Mon, February 15, 2021


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Celebrating the ninth Analytics, OR and AI Summit

On Thursday 11 February we held our ninth Analytics Summit, AS21. This year was the first time that the event had been held virtually and it was also the first year that we had included AI as part of this conference.

We were joined by six industry-leading speakers from the fields of AI, OR and Analytics who shared a range of talks and provided insight on some very interest topics.

After an introduction from The OR Society Vice President, John Hope, the day began with our first speaker Mark Somers, MD of 4most. He presented a session on ‘Fair Decisions in AI’ and raised the question of why do we struggle to accept machine decisions when we know human decisions to be flawed?

Next up it was Paul Laughlin, of Laughlin Consultancy, who delivered his talk on ‘Developing the Softer Skills Analysts need to make a difference in your business.’ The interesting session examined how to use questions to get to the real business needs and Paul showed the audience his own nine-step model on softer skills.

We were then joined by Ganna Pogrebana, from The Turing Institute, who delivered a session on ‘The Data Science of Hollywood: from Content Generation to AI-driven Supply Chains.’ This intriguing talk looked at how her team mapped the sentiment of Hollywood films and then compared this to revenue, analysing what it took to make a successful blockbuster.

We then heard from Marilena Karanika, of Experian, with her talk on ‘Categorisation in the age of Open Banking.’ Marilena explained how the influx of new businesses and transactions in the last 12 months because of the COVID-19 crisis had created new challenges to categorise payments, with AI learning deployed to solve this problem.

Our fifth talk with Jack Snape, from Transport for the North, looked at ‘Making sense of simulated worlds: Using the principles of predictive analytics to make complex simulation models more usable.’ Jack explained the range of outcomes his team needs to continually model and raised the question of whether analytics can really help.

The final session of the day was delivered by Professor David Hand from Imperial College London with his session on ‘AI validation, reliability and maintenance.’ His session delved into the complexities of asking the right questions to ensure that you are really analysing the right data.

All of our sessions were followed by a Q&A with delegates asking our speakers a range of engaging questions.

One of our speakers, Paul Laughlin, has shared his own take on the event here with details about each of our speakers and the session they delivered.

Paul said: “Having presented at two previous OR Society events, I recommend checking them out, especially the Analytics Network within that community. Who knows, perhaps you will even be persuaded to become a member.”

You can find out more about this year’s speakers here. To read Paul’s write up of AS21 in full, please click here.