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Future Meetings

An OR State of Mind - The Benefits of an OR Approach to Continuous Improvement Programmes.

Venue: School of Mathematics, Cardiff University
Speaker: Jon Richards, Nicola Drake (Quintec) and Felicity McLeister (OR Society)
Date: Wednesday, 24 February 2016 at 17:30 - 19:00

The next SWORDS seminar is scheduled for the 24th of February in the School of Mathematics, Cardiff University. Drinks will be available in the Internet Cafe from 5.30pm with the seminar commencing at 5.45pm. 


Pro Bono O.R. is a scheme operated by The OR Society which places skilled analysts in short terms projects with third sector organisations across the UK.  A team from Thales Cyber and Consulting Services conducted the following Pro Bono O.R. project with Diabetes UK:


An OR State of Mind - The Benefits of an OR Approach to Continuous Improvement Programmes.


In any working environment, especially as an organisation expands it is easy to 'stick with what works' and repeat successful processes. These processes are often duplicated with minor tweaks and become part of 'business as usual'.

When the organisation is challenged to conduct improvements it can be very difficult to analyse these processes to identify what can be improved and where changes would provide benefits.


Based on the fundamentals of Business Change and Process Management this Pro Bono O.R project demonstrates the benefits of an OR approach to identifying challenges and deriving improvements to business processes.  This presentation discusses the analysis of business processes and the utilisation of all available information and people to derive observations and recommendations in direct support of the continuous improvement programme.


The presentation will conclude with the Pro Bono O.R. Project Manager, Felicity McLeister giving an overview of the scheme, some current volunteer roles and details of how you can get involved.

Structural Modelling the Mis-selling of Retail Banking Products

Venue: School of Mathematics, Cardiff University
Speaker: Dr Richard Wood, Lloyds Banking Group
Date: Wednesday, 09 March 2016 TBC

This SWORDS seminar will be given on the 9th of March by Dr Richard Wood of Lloyds Banking Group on Structural Mis-selling of Retail Banking Products. Drinks will be available from the Internet cafe in the School of Mathematics, Cardiff University from 5.30pm and the sminar will begin at 5.45pm. 


Alongside market and credit risk, operational risk represents a significant exposure for financial firms, against which large amounts of capital are held. Operational risk is defined as the risk of loss resulting from inadequate or failed processes, people and systems or from external events. This includes scenarios such as rogue trading, sanctions breach, mis-selling, cyber fraud, and terrorist attack. The standard method to assess capital requirement for each such scenario is a well-known actuarial technique - frequency/severity modelling. Here the numbers of losses per year are probabilistically combined with the loss amount given event occurrence to yield a distribution of annual loss, from which the 99.9% quantile provides the capital requirement as per the Basel II/III regulation. Rather than calibrate the frequency and severity distributions through the typical means of using loss data or expert opinion, which is not necessarily risk sensitive and limits the extent of facilitating risk management consideration, this study develops a structural approach in which these distributions are determined using bespoke models built on the underlying risk drivers. As an example, product mis-selling in Retail banking is considered. For this scenario, the frequency distribution is constructed using a Bayesian belief network and the severity distribution using system dynamics with elements of queuing theory and multi-objective optimisation. This talk describes the approach taken to this end, and illustrates how the model can be used to estimate capital for a particular crystallisation of the scenario involving packaged bank accounts.

Visit to Welsh Water

Date: Wednesday, 04 May 2016 at 14:00 - 16:00

The Welsh Water site visit will include the following:

1.            Igloo 360 demonstration

2.            Modelling bacti failures at reservoirs

3.            Treatment Performance Forecast (TPF)

4.            Smart Hub overview

5.            Smart scheduling

6.            Rant and Rave


And in more detail...

1.            Igloo 360 is a circular pod which projects a 360 degree image onto the walls. It has the capability of google street map and intricate details of sites

2.            Bacti failures can occur in the water at reservoirs and modelling the probability of a sample failing at each reservoir

3.            Looking at determinants at treatment works to establish causing factors and provide a score to each work

4.            The Smart Hub is an area of the company that looks at predicting failures/problems before they happen to reduce disruption to the customer

5.            Optimising tanker deliveries around sites to minimise the number of tankers, fuel emissions and cost of hiring contractors

6.            If a customer contacts us we invite them to provide us with feedback of our customer service via our Rant and Rave system. From this we can establish how to improve via sentiment analysis