“Demographically, certain people are
coming from Germany, Japan, or other
countries. But why are they coming
from those places? What are their backgrounds, what are their age groups, and
what do they get out of this meeting?
We want to see the behavior patterns.
And based on those patterns, we can
recommend that they attend other
events and show them the benefits.”
Renn also wants the system to
improve efficiency at events. How many
radios do they need? How much staff-
ing is required based on the number
of attendees and the time it takes to
register? “The data may give us infor-
mation that we didn’t think about, and
lead us to another place,” Renn said.
“Sometimes you think you’re hitting the
mark, but that data can tell you, ‘Uh-uh
— you’re not hitting the mark.’”
EMBRACING THE POSSIBILITIES
Building a data-driven organization isn’t
easy. It requires a significant financial
investment and support from upper
management. It means creating a com-
prehensive data infrastructure. And too
often, data isn’t consolidated. “It’s all
over the place,” Reddi said. Frequently,
he notes, emphasizing analytics requires
a culture change. But however difficult
the process, the payoffs are immense
— which brings us back to UPS, where
analytics are a large part of the com-
pany’s identity, and where they will only
become more powerfully predictive.
“Imagine a data architecture and
an analytics system of the future that
predicts a problem is going to exist and
solves it before you even know some-
thing is wrong,” Jack Levis, UPS’s senior
director of process management, said in
an interview with Network World.com.
“We’ll look like Sherlock Holmes. And
that’s where I think we’ll be one day.” .
Contributing Editor Ken Budd is the author of
the memoir The Voluntourist and the host of
“650,000 Hours,” a web series on travel and
Informative INFORMS will bring together more than 5,000 members, students, prospective employers and employees, and academic and
industry experts at its 2017 Annual Meeting in Houston on Oct. 22–25. The program’s tagline is ‘Houston, We Solve Problems.’