this complexity is at the root of many of our current quality, access, and cost challenges in healthcare.
Rust uses system dynamics and other modeling methods to untangle the interdependencies that make up our healthcare system. These simulations help us understand how the components of a system work within an interconnected whole, both in the hospital and beyond, and how these interactions are responsible for creating the outcomes we see. Rust also uses modeling to build this capacity for systems thinking in others: Not just building models to provide specific answers, but building models that inspire better questions.
He graduated from Worcester Polytechnic Institute with a PhD in System Dynamics and is currently engaged by the Veterans Health Administration as a systems engineer at the New England Veterans Engineering Resource Center. His current efforts span incorporating systems thinking into VHA strategic planning efforts, using wearable technologies to accelerate quality improvement efforts, and applying natural language processing to identify conflicts and gaps in VA policy.


Subhashish Samaddar

Professor of Business Analytics & Operations Management, Managerial Sciences Department
J. Mack Robinson College of Business, Georgia State University

Presenting And Communicating Analytics Results Effectively For Senior Management

In most businesses the sponsors of analytics projects are made up of C-suite members and the higher management team who are generally not trained deeply in analytics and its methods. Their focus, rightly, is on the strategic interpretation and managerial implications, and value creation due to the analytics effort. One of the major challenges faced by an analytics team or specialist in the industry is to be able to frame, present, contextualize, and communicate the results of their analysis to this highly important audience. We describe and demonstrate effective ways of presenting and communication the results to this audience effectively. We offer effective methods, including but not limited to just visualization, and real examples of various situations where a particular way of presenting astronomically changes the overall effectiveness. We have gathered real examples over the years working with our client companies. Audience can take away our demonstration and apply in their own work to improve their presentation effectiveness right away.


Subhashish Samaddar, Ph.D., CAP, is a professor of Business Analytics and Operations Mangement in the Managerial Sciences Department at the J. Mack Robinson College of Business, Georgia State University. His general research specializes in Operations and Knowledge management, Analytics, information technology and decision strategy. A 20+ year veteran in operations and business analytics he currently teaches business analytics and research methods for the college’s PHD program. Earlier he has served as the Acaedemic Director of the MS in Analytics program, as the Director of the Ph.D. program in Decision Sciences. Collectively, Dr. Samaddar’s research and teaching, and consulting work focuses on multidisciplinary approaches for enhancing organizational effectiveness and management of complex supply systems. A member of INFORMS and Decision Sciences Institute, he holds an honorary CAP (Certified Analytics Professional). He recently helped INFORMS in creating the certification exam and he currently co-chairs INFORMS guide committee for CAP. His research focuses on managing operations, technology and knowledge management systems for enhancing organizational effectiveness. Specifically, he is an international expert in management of complex productions and supply chain/ network systems, and technology infrastructure and knowledge management support systems. His teaching and research has been funded by grants from Georgia Department of Transportation, State Farm Insurance Company, Microsoft, Texas Instrument, Center for Disease Control, University of Paris I, Western Illinois University, and Georgia State University. His research have received multiple best paper awards and have been published in several scholarly journals such as Management Science, Manufacturing and Service Operations Management, Journal of Operations Management, Decision Sciences, International Journal of Flexible Manufacturing Systems, European Journal of Operational Research, International Journal of Operations and Production Management, Omega, Communications of the ACM, Interfaces, International Journal of Computer Applications in Technology, Human Systems Management, Marketing Intelligence and Planning, Industrial Management and Data Systems, and others. Dr. Samaddar excels in educating current and future corporate managers and business analysts in the areas of operation management, technology management, and knowledge management. A member of the Decision Sciences Institute and INFORMS, he is currently serving in the Editorial Review Boards of Journal of Operations Management, Decision Sciences, and Journal of Strategic Information Management. He has served as the Chair of the Information Technology Strategy Committee of the Decision Sciences Institute, and has consulted with several companies such as Fortis Insurance Group, Ford Motor Company, NTN-Bower, State Farm Insurance, Delta Airlines, multiple banks, private health organizations and several county agencies in the State of Illinois and others, on systemic improvements. He also served as the Chief Knowledge Officer of VoiceCore Corporation – an Internet telephony and infrastructure startup in Atlanta.


Harrison Schramm

Principal Analyst – CANA Advisors, LLC

Fifty Minutes With The Five Minute Analyst

The Five Minute Analyst, appearing in INFORMS/Analytics Magazine, views everyday problems through an analytic lens. This talk is a ‘best of’ retrospective, and will cover diverse topics to include Markov Chain approaches to British Period Drama, Mean Field Approximations to battles in Star Wars, data analysis of bicycle and differential scoring predictions for college football games. Additionally, this talk will touch on topics that were considered and ultimately not included in Five Minute Analyst.


Harrison Schramm, CAP, PStat, is a recently retired veteran of the US Navy, where he served as a Principal Analyst and Military Assistant Professor at the Naval Postgraduate School. His peer-reviewed work has appeared in Journal of Mathematical Biosciences, Naval Research Logistics and Military Operations Research. He also served as a Vice President of the Military Operations Research Society (MORS) and as the Analytics Cluster Chair for the INFORMS 2015 and 2016 Annual Meetings. He is a Certified Analytics Professional (CAP) and Accredited Professional Statistician (PStat).
He writes the “Five Minute Analyst”, a recurring column in INFORMS/Analytics magazine.
Once upon a time Harrison was a Helicopter pilot and was awarded an Air Medal and the Naval Helicopter Association’s Aircrew of the year.


Eric Stephens

Strategic Data Analyst
Vanderbilt Medical Center

Creating Actionable Analytics To Drive Frontline Decision Making

With all the data that is generated at a medical center, what are the analyses that can help frontline leaders make optimal decisions, and how can those analyses be presented so that they can understand them? This is a question facing every medical center in the US. The goal of our analytics department is to drive optimal decision making through the use of data. We need to be both quantitative enough to perform the analyses, but also skilled in the specific business problems to ensure that our solutions properly address the issues at hand. Our team is a more analytic version of what Tom Davenport calls “light quants”.


Eric Stephens is a strategic data analyst currently working in the healthcare industry in Nashville, Tennessee. In January 2015, he joined Vanderbilt University Medical Center as an Operations Analyst in the hospital’s newly-formed Strategic and Operations Analytics group. Prior to Vanderbilt, Eric spent 13 years with SESAC, a music copyright organization, most recently holding the position of Associate Director of Research & Analytics. Mr. Stephens is a member of the American Statistical Association, the Institute for Operations Research and Management Science (INFORMS), Leadership Health Care, and Toastmasters International, and holds a Master of Business Administration degree from Tennessee Tech University as well as a Graduate Certificate in Applied Statistics from the University of Tennessee. He is a Certified Analytics Professional (CAP®), and is active in the Nashville analytics community through his role as the co-chair of the Nashville Technology Council’s Analytics Peer Network. In addition to his role at Vanderbilt, Eric is an Adjunct Professor at Lipscomb University in Nashville, where he teaches courses in business analytics and statistical methods for various graduate programs in the College of Computing and Technology. He also serves as a technical presentation consultant to various organizations in the Nashville area.