Research

Delivering Data Science at Southwest Airlines

By Robert Morison, Justin Bundick, Jul 19, 2019

Available to Research & Advisory Network Clients Only

Southwest Airlines recently launched an Enterprise Data Science Center with the objectives of expanding data science capability, deploying it broadly across the company, and creating competitive advantage. Design of the Center relied upon a series of strategic and tactical conversations with IIA Experts on analytics organization structures. Today, Southwest’s Center features disciplined delivery processes performed by data scientists in clearly defined roles who engage with the business in flexible ways. IIA’s Robert Morison collaborated with Southwest’s Justin Bundick, Director of the Enterprise Data Science Center, to capture the story.

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Sanford Health Becomes Data-Driven

By Robert Morison, Jun 26, 2019

Available to Research & Advisory Network Clients Only

Sanford Health is a major health system with over 49,000 employees, 187,000 health plan members, and $6.1B in annual revenue. The organization has been pursuing a growth strategy for the last two decades. Milestones include: merging with a series of regional health providers, incorporating the North Dakota Public Employees Retirement System (NDPRS) members into its health plan, and most recently the 2019 merger with Good Samaritan Society, the largest not-for-profit provider of senior housing and services in the United States.

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Inquiry Response: The Gap Between Buzzwords and Reality

By IIA Expert, Jun 17, 2019

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Inquiry:

Leadership is disheartened because they don’t see enough movement with advanced analytics and artificial intelligence (AI), and we’ve been mandated to set up an AI COE. The problem is that their examples of AI are really examples of automation. There’s a gap between technology awareness and reality. How do we work around this?

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Modernizing Analytics for Law Enforcement

By Steve Shirley, Captain Steve Serrao, Robert Morison, May 29, 2019

Technologically, law enforcement is an exciting field these days. Vast new sources of electronic data and advanced analytical methods offer opportunities not only to resolve individual investigations in record time, but also to discover patterns of activity to exploit in crime prevention. To seize these opportunities, many agencies are modernizing their information and analytics platforms. To explore the pragmatic challenges and potential benefits of modernization, IIA spoke with Steve Shirley, Head of Customer Advisory for the SAS Justice and Public Safety Team, and Captain Steve Serrao, Senior Customer Advisor for the SAS Justice and Public Safety Team.

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Analytics Fluency – How Optum Is Boosting Six Critical Competencies

By Alex Barclay, May 08, 2019

Available to Research & Advisory Network Clients Only

Optum has launched a number of initiatives to boost analytics fluency, especially among its business leaders and team members. The goal is to equip individuals in business units, operations and other key parts of Optum with the knowledge and skills needed to effectively engage, employ and capitalize on analytics. While our efforts are a work in progress, we view analytics fluency as a critical prerequisite to “competing on analytics” and key to our mission of transforming health care. The next sections provide an overview of Optum and the challenges we’re addressing in health care, while subsequent sections describe the motivation for and our experience with fluency-building initiatives to date.

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GE’s Path to Emerging Analytics Technologies

By Mano Mannoochahr, May 01, 2019

Available to Research & Advisory Network Clients Only

GE aspires to be an algorithmic business, but recognizes this transition will not occur overnight. It will occur in stages as the company develops new capabilities and implements multiple emerging technologies. This transition requires building solid foundational systems and encouraging broad experimentation and innovation using new analytics technologies.

Beyond getting experience with next-generation technologies, transitioning to an algorithmic business requires cultivating an enterprise-wide data culture and changing how people work throughout the company, particularly on the front line.

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Portland 2019 Analytics Symposium Video: Matt Levinson

By Matt Levinson, Apr 17, 2019

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Nike Gets Up and Running With Machine Learning and AI

Embarking on an AI journey starts with executive leadership and strategic vision. It requires alignment of the culture and capabilities. At Nike, the key elements have been business leaders wanting to be data driven, demanding deeper information, and being committed to enabling the organization.

The first step in getting up and running at Nike was unification of data science activities. For example, previous efforts were in silos by product group, such as a running app. This resulted in consumers having multiple Nike digital IDs. Having one ID per person was essential. Also important was unification of reporting so everyone at Nike was looking at the same numbers.

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Portland 2019 Analytics Symposium Video: Mark Madsen

By Mark Madsen, Apr 17, 2019

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The Black Box: Interpretability, Reproducibility, and Responsibility

Historically, a model produced a result that was interpreted by a person who made a decision. In recent years, as the amount of data and number of decisions have grown, agency has been taken from humans and given to machines, which make decisions in a black box. Black boxes raise issues around explainability (or interpretability)—being able to explain how a decision was made—and reproducibility —being able to use the same data and model to make an identical decision.

The reality is that being able to explain complex decisions is extremely difficult, and may not be necessary. And, being able to reproduce decisions is also very challenging, as data, tools, software, models, and environments change. Any single change can have a ripple effect that changes everything. The real issues are trust, reliability, and repeatability, particularly in high-stakes decisions. Building trust starts with IT policies, governance, and infrastructure, to enable preserving history and allow for understanding and reproducing decisions. This is the key to gaining trust and scaling analytics.

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Building The Analytics Factory at Deere

As a 180-year-old company with 65,000 employees in 30 countries, Deere is the stark opposite of a digital native. Incorporating analytics into different parts of the company has required significant transformation on both the technical and people sides. But all changes have been grounded in the company’s foundational values.

Transformation has required partnerships between the analytics function and other stakeholders, including IT, manufacturing, sales, legal, and more. Partnerships and flexibility have been necessary in reworking traditional processes to become faster and more iterative, and in revising governance and decision making.

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Portland 2019 Analytics Symposium Video: Cathy Huyghe

By Cathy Huyghe, Apr 17, 2019

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Uncorking Analytics: Moving the Wine Industry Towards Data-Driven Decisions

The wine industry is thousands of years old, and has always been based on artistry, taste, love, and romance. The culture and practices of the wine industry are deeply embedded and slow to change. But as in all industries, analytics is changing the game. Wineries can now tap into new sources of data to better understand market dynamics in countries across the globe and can better understand consumer preferences along multiple dimensions. This is impacting decisions about R&D, production, and marketing.

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