Contributed by Chad Austin, SAS Internal Communications
The Institute for Operations Research and Management Science (INFORMS) is historically the world’s largest society for professionals in the field of operations research (OR) and management science. Recently, Manoj Chari, Senior R&D Director responsible for operations research at SAS, served on a panel that helped make the decision for INFORMS to add a focus on business analytics to its mission.
To reflect the heightened awareness of analytics, INFORMS established a formal Analytics section and rebranded its spring conference focused on practitioners as the INFORMS Conference on Business Analytics and Operations Research.
“The marketplace is finally starting to understand the value of analytics, which SAS has understood for a long, long time,” said Manoj. The focus on analytics attracted a record-breaking audience at INFORMS’ most recent gathering held in mid-April in Chicago. There, several representatives from SAS presenting and participating in the conference had the opportunity to highlight just why SAS = analytics.
The standing room only crowd at Rhadika Kuklarni's Operations Research presentation.Manoj’s presentation titled “Analytical Solutions at SAS Institute: An OR Perspective” was part of the INFORMS Roundtable, a group of leaders in OR chartered to address the needs of practitioners, and Vice President of Advanced Analytics at SAS Radhika Kulkarni delivered a standing-room-only presentation titled “Data-Driven Decisions: The Role of OR in Business Analytics.” One blogger from the conference wrote that Kulkarni’s “enthusiasm for Analytics and OR was infectious.”
In addition to the many presenters from SAS, companies such as Proctor and Gamble, Best Buy, Merrill Lynch/Bank of America, and Walmart/Sam’s Club, also made presentations during the event, highlighting how they use analytics software, which further underscored the value of analytics.
“The conference was a great opportunity for interaction with a broader range of attendees than ever before,” Manoj said. “Our message that ‘SAS equals analytics’ resonated with this audience since they realized that SAS is one of the only solutions that can deliver an end-to-end offering.”
SAS Chief Technology Officer Keith Collins will deliver a similar message as a plenary speaker at the INFORMS Annual Conference, an even larger event that will be held in Charlotte this November and will feature an Analytics Cluster, chaired by Chari.