## Is Optimization Really Part Of Analytics?
I looked at this question not so long ago but it is worth revisiting using the new analytics definition proposed by INFORMS . The proposed definition reads: "Analytics -- the scientific process of transforming data into insight for making better decisions." I like it. It is concise, well worded. Optimization seems covered by the "making better decisions" part. However, the new definition seems very (too
much?) data centric as stated by Ehsan Nikbakhsh on Or Exchange . Indeed, it clearly base decision making on... [More]
Tags: informs analytics optimization |

## Nice Graphics Always Win
I remember the first demo I made.
It was last century, in 1990 if I remember well. No, I wasn't using punch cards. Believe it or not, but at that time there were computers with a mouse, a windowing system, decent programming languages, and a good OS called Unix. Yes, this old fashioned ancestor of Linux and Mac OS X. Even Internet existed back in those old days...
Anyway, here was I, so proud that my solver was able to solve the zebra puzzle . The... [More]
Tags: predictive optimization analytics |

## Interesting Optimization Blogs
Mathematical optimization is often called Operations Research (OR). I'll keep using mathematical optimization, or optimization in short, here, but if you want to learn more about it look for OR resources, for instance OR blogs. The good news here is that Mike Trick is maintaining a list of interesting blogs on his home page: http://mat.tepper.cmu.edu/blog/ Look for the right column, and you'll find a very interesting list. I won't reproduce it here, but all are worth a look at. It is truly a great list. Note that I am not saying this... [More]
Tags: optimization learning blogs |

## When Better Is Not Better
I don't know about you, but my experience is that all customers want the best solution to their business problem. And they want it rapidly, within some given time limit. I can't blame them, I do the same when I am the customer. However, if we have finite computing resources then there is a limit to what can be computed. If the business problem is so complex that it can't be solved exactly in the given time limit, then optimization won't compute the best possible solution (one among the optimal ones). What it will compute are good feasible... [More]
Tags: optimization cplex analytics |

## Making Dreams Come True (Or Not)
Last week, in my What Is The Solution When There Is No Solution entry, I commented about the fact that not all business requirements were actual constraints and that some of these are probably wishes that business people dream to fulfill. Making the difference between wishes and hard constraints is key to success. Indeed, handling wishes as hard constraints may result in infeasible models, which would be useless to the business people that come to you for help. It turns out that there is a surprisingly simple way to detect that some... [More]
Tags: analytics optimization modeling |