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Analytics Network - Join in!

Welcome to the Analytics Network pages on which we’ll be posting comments, information, news of our events and activities, reports of meetings and other interesting features.

    Join the Analytics Network - Be kept informed about events, conferences, publications and online resources.
    Comment - Please feel free to login (at the top) and add your own comments below, including links to blogs or anything you think the Analytics community will find interesting or challenging.

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(Registering is free and available to both members of the society and the general public.)

Recent Blog Posts

Friday, 2 Dec 2016
Louise Allison

The Alan Turing Institute is extending an invitation to join them and some of the country’s leading scientists - including government scientists - in their third series of flagship events – the Turing Lectures.  These events are free to attend and offer fantastic networking opportunities, as well as informative talks by distinguished scientists from around the world.  

The next Turing lecture is as follows:

Turing Lecture: Stats, Decision Making and Privacy – 5 December – with UK National Statistician, John Pullinger, and Distinguished Scientist at Microsoft Research, Cynthia Dwork.

In the latest event in the series on data science in the public realm, the UK’s National Statistician, John Pullinger, will explain how data is helping Government and others make better decisions, from the National Census and many other sources, firmly based on evidence. Reflecting the importance of data ethics and privacy to making data as freely available as possible, in the second lecture Microsoft Research’s Cynthia Dwork will discuss the technical challenges of privacy and how new research may help increase access to valuable data in a way that safeguards the privacy of data owners.  

If you can’t make it in person, you can register to livestream, or subscribe to the YouTube channel where all recordings will be made available.  To find out more about events at The Turing and how to register, please visit the website.

Monday, 16 May 2016
Sayara Beg

On the meeting of 23rd May from 18:30 to 20:30, the OR Society sponsored Toastmasters International Club, Data Science Speakers, will be holding its Chartership ceremony.

On this special occasion, we have the honour of hearing the winners of the International Speech Contest and the Evaluation Contest that recently took place, as special guests.

We are delighted to announce our special guests will be:

- Jeremy Robinson - the 2015 District Winner of the International Speech Competition who went on to compete at the Toastmaster International World Champions in Las Vegas (expenses paid by TI).  He is a member of a club in our area.  Come and listen to his winning speech.

- Thien Nguyen Phan - the recently declared 2016 District Winner of the International Speech Competition who will be going on to compete at the Toastmaster World Champions in Washington (expenses paid by TI).  She is a member of a club in our Division.  Come and listen to her winning speech.

- Meena Nayar - the recently declared 2016 Division Winner of the 2016 Evaluations Contest.  She is a member of a club in our Division

- Sue Sutherland - our very own club member and Club contest winner of the 2016 Evaluations Contest. 

With such a line up of winners, it will be an event that should not be missed.  See the winners, hear the winners, meet the winners.

The first half of the session will be winners session with some tabletopics for audiences to participate in and the second half of the session will be networking with nibbles and drinks.

Register as a guest on the club portal to tell us you are comming:

Tuesday, 5 Apr 2016
Sayara Beg

VenuePivotal Labs - 4th Floor, Bentima House, 168-172 Old Street, London EC1V 9BP

SpeakerGPAN & Pivotal Labs

Date: Wednesday, 27 April 2016 at 18:00 - 20:00

Pivotal Labs London and the Government Predictive Analytics Network invites you to a new event, aiming to combine the knowledge and experience of Public and Private sector practitioners of Predictive Analytics and Data Science. We look forward to welcoming you. Abstracts and speaker bios are below.

Public Sector - Understanding prison violence – a data science journey

Reducing prison violence is a priority issue for the National Offender Management Service. Although prison violence has increased recently, the Agency are committed that this should not be the new norm. We are committed to using analysis and research to understand what causes prison violence and how it can be reduced. In the last two years, we have undertaken a significant programme of analytical work to support NOMS’ Violence Reduction Project. Over the same window, we have built our data science capacity and capability to tackle this difficult issue. David’s talk will set out NOMS’ data science journey – the techniques they have used and the challenges they have faced.

Public Sector - Presenter

David Dorrell is the head of Offender Analytics & Research at National Offender Management Service.

Private Sector - From data science to smart apps

The talk will focus on how Data Science is done at Pivotal Labs. Pivotal Labs have been practicingExtreme Programming (XP) practices successfully in building software. By showcasing a live project, this talk will highlight how these XP practices are also applicable to the world of data science. 

Private Sector - Presenter

Megha Agarwal is a Data Scientist at Pivotal Labs. Prior to that she was doing risk modelling in a financial techology startup. 

Register via Eventbrite:


Wednesday, 16 Dec 2015
Sayara Beg

Analytics Network visits Cranfield University

Venue:  Building 53 Seminar Room, Cranfield University
Speaker: Sayara Beg and Daniel Sanders
Date: Wednesday, 06 January 2016 at 14:00 - 16:45

Visit of Sayara Beg (chair) and other members of the Operational Research Society’s Analytics Network ( ) to Cranfield University
6th January Building 53 Seminar Room, Cranfield University
Host Daniel Sandars (
  • 14:00-14:30 Arrivals
  • 14:30-14:40 Introductions
  • 14:40-14:55 Sayara Beg, Analytics Network = Presentation & Discussion:
    • 'A picture can say a thousand words; what can (Big) data tell us?'
  • 14:55-15:10 Dr. Stan Maklan, Reader in Strategic Marketing, School of Management, Discussion: Making sense of “big data”
  • 15:10-15:30 Dr Nikolaos Tapoglou, Hongmei He, School of Aerospace, Transport, and Manufacturing = Presentations & Discussions:
    • 1.Through-Life Data Analysis and Visualisation
    • 2.Secure Cloud and Big data analytics
  • 15:30-16:20 Dr Simon Jude, Professor Jim Harris, Dr David Parsons, Dr Ron Corstanje, Daniel Sandars, School of Energy, Environment, and Agrifood = Presentations & Discussions:
    • 1.Data, Risk And Environmental Analytical Methods (DREAM) Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT)
    • 2.Agriecological Informatics
    • 3.Harnessing the Cattle Tracing Service and other big datasets to develop better disaggregated structural models of farming for better greenhouse gas inventory estimation
  • 16:20-16:30 Dr Jörn Mehnen, School of Aerospace, Transport, and Manufacturing Presentations & Discussions:
    • 1.“Mind Palace”
    • 2.National EPSRC Centre for Through-Life Services
  • 16:30-16:40 Sayara Beg/ Daniel SandarsSumming up –ideas to take forward
  • 16:40 Close
?Joining Instructions
Instructions for finding Cranfield Campus are here and the campus address is College Road, Cranfield, MK43 0AL, Bedfordshire.
Once on campus
A map of the central campus:
If you have a car then please go to the main reception in building 26 to obtain a car parking permit. Building 26 lies at the top left of grid D3 on the campus map
The meeting will take place in the seminar room of building 53 (The Bullock Building), which is located on the corner at c/d 3/4 coordinates. In building there is a phone in the stair well to call the host Daniel Sandars on 2757 or on his 07412 926024 to gain access to the seminar room.

Saturday, 5 Dec 2015
Sayara Beg

The Data Science Speakers club has five O.R.Society sponsored membership spaces remaining before we reach a total of 20 founding members of the first Data Science Speakers Club to formally charter with Toastmasters International.

If you want to go down in history, as one of the 20 founding members of the first ever Data Science Speakers club then this is your chance now.

The Data Science Speakers club has been formed to help specialists who need to master the art of delivering technical presentations to both non-technical audiences and technical audiences. This could be anything from delivering a technical proposal to secure funding, explaining technical detail (of a fault to be fixed or a opportunity to be exploited) to a non-technical audience from whom approval to proceed is needed.

You may be in anyone of these careers:

* Psychologist
* Physicist
* Biologist
* Chemist
* Statistician
* Data Engineer
* Computer Scientist
* Entrepreneur
* Innovator
* Financial Analyst

and so on.......

If you are on of the above, or similar and need to frequently deliver technical information and present data in a way that must be immediately understood, then this club is for you.

The Data Science Speakers club is specifically for people like you, like above, to practice communication and leadership skills in a safe and constructive environment, in order to find that unique style unique and apply in the professional environment.

Join now and be one of the 20 founding members of the first ever Data Science Speakers Club.

Simply fill out the contact details of this membership form, and sign the second page (ignore the financial bit, we do that for you) and hand it to the VPM at the next club meeting or email the scanned version of the form and confirmation of a transfer £60* to the Data Science Speakers Club account using these details: and a new members pack will be given you to get you started with your speaking and leadership roles at the next club meeting.

The Club meets near Old Street, in the Crypt of St Johns Church of Hoxton on Pitfield Street, N1 every Monday fortnight from 18:30 - 20:30, and the next meeting is on 7th December.

*The subscription is £10 per month (£4 subs to Toastmasters Headquarters, £5 room hire fee for two meetings per month, £1 exchange rate/commission charges as payments are made in $ to Toastmasters International). Founding members will not have to pay the new members joining fee of £15, as this has been paid for by The O. R. Society.

See more: or

Tuesday, 27 Oct 2015
Sayara Beg

An Educational Workshop provided by a Distinguished Toastmaster

Possibly the most important role in your career is the role of the evaluator. By encouraging and motivating the person speaking to you, you give them the tips and ideas on how they can improve their communication and be even more effective. However, it is also one of the most difficult roles to get right. Perhaps you find it difficult to identify the key issues you need to comment on? Perhaps you struggle to finish and find yourself droning on? Perhaps you find it difficult if the person speaking to you is more experienced than you are? Perhaps you simply want to find that extra polish that will help you leave the person speaking to you, wanting to hear more from you?

No matter where you are in your career, this Toastmasters International workshop is for you.

On 23rd November 2015, Freddie Daniells will bring his highly interactive workshop, Exceptional Evaluations, to The Data Science Speakers Club. 

This workshop has been well received by over 1300 Toastmasters throughout Great Britain and Ireland. This will be a unique opportunity to hear it at The Data Sciences Speakers club, a Toastmasters International club.

Freddie will share his own experience starting out, and his journey of evaluations since. He will share the tips and secrets that he has learned first hand from some of the best evaluators including past District Toastmaster Competition Champions. Most importantly, he will share with you the process that he has learned to make sure that you will deliver the best evaluation and feedback every time.

By the end of this workshop, you will be able to:

1. Pick the best content to include in your evaluations 
2. Structure your evaluations more effectively 
3. Make your points so that both the speaker and the listening audience get maximum benefit

The workshop will take place at 18:15 at our Data Science Speakers Club venue; St Johns Church of Hoxton, Pitfield Street, London, N1 6NP, near Old Street, the silicon roundabout. 

About Freddie Daniells 
Freddie Daniells is a member of Holborn Speakers and Excalibur Speakers, London’s advanced Toastmasters Club. He is a past Division B Governor for London. Today he is District 91 Governor, responsible for the 7500 members and 260 Toastmasters clubs in Great Britain and Ireland.

Professionally, he coaches senior executives and professionals on how to improve their most critical presentations and public speeches. He has spoken at and worked with companies and organisations like Google, Ernst and Young and the Institute of Chartered Accountants.

He believes that giving feedback is one of the most important life skills that you can learn and has embarked on a one man mission to raise the quality of feedback across District 91!


Tickets cost £2 for Toastmasters and £3 for Non-Toastmasters. This will contribute towards the venue hire costs and provision of refreshments during the event.

Thursday, 22 Oct 2015
Sayara Beg

Big Data and Spatial Analytics

Venue: The Royal Statistical Society, 12 Errol Street, London, EC1Y 8LX

Speaker: Claudia Vitolo (Imperial College) & Daqin Chen (London South Bank University)

Date: Wednesday, 18 November 2015 at 16:00 - 18:00

Big Data & Spatial Analytics

16:00 - 16:45 - Claudia Vitolo (Imperial College) "Improving access to geospatial Big Data in the hydrology domain"

There is a trend of increasing transparency, based on which information produced at public expense is gradually been made open and freely available to improve public involvement in the process of decision and policy making. For hydrologists, this translates into free access to an increasing volume of climate and hydrometric information. However, "free access" is not synonymous of "easy access" and there are many challenges arising when trying to obtain information for hundreds of sites. This talk will focus on the need for interfaces to facilitate programmatic access to data, also touching on reproducible processing workflows and efficient use of distributed computing facilities.

16:45 - 17:00 - Coffee Break

17:00 - 17:45 - Daqing Chen (London South Bank University) "Big Data Analytics Ssytem for Fact/Data-driven Decision Making'

Big Data analytics system has been developed for the London Borough of Lambeth to assist its activities in fact/data driven decision making. The system integrates various historical data from both internal and external sources to provide timely and accurate profiles on multiple measures that the borough council would be concerned.

The data integrated from multiple sources includes demographics (Census: Population, ethnicity, disability, gender, tenure, household composition), employment (NOIMS, census, and annual business survey: Working age, unemployment by age and gender, employment by industry, year-on-year change in unemployment, NEETs), deprivation (NOIMS, IMD, census, and school survey: Child and working tax credits, free school meals, IMD scores, DLA claimants), health care (Health stats: Childhood obesity, percentage of people with respiratory problems, number of hospital admissions, live expectancy, deaths), transport ( Road accident instances, year-on-year change in road accident instances), crime (Met police: Average monthly total crimes, year-on-year change in total crimes), etc.

The information is presented in an interactive, hierarchical and comparative way by using a map-based visualization dashboard. For a given measure, the borough average value can be obtained and compared with the value of each ward/LSOA code within the borough. The system is available in both Tableau-based and SQL Server-based platforms.

17:45 - 18:00 - Discussion & Networking

You can register to attend via the page

or you can email:, or

Similar details can also be found on the RSS events page

Tuesday, 6 Oct 2015
Sayara Beg

Data Science Speakers Club, London, UK: The O. R. Society's very own Toastmasters International Club.

In October 2014, I took the decision to join and actively participate in the newly formed Data Science Speakers Club, a Toastmasters International Club, at an important stage of my professional career, when I wanted to switch from academic research in biology to data science in the corporate world. Apart from very useful communication techniques, the Toastmasters Educational programme and its supporting meeting environment, it gave me a tremendous boost in self-confidence when having to stand up and speak in front of a diverse audience. This proves to be extremely useful in the company environment, where I need to communicate efficiently with colleagues from different teams as well as with clients. 

I am a Data Scientist at the ai Corporation (Guildford, Surrey), and my work involves developing new solutions to detect and prevent fraudulent card payments for card issuers and payment acquirers. In our research team we implement machine learning methods such as Neural or Bayesian Networks but also unsupervised pattern detection methods to identify card transactions done by criminals, which would result in substantial net chargeback losses for financial institutions, if not prevented.

I was introduced to Toastmasters by Sayara Beg (FORS), in the Autumn of 2014, by attending a MeetUp event which was organised through the Analytics Network, a Special Interest Group of The O. R. Society.  As an advanced Toastmaster, Sayara’s next Toastmaster leadership project was to initiate and create a new Toastmasters club. That is how the Toastmasters Data Science Speakers Club started in autumn 2014, with the precious sponsorship of the ORS Analytics Network. Toastmasters International clubs function as a not-for-profit organisation and are managed by a nominated club committee, which change each Toastmaster Year. I volunteered to be the Club's first President, from November 2014 to July 2015, because I wanted to make the club known to Data Scientists and Analytics Networkers and work with Sayara to set up and organise the fortnighlty agenda for each Toastmaster meeting, because I gained so much confidence from it, so quickly, that I wanted others to know about it too and also learn how to gain confidence.

Toastmasters International is a non-profit educational organisation with clubs in 135 countries. The purpose through its thousands of member clubs is to offer an educational program of communication and leadership projects designed to help members improve their communication, public speaking, and leadership skills.

Every session, is split into two sections.  The first section is composed of short prepared speeches by club members, who are following the competent communication educational programme, and they are formally evaluated by another club member, who gives constructive as well as supportive feedback to their speaker to improve the efficiency of their communication skills.

 The second section, following a short networking break, is the fun part of impromptu speaking and everybody gets involved.  Questions of any kind of topics (usually broadly related to analytics or data science) are asked by a ‘Table topics master’.  A random member of the audience is invited to answer the question and they have 60 second to formulate their thoughts and come up with a coherent and structured response to the question.  The questions are usually a combination of fun and challening, designed to give the speaker a chance to practice thinking quickly and on their feet.  This fun exercise not only trains the capacity of impromptu speaking; it often reveals a humorous side of the speakers, that they didn't know they had.

To date the Toastmasters Data Science Speakers club encountered great positive echo. Guests who came ‘just to see’ for one session, saw the benefits they could gain in training their public speaking and leadership skills in a friendly, safe, environment in the company of like-minded data science and analytics-minded people. Our club members elected a new committee in July 2015, with Matthew Robinson, as the current President, of the club. Matthew currently works as Business Analytics Specialty Architect at IBM and is member if the ORS Analytics Network committee, and I provide support, as the Immediate Past President, sharing my knowledge and experience, as President. 

 It is inspiring to see how willingly everyone invests their personal time to run and develop this club, in turn developing their own interpersonal skills. I have no doubt it is the profound gains in self-confidence and public speaking capacities are key in driving the motivation to get involved and participate. . Finally, for me, I think the best thing is meeting and learning from so many differently skilled and experienced people at the Toastmasters sessions.

 The Data Science Speakers Toastmasters sessions take place fortnightly on Monday evenings from 6.30pm to 8.30pm close to Old Street Station in London.  Feel free to contact us through the Toastmasters International club portal site:

or through the MeetUp site:

From these webpages you can contact the committee, sign up to attend a meeting and get detailed information about the venue and session dates.  I hope you will visit the club soon, and even consider signing up to become a member.


Raphael Zollinger

Friday, 21 Aug 2015
Louise Allison

The Analytics Network is coming to Manchester

3 September 2015, 2-5pm

Room 2.42, Manchester Business School, Booth Street West, M15 6PB

Please put the afternoon of Thursday 3 September in your diary for the ‘Analytics in the North’ event organised jointly by the OR Society's Analytics Network and Decision Analysis Special Interest Group (DASIG), and the Government OR Service (GORS), featuring speakers from the public and private sectors, and academia.


Claire Potter (HMRC) will talk about the challenges of using predictive analytics to influence customer behaviour as early as possible, for example by reducing opportunities for error, fraud or non-compliance.

Matthew Robinson (IBM) will explain the journey that takes businesses from statistics and business intelligence, through predictive analytics to cognitive analytics.

Professor John Keane (University of Manchester) will discuss the development of Decision Support System (DSS) tools and algorithms and their role in “value added data systems”.

Mike Tanner (Mitan Ltd) will discuss how changing business, legal, and technological factors affect the nature of OR solutions, and the need for clear objectives. This will be illustrated by why and how a non-simulation model was developed for complex queuing systems.


There will also be an opportunity to network with professionals working in different sectors and organisations during the event. Refreshments will be provided.

See the Future meetings page for further details.


The event is free to attend, please register to secure your place:

For more information, please contact Anna Nikiel (

Thursday, 21 May 2015
Michael Mortenson

With just over three weeks to go to the deadline for submissions, just a gentle reminder about the YoungOR conference and its analytics stream.

If you are in the first 10 years of a career in analytics and OR, and you have an interesting story to tell or piece of research to share, the YoungOR conference is the place to do it! 

Deadline is 12th June 2015 for submissions - abstract and title only - and the conference itself is 22-24 September. Full details below.

Hope to see you in Aston!




Tuesday, 14 Apr 2015
Michael Mortenson

In the First 10 Years of Your Analytics / OR Career? Then the Young OR Conference, 22-24 Sept, is the conference for you. Whether you're a practitoner or an academic, come share your experiences & learn from your peers.

We would like to welcome you to this popular conference for practitioners and also academics who are in the first ten years of their career in O.R. and analytics. See

Abstract submissions are welcome for any of the numerous streams until the 12th June 2015. Alongside such topics as optimisation, supply chain and consultancy we are also pleased to announce an analytics stream to which submissions would be most welcome. To find out more about these streams and how to submit your paper then please visit the YOR19 page at the OR Society .

Please pass this note onto any practitioners or to academics or students who you feel may find this conference of interest. Any queries can be sent to Vicky Forman (, conference chair, or Michael Mortenson (, analytics stream leader.

The conference will also include plenaries, keynotes and social activities for delegates. We warmly look forward to welcoming you to Aston and the YoungOR community. 



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