Building Successful O.R. and Analytics Teams

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Download the "How Organizations can get Started with Analytics" Booklet

Analytics. Data Science. Machine Learning. Artificial Intelligence. These are popular terms that share a common theme; namely, they are all ways for leveraging data to make better decisions. Leaders of organizations are hearing these buzz words and trying to figure out how to get value from these techniques. For many decades, the members of INFORMS, the world’s largest professional association dedicated to and promoting best practices and advances in operations research, management science, and analytics, as well as many other analytics professionals, have been using these techniques to help organizations leverage data to make better decisions. 

This guide is for leaders who want to get started with or enhance analytics implementation in their organizations. It will provide frameworks and tools to answer the following questions:

  • What is the analytic maturity of your organization?
  • What goals should be set for your analytics effort to create positive impact aligned with the organization’s strategy and objectives?
  • Should you have a centralized or a decentralized analytics team?
  • What funding is required?
  • How can you identify, hire and develop the best talent for your analytics team(s)?
  • What are best practices for structuring managing analytics projects?
  • How can you enable your analytics effort to sustain and grow over time?

The content presented here draws on the vast experience and knowledge of a highly accomplished set of individuals who have been successful analytics leaders at the world’s leading companies, government institutions, non-governmental organizations and academic institutions. We have distilled the learnings that they have collected over decades to provide you with a concise, yet easy to read and effective, resource. We are happy to bring this resource to you, and we are confident that it will give you a head start on the path to incorporating, as well as enhancing, the use of analytics in your organization.

A Special Thank You

To Our Authors of "Getting Started with Analytics"
Zahir Balaporia, CAP
Allen Butler
Dayana Cope
Arnie Greenland, CAP
David Hunt
Carlie Idoine
Kinshuk Jerath
Stefan Karisch
Taryn Lewis
Irv Lustig, CAP
Polly Mitchell-Guthrie
Olga Raskina
Jessica Weaver, CAP
Sally Worell, CAP


  1. Introduction
  2. Assessing the Analytics Landscape
    1. Analytical Assessment Overview
    2. INFORMS Analytics Capability Evaluation (ACE) Using the Analytics Maturity Model
    3. Other Frameworks for Evaluating the Analytics Landscape
  3. Establishing Goals for Analytics
  4. Organizational Alignment
    1. Where Should the Analytics Team Live Within the Organization?
    2. Funding the Analytics Team
    3. Processes for the Analytics Team
    4. Managing Analytics Talent
    5. Analytics Career Ladders
  5. Launch an Analytics Program
    1. Roles and Responsibilities for the Analytics Team
    2. Identifying Analytics Opportunities
    3. Structuring an Analytics Project
  6. Sustain and Grow Analytics